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A Year's Worth of Library Display Ideas (part 1 of series)


One of my favorite things to do in my library is create displays. I thought it might be helpful if I shared the calendar that I drew up to make sure I don't miss any of the "must-do" displays. It is so helpful if you can take people over to a seasonal display versus trying to look up in the catalog or find Easter books or whatever. I hope this helps any new librarians who might be overwhelmed by the process of marketing your collection!

As a general rule, I tend to keep displays up for about 3-4 weeks or if I run out of books all together. One tip I'd recommend if you have the space for multiple displays is to change one display in each space every week and rotate around the youth department like that. For example, one week you put up a new picture books display, then nonfiction, then YA/teen, etc. Don't forget to raid your CD and DVD collections for a multi-category display.

A great resource for making display is Chase's Calendar of Events, which is a pretty standard reference book, so hopefully your library has it. If they don't, I've also used This Day in History too.

January
  • "New Year, New You" books on common resolutions (yoga, healthy eating, etc.) --this is a good one for the adult department as well

February
  • Valentine's Day picture books and anything to do with love
  • In the YA area I do "Not your mama's romances" and cut up broken hearts, etc. You could do an anti-romance one (black construction paper hearts?) or both! 
  • African-American History Month

March

April
  • Poetry Month
  • April Fools! (History's great hoaxes and practical jokes)
  • Women's History Month
  • Anniversary of the Titanic Sinking
  • Earth Day (suggested by commenter Mrs. Reader Pants--thank you!) 

May
  • Mother's Day books (a few dads have thanked me for doing this because they would have forgotten otherwise--one of the many services at your public library is reminding people that these holidays exist!) 
June/July
  • Something related to the summer reading theme (this year it was stories from around the world, for example)
  • Father's Day books (with a sign that says "A man that reads is a dad, indeed! Happy Father's Day"--big hit with the moms)
  • Road Trip reads (great audio books for the whole family in the car)
  • Summer picture books and nonfiction
  • Beach Books for the teens
  • 4th of July

August
  • Back to School Books
  • Potty Training books (kids usually have to be potty-trained to start preschool)

September
  • Fall books--apples, pumpkins, etc. (a lot of preschools and elementary classes will do farm visits around this time of year as a field trip, so anything related to that)
  • This year, we have a September 11th display up for the 10 year anniversary. It is pretty simple but powerful. 

October
  • Beginning October 1st--Halloween books
  • I do a J & YA display called "Scarier than the math test you forgot to study for" also. 

November
  • Thanksgiving books beginning November 1st (or if the Halloween books start to look really picked over early)
  • Christmas books go out the day after Thanksgiving (what I do is put the Thanksgiving books that are still on the display--if any--on the shelving cart while I am doing my closing duties Wednesday night and then put a note on my desk to put the Christmas books out on my next workday)

December
  • Winter picture books and nonfiction
  • Along with the Christmas picture books, I put out books on making gifts, wrapping paper, and all sorts of different activity books for kids who will be bored over the break (drawing, etc.)
  • I usually put up a display to go with our puppet show (books on making puppets and/or the folktales the show is based on, or books related to the subject (cooking, etc.) if any)
  • Anything we have on New Year's traditions, resolutions, etc. 
Printable Signs
I am working on updating my signs for the displays and will edit this when finished.

I have a post coming up on display ideas that are great for any time of year, but since this is the beginning of the school year I thought I'd do the seasonal one first!

Comments

Amy said…
I am so glad there are people out there who have strengths in areas I do not. I abhor the time of the month when I have to think about coming up with a new display or way to highlight our collection. So thank you for this post!
Michelle M. said…
Great ideas! I get stuck on book ideas for certain months, so this is really helpful.
Love these! Another great display idea for April is Earth Day April 22. Endangered species and pollution are always big hits.
Anne said…
Ohhh! Good idea, Mrs. ReaderPants! I will update the post to include that & stick it in my calendar. Thank you.
Trophywife said…
I want to note that Women's History Month is March!! I'm doing a display for it soon!!
Blanca Elam said…
I need help! I am in charge of our main display window as well as (smaller) Children's display window. These displays are locked behind glass and therefore, we cannot use library books because people will want to check them out. What I try to do is find an organization to display their items, for example, we had Girls Scouts do a 100 year anniversary display that was great, by the way, in our displays. But my problem is finding something to put in there when I can't find any organizations to display their things! It's a large space to fill and I don't know what to do, nor am I sure I have the time to do elaborate things (so that it's not boring). Thank you, in advance!
Anonymous said…
Blanca,

I have a similar situation with a locked display in my library. We color copy 3 or 4 books that we want to highlight. The copies slide into frames and the display is built around the title copies. I love when we get a lot of new books and I can use a nursery/welcome baby book display. Children always take note of a new movie display I have used a couple of times. Popcorn holders and empty movie-size candy containers invite folks to check out a new movie.
Ariana said…
I am working on my first ever display for the public where I work.

My theme is "Father's Day". I am looking for ideas for signage and what sort of materials to put out.
Blanca Elam said…
Ariana, check Pinterest. A lot of librarians have boards and countless ideas for displays. That's where I got a lot of help from. Think of things that dads like: fishing, sports, hunting, , etc. You could do a fishing-themed display called "Fish for a good gift for Dad this Fathers Day" ..or a good book, and fill it with fishing lines, tackle, boots, stuff like that. Hope that helps. Let me know what you decide to do!

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