Our display, Reading Hollywood, began nearly two years ago at a public high school in Eastern North Carolina. The concept was simple: students love films but they rarely make the connection between film and written works of literature. It was believed that if students make that connection, then their love of films could (or would) transfer to a love of books.
For the students, increase their chances of becoming life-long readers; for the School Media Center, increased circulation.
The display was created by hanging a movie poster directly beside a corresponding book near a high traffic area, away from the general stacks.
Observed or Measured Level of Success
The display was, and continues to be, successful. Books included within the Reading Hollywood display circulated between 2 to 5 times more often then the general collection as a whole. Female students general checked out Reading Hollywood Display books at approximately 4 to 1 more often than male students.
The more successful and/or meaningful the movie was at the Box Office, the greater the chances that the corresponding book on display would be picked up (i.e. A Beautiful Mind, The Notebook, Spiderman, and Lord of the Rings).
In addition, stereotypical teenage chick-flicks were heavy movers as well (i.e. The Notebook and Girls in Pants).
Material Needs and Costs: Prioritized Top-Down
- Movie Poster - free or $20 each
- Corresponding Book - $10-30 each
- Useful, but optional
- 27x40 or 11x17 poster frames (black) - $20-$120 each
- Display pedistals (black) - $100-$150 each
Words of Advice
- Recent film releases (2-20 wks) are more successful than older releases (10+ years) for teenagers. Try to have posters and books ready to go right when the film is released at the local theatre.
- Its hard to find diversity in film/book combinations that is appropriate for a school setting. Work hard to locate diverse actors and/or writers for the display so that other ethnic groups do not feel neglected.
- Most movie posters are only printed while the film is at the theatre, and a short time thereafter.
- Based on the Book: Located film and corresponding book titles.
- DonorsChoose: Potential grant funding for schools.
- Frames USA, inc: Our source of professional frames.