Friday, October 22, 2010

On display

I 0nce turned down a job offer to teach 4th grade because--in addition to being completely, totally and woefully unqualified to teach 4th grade in any way, shape, or form--I felt like my bulletin board creation skills were not good enough to work in an elementary school. I preferred high school, where I could tack up a few posters and call it a day; and during my three years teaching high school I was a teacher on a cart, so I never even had my own room with bulletin boards to worry about (which, really, is the only perk of being a teacher on a cart).

That changed, however, when I went back for my MLIS. One of my friends from grad school (well, he's still a friend, but I met him in grad school) used to joke that I was getting a degree in arts and crafts every time I had to create some sort of display for class. (He also used to sneak up behind me while I was working in the computer lab and try to give me a hear attack. With friends like these. . .).

I really enjoyed those assignments where I had to create a display; I'm pretty good at presenting information in text, but not so good at presenting information in pictures, and it was good to develop those skills. Students are a lot more likely to respond to something that's visually appealing; turns out I was more than a little off-base in my assumption that by avoiding elementary school I was avoiding the need to create bulletin boards.

Now, despite (or more likely because of) not having a conventional display space, I really like creating new book displays. I don't get to rotate displays as often as I'd like (though, thanks to a friend and colleague wh0's working with me in the library this year, it's a lot easier), but I did want to show off a couple I've done this year.

First up, my Banned Books Week display:

I was pretty proud of the number of frequently challenged books I already had in my collection; I added glaring omissions to my next order. The signs are lists and charts of frequently challenged books by title and reason for the challenge.

I was considering a Halloween display, but I feel a lot of pressure from seasonal displays, given that there is a definite expiration date. I wanted something I could keep up for a while, swapping books out as needed. So I came up with "Get Carried Away by a Book":

And then I decided to do a small Halloween display anyway, as I had a bunch of decorations from a previous display:

On the circulation desk I have my friend Courtney Sheinmel's first book, My So-Called Family, which I finally read and LOVED:

But no matter how many displays I make, or how good I get at it (or even if I ever get a "real" display space), this:

will always be my favorite kind of display.


  1. I see the Forman magazine is in the banned book section. It's about time someone listened to me about getting that thing condemned. Great job on the displays!

    Oh, and since you always recommend such wonderful things, I now desperately need to read that red origami crane.

  2. I second Nate, but also like how Time is a banned book, but yet, one that will carry you away. Personally, I always thought that US News should be banned, but obviously Time is more offensive to some book banners...

  3. Not to mention some of the unspeakable things printed in Wired.