Everything You Need to Know About Duct Tape Crafts

everything you need to know about duct tape crafts

I’ve talked before about my love for pre-bundled craft supplies and passive programs with my blog post about Maker Kits. Today I’m going to talk a bit more in-depth about duct tape crafts.

Duct Tape Maker Kit SuppliesMaterials:

  • Scissors (safety scissors with rounded edges are okay but safety scissors will not be strong enough to cut the tape–tape can be torn but younger kids will not have the hand strength)
  • Rulers
  • Duct Tape
  • Index cards (other cardstock or heavy paper works too)
  • Laminated Instruction Sheets
  • Demo Items

The Duct Tape Maker Kit is stocked with a variety of duct tape, scissors, and rulers. The reason the kits can be self-directed are the laminated instruction sheets.

After looking around online I found project instructions from Duct Tape and Instructables. I adapted the instructions to fit my needs, reformatted them, and then printed them out. I used my library’s laminator to laminate each sheet. Because I wanted laminated sheets, I kept instructions to one sheet of paper (one or two sided) for easy printing and laminating. I round out the kit with demonstration items I made myself while testing the projects.

Projects:

The fun thing about working with duct tape is that the kids and teens really get to run with it. I give minimal instruction on basic techniques. The rest is up to the patrons attending the program and depends on how much effort they want to invest. I always appreciate a program where participants can put in as little or as much effort as they choose. Because the crafts range from very quick (index card bookmark) to more complex (duct tape wallet), I do recommend having a variety of materials and tape patterns to encourage experimentation. If you plan to offer the program for all ages you might also want to have coloring sheets or some other alternative for anyone who loses interest in duct tape crafting before the program wraps.

Tips:

  • Did you know that a lot of duct tape crafts involve wrapping duct tape around other objects? I have done programs decorating notebooks and boxes with duct tape in addition to the crafts mentioned above.
  • While duct tape can be a pricier craft supply, I’ve found several bundled rolls for a really reasonable price point online. The main obstacle is that kids need a lot of strength to roll out the duct tape and without supervision it can get tangled. I would recommend buying the name brand if you order online or shopping in a store where you can feel the weight of the tape. Bazic brand is cheap but it’s very flimsy.
  • You can also use washi tape if your craft is strictly decorative. You’ll need actual duct tape if you want the strength to build out an item like a wallet.
  • Scissors will need to be cleaned often as sticky residue builds up. I put aside some of the best scissors–ie the strongest ones–just for duct tape and periodically task volunteers with cleaning them with alcohol wipes.

Once you buy the initial supplies and prepare materials, the duct tape programs can really run themselves. And unlike a lot of programs, you might even have time to craft while supervising.

everything you need to know about duct tape crafts

A version of this post originally appeared at Teen Services Underground in 2016.

Gaming Unplugged: Board Games, Card Games, and Party Games to use in Teen Programs

Gaming Unplugged

I’ve talked before about ready-made craft programs on the blog in what I call Maker Kits–pre-bundled supplies for programs ideal to use for passive programming or (in pandemic life) to repurpose for grab and go programming.

Today I have some quick ideas for low-tech gaming (with minimal set up and generally quick game play) if you want to do an “unplugged” game program”

