I almost always grab a book off of a book display. They tend to be children’s books, young adult or graphic novels. So, while I am a single example, I can say, albeit anecdotally, say that displays help circulation.
If we are going old school with display ideas, one need to look no further than the king of library science himself, S.R. Ranganathan. In his book Five Laws of Library Science, he suggests using displays to increase circulation of otherwise low circulated books. Phrases such as “Interesting books just unearthed,” “Books of the hour,” and “Long-forgotten but useful” are not too far from displays that librarians use now to attract the attention of the user (Ranganathan, 1931, p. 306). Ninety years later, Grover upholds this concept by saying that the first purpose is to “give books that are usually overlooked some limelight” (2021).
With all these thoughts in mind, I set out to create my first display. Based off a few Twitter feeds and articles such as Grovers, I had my own ideas for displays. However, the time in which the opportunity presented itself to me to execute my display was in January of 2022. So, I decided on the theme of learning something new.
For the visual posters, I used Canva. I decided on a positive, joyful message. In my casual interactions with students last semester, I found them to be stressed, overstimulated and just done.
For the second poster, was the main theme of the display which is, “Learn Something New,” in which I encouraged the students to use the hastag #ottolearns to post and tag themselves doing what they decided to learn in this new year.
The books I selected for this display were all pulled from the non-fiction section. I found it easy to focus mainly on topics of the arts such as cooking and drawing, so I made sure I included other topics such as, camping, learning about being a journalist, graphic design, careers if you like science and books in Spanish.
This is not my library, but keeping up with circulation based off the display should be as important as the display itself. That will be my goal for my next display. When I have stopped by the library, and have seen books that have been pulled from the display, I have replaced them with other books. Lesson learned? I need to have a system or utilize my collection analytics to see what change, if any, the display is having on user tendencies.
Secondly, while I lightly applaud myself for encouraging social media with the “Post a pic of your learning using this hashtag,” it does not have a focus. I myself have not yet posted a picture of myself using the hashtag and I doubt anyone else has. Perhaps a side display of posts from students could encourage this second element of the display, which is also more native to current middle school users.
Lastly, the amazing display ideas I have seen on Tiktok, Twitter and Pintrest almost always have a 3D element. For a Halloween theme, this might be cobwebs and little pumpkins peppering the display or anything that brings it to life more.
In any case, I was happy with my first display and am excited to already be working on my next one.
Grover, R. (2021, November 01). The art of creating book displays (part 2). Knowledge Quest. https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/the-art-of-creating-book-displays-part-2/
Ranganathan, S. R. (1931). The five laws of library science. Madras Library Association.