We all do it, let’s be honest.
The colours or pictures on a book cover jump out at us, shouting: “Pick me!”
Sometimes the book is better than the cover, sometimes we’re disappointed and the initial attraction doesn’t lead to any deeper love.
And sometimes a treasure can be found under an unlikely cover. You might even find yourself passing it on to a friend, asking them not to judge the book by it’s cover.
So with this in mind, I’ve created a display for my library that challenges readers to pick a book, sight unseen. “It’s like Christmas!” I had one student proclaim as they unwrapped the book they chose so we could check it out to them. Considering they came back for another unknown book and brought a friend with them, I’d say the display is a success.
It was easy to put together and could be used during any season — both qualities are a perk for this busy librarian!
I am spoiled by having a laminator at my disposal and often will laminate parts of my displays — this makes re-using elements easier and the colours don’t fade. Actually, I have a filing system for all the letters that I use. There is a large manila envelope for each letter of the alphabet and all the colors and font styles and sizes per letter go in the envelopes, which go into a hanging file system. I like mix-and-match lettering … you don’t have to worry about lining things up when they’re uneven on purpose!
For this display I used laminated circles cut from discarded books as a graphic backdrop for the title.
I chose a selection of books that I would consider page-turners and would most likely be enjoyed by either guy or girl readers. I wrapped them in old newspapers– simply because they were handy and large enough to fit around a book and don’t cost anything! If I had large sheets of solid paper or non-Christmasy wrapping paper on hand, I would have used that. The secret to quick, easy, and cost efficient displays is being creative with what you have.
I also added bright colourful signs to the front of the wrapped books, encouraging students to grab them off the display. I made the signs in a Word document that was landscape orientation and divided into two columns, so that 2 signs could be made per printed page. You could also make smaller signs and fit four per page. I printed off more than I needed for the original display so that I’d have them ready to go when I needed to replace books that had been checked out.
If you try this out, I’d love to hear your students’ reactions and how this idea worked for your library or classroom space!