  • Card Games: It’s pretty old school but I like having some standard decks of playing cards on hand for game programs. You can also have a book of solitaire games (and shock everyone when you reveal that yes, we used to play with real cards!) and books with basic card games (there’s The Card Game Bible and Hoyle’s Modern Encyclopedia of Card Games if you’re looking for where to start). There are also novelty decks for specific games like Old Maid or Crazy Eights and more. You can also explain card counting with Black Jack. Then, of course, there’s the classic: Uno. If none of the games appeal, you can always have everyone try to build card houses.
  • 1,000 Blank White Cards: This game is about as low tech as it gets. All you need to start are some pens and note cards. Players make the deck as they go so teens can create cards in addition to some you made ahead of time (maybe with help from volunteers). The game can take any form depending on what cards are created. Most involve some kind of point value, an action, and an illustration. Want to know more before you get started? There’s a wiki for that.
  • Charades: I am on a crusade to make sure teens know how to play charades and let me tell you it’s been uphill at my library. Charades has players draw a word/phrase of some kind and pantomime the action or words within to get others to guess the answer. It can be played either individually or in teams. I suggest using a word generator or other strategy to create prompts ahead of time because when I had teens write them up it devolved into a lot of obscure video game characters. You may also have to explain the concept with some examples. I had prompts in one game for “Little Women” and “The Hunger Games” and teens tried to act out the entire story instead of just the title.
  • Codenames: This game has a couple of version. I’ve been using the Codenames Pictures version. The game can work with 2-8 players (or more in teams) so it’s great for larger groups as well. Codenames is a cross between “Guess Who?” and “Battleship” with Spymaster players who lay out the board and know the location of their own spies on the board. Spymasters then use clues based on picture tiles in the game to reveal those locations to the rest of their team (example: “1, game” would tell the other players to look for the one tile on the board that refers to a game, possibly a dice or a billiard ball) to uncover the spies. Whoever collects all of their spies off the board first wins.
  • Coup: Easily one of my favorite games, Coup is a bluffing game where players compete to wield the most influence and win the game. The game includes a deck of cards, coins, and some how-to/role cards and works with 2 to 6 players (or more if you do teams. I think of this game as extreme “Go Fish.” Every player starts with two hidden cards which can take on various roles. Players then have to take actions to draw currency and gather enough money to either assassinate the competition or unseat them in a coup (forcing them to reveal a card). Whoever ends the game with more influence (one or two cards still hidden) wins. I love it for programs because it can be as easy or as hard as teens want to make it.
  • Dominoes: Dominoes is about as basic as it gets for low-tech games. There are a variety of ways to play but essentially you are matching pips (dots) to remove them from your hand of dominoes. Winning can either be done by using all dominoes in your hand or by determining points at the end of the game depending on what works for your crowd. Dominoes come in a range of sets including Double 6 (the highest domino has 6 pips on each side) up to double 18. I would suggest going with at least a double 12 set if you are playing with teens to make the game more complex. Having a larger set also means there will also be more dominoes to play so it will work better for larger groups. There is also a variant called Squaremino if you’re into that.
  • Grifters: This game is a from the people behind Coup but a bit more complicated. In this deck building game, players are all in charge of a group of criminals with various skills in brain, speed, or brawn. Players build their deck of grifters to complete different jobs and earn coins. Whoever has earned the most after all jobs are completed wins. Grifters works for 2-4 players (or teams therein) and it’s a bit more complicated so play runs longer but if you have the time it’s a blast.
  • Jenga: Does this need any explanation? Probably not.
  • Mafia: I only heard about this game while searching for information to put in this post. It sounds a little complicated at first but I think with the right group of teens it could be a lot of fun. It seems like it could be a good ongoing game for a program with regular attendance like an advisory group or some kind of club.
  • Sushi Go: This pick and pass game works for 2 to 5 players and involves building various sets of sushi. Go Fish but with fish that you eat.
  • Who Wins?: You might have seen this book on YALSA’s 2017 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list. Who Wins? is an interactive book that pits various historical figures ranging from Nicola Tesla to Harriet Tubman in head-to-head competitions in everything from The Hunger Games to ping pong. If you act as moderator and raise questions about the various merits of each figure (“Would George Washington’s wealth–rated 10/10–be any help to catch Jack the Ripper?”) it can lead to some interesting discussions. Teens also had a great time setting up various competitions. I brought this along with several other games to a program but the book kept everyone occupied for the entire hour.
  • Yahtzee or Dice: Yahtzee is a counting game but instead of cards you’re working with dice to build various sequences. You can buy a kit or just get some dice and make your own scoring. You can also up the stakes with double dice.

A version of this post originally appeared on Teen Services Underground in 2017.

Maker Kits: Passive Programs in a Bag for the Library

Maker Kits Collage Graphic

What are Maker Kits?

Maker Kits are low-cost, versatile materials for open-ended creating put together in one container around a themed craft. Each kit is filled with supplies that are easy to use with minimal supervision if not entirely self-directed. Because of that they require minimal preparation making them ideal for passive programming or quick programming

I used large Ziploc Big Bags to house my kits but storage bins or some other container option would work just as well. The main thing is they should be mobile–don’t just dedicate a cabinet shelf to all the designated supplies.

I started with a few basic kits:

Duct Tape Maker Kit

 

Materials:

  • Scissors (good quality scissors–safety scissors with rounded edges are okay but safety scissors will not be strong enough to cut the tape)
  • Rulers
  • Duct Tape
  • Index cards (other cardstock or heavy paper works too)
  • Laminated Instruction Sheets
  • Demo Items

The Duct Tape Maker Kit is stocked with a variety of duct tape, scissors, and rulers. The reason the kits can be self-directed are the laminated instruction sheets.

