Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Make a Good Display

This year I am working on pulling out parts of our nonfiction collection that sometimes get overlooked to promote with the new Common Core standards and school assignments.  At my branch, we get a LOT of biography requests in late March and throughout April and most of the kids want people that they can remember (lots of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln requests).  If you work in a public library, you know that as soon as the first kid or so hits the collection, all of those books are gone.  This month's display is called "Famous People" and I am adding biographies on people that you don't always think of along with past award winners or ALSC Notable Books.

My finished product!
So how did I get here?  Here are a few tips to create your own display:
1.  You will want some sort of theme to hold it all together.  It could be subject, color of the book covers, or just about anything that you can come up with.  It does not always need a sign as long as the theme is obvious (otherwise people will just dump their leftover books on top of your display because they think it is a catch-all.)  We use a sign here because our display space is in between two ranges of shelves.  I really want to push that this is a display space.
2.  Pick out your books.  You will want to keep an eye on size and color of the book covers.  You also want to keep the display interesting.  Looking at a book that has a plain black cover is not interesting.  Illustrations really do make a difference.
3.  Now it is time to arrange your books.  You will want your biggest books in the middle of the display and the smallest books at the outside (think-pyramid).  If you use a pyramid design, it will naturally draw people's eyes into the display.

Now look at color.  Are there any books that have some color in common so they look like they go together?  You will notice that the top shelf has a burgundy/red color that goes through all of the books.  The second shelf has blue on all of the covers.  The books on each side are also mostly black (it would look weird to have two black books in a row, then a light blue one).

4.  Is there anything else that would enhance your display?  I added a sign promoting one of our databases-Biography in Context.

Just remember that a good display can increase your circulation 90% on the books that are included.  This is your chance to promote your collection and to get those books to circulate!


  1. Well, this is timely! We were just talking about tips today at our team meeting. Your tips are a perfect complement.


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