Best Books Ever Written: According to Me
We have six book displays at our main library that change monthly. Staff in our Adult Services Division are responsible for contributing four displays per calendar year. Some have a hard time coming up with new ideas.
Nothing is easier to put up and maintain than a "Staff Picks" display, but if you have more than one of those per year, your patrons will stop paying attention. This is a profile of a successful display we did November of 2007. The humor and graphics made it quite popular.
As the staff member responsible for the display, I came up with a list of my all time favorite books in several different categories: Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Horror, Classics, Mysterier/Thrillers, and Young Adult. I "cartoonized" myself. I sent one of the resulting .jpg files to the Art Department to create the sign for the top of the display. I used the rest of the .jpg's to create the booklist and the backdrop for the display tiers.
If multiple staff members want to contribute, use bookmarks with cartoonized librarians in their "best book." Bookmarks could include short reviews of the books they are in. Patrons can keep the bookmark or you could reuse them.
Call your display "Hidden Gems." And fill it with those books you just can't part with. If they are out in front of your patrons, they will likely Circ. If they circ, you won't have to weed them! Your Cartoonized Librarians could wear miner's hats and carry picks.
If you don't have display space in your library or if it is at a premium, use the bookmark idea and display your best books on your shelves.
Observed or Measured Level of Success
Many of the books on the display were "older" (ie. from the 80's and 90's) and some were classics. The display brought them to the attention of a public who are often looking for the next bestseller or the next title by their favorite author. Many of the books circulated when they might not have otherwise. Also, several of the titles were from our "storage" shelves in the basement. Storage is staff access only, so if a patron doesn't know to ask for a title, the books just sit.
Also on our display there were several young adult (and a few children's) titles. Adult patrons who don't venture into the young adult section of the library never would have seen these.
Patrons even came up to the informtaion desk to ask for books they had seen on the display that had been checked out by other patrons.
The most popular aspect of the display was the booklist which was created on Microsoft Publisher.
Material Needs and Costs
- Your Collection - It's there; use it!
- Sinage - size and quality up to your printing capabilities.
- Booklist - color or black and white, you pick.
Depending on how you get your printing of signs and booklists done, you could be looking at a nearly free display idea!
Words of Advice
- Be ready to laugh with patrons when they recognize you or the display's creator.
- Have plenty of booklists on hand.
- We included books we didn't own. If you do be prepared for some Inter Library Loan action.