After looking around online I found project instructions from Duct Tape and Instructables. I adapted the instructions to fit my needs, reformatted them, and then printed them out. I used my library’s laminator to laminate each sheet. Because I wanted laminated sheets, I kept instructions to one sheet of paper (one or two sided) for easy printing and laminating. I round out the kit with demonstration items I made myself while testing the projects.

Currently I have instructions for bookmarks (the index cards are a base to make the bookmarks sturdier), duct tape wallets, duct tape bows, a flower pen, and a paperclip bookmark. I restock the materials as needed and add other supplies (paperclips for bookmarks and rubberbands for duct tape bracelets) as needed.

 

Blackout Poetry Maker Kit

 

Blackout Poetry Maker Kit Supplies

Materials:

  • Book pages (From ARCs, or weeded items. Magazines or newspapers would also work.)
  • Rulers
  • Markers (I went for an assortment of dark colors instead of just black. Do NOT use permanent markers.)
  • Pencils and/or Colored Pencils
  • Laminated Instruction Sheet

Blackout Poetry uses existing book pages to create poems by blacking out any words you don’t want to use. (Looking for a literary connection? Victor Vale creates blackout poetry in Vicious by V. E. Schwab and Yossarian comes close to making some when he becomes overzealous in his censor duty in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.)

I found sample images online and added a brief description for the instruction sheet. I started with a variety of markers in dark colors (green, I learned, does not work very well) and at teens’ request I added colored pencils which have been useful in blocking out words to highlight.

I was skeptical of this activity taking up an entire program but it turns out making a blackout poem takes a lot of time with all of the coloring. Also once teens get into it they might make multiple pages or move on to the second side of their page. Here are samples from the teens:

Sample Blackout Poetry 2 Sample Blackout Poetry 1

Macrame Maker Kit

 

Macrame Maker Kit Supplies

Materials:

This was the most time consuming kit to make. I spent a lot of time tracking down, adapting, and reformatting instructions to fit my two-sided sheet structure. Some were so long I had to print those out as regular pamphlets.

Teens can use scissors and rulers to measure the threads they need. Then they can use the tape to secure their project to a table while they are working on it. (I have had mixed results securing them with tape. One alternative is providing safety pins to attach projects to the leg of a pair of jeans or to a shoe. I’m also researching the cost of buying a few clipboards but I’m not sure it’s worth the space and money.)

Maker Kits in Action

For my Teen Makerspace I put out two or three kits (one per table) and explain the contents before letting teens gravitate where they like.  I also started taking the kits to my library’s teen video gaming program to entertain teens who are waiting for a turn on the game console.

My favorite part about the Maker Kits is that I can grab one and go. Everything I need is in the bag so I can run a quick maker/craft program anywhere in the library. The Maker Kits live in my library’s program room so the kits are also available to anyone else on staff who might be covering a teen program and wants to use them.

Because of the minimal time investment and setup, teens can opt in whenever and however they like. Often, particularly when I bring the supplies to other programs, I’ll start working on something and watch teens gravitate to the projects as they see what I’m doing.

Since my initial planning I’ve also created an Origami Maker Kit with squares and strips of paper along with laminated instructions for origami stars, pinwheels and other projects. Coloring or journaling are also great Maker Kit options. While I made the kits with a mind to appeal to teens, they can also be used in programs with tweens or younger kids as well provided there’s enough supervision to explain the activities to kids who might not want to read multiple instruction sheets.

Maker Kits Collage Graphic

A version of this post originally appeared at Teen Services Underground in 2016.

Everything You Need To Know About Donating Books to the Library (And What to Do With Them Instead)

If you’re a part of Library Twitter, you might have seen a thread from me about libraries and book donations. I’ve compiled all of that information here with some other useful links and an infographic at the bottom of this post:

Why Your Library Might Not Want Your Books:

  • Libraries have to consider the cost of materials and labor: Book donations are often more costly to the library than you think. The library needs to accept and store donations. If they add them to a collection that also involves processing it to add to the online catalog plus adding labels, barcode, etc. If book ordering and processing is centralized that’s one more barrier to discourage adding donated books to a collection.
  • Most donations are gross: Even if your books are pristine, most aren’t. A lot of people are very precious about books and use donating to libraries as a way to get rid of books they don’t want to throw out. Meaning libraries get out-of-date, beat-up materials they can’t use.
  • Nothing lasts forever. Including books: A healthy and functional library system routinely weeds for condition, low circulation, and other issues. You don’t want a library that will keep everything you give them. It speaks to a lack of attention to community needs/interests.
  • Librarians can’t be precious about books. You want them to have that so -called thick skin because it means they are paying attention to what the library community wants and needs on shelves.
  • Books are the least of what libraries have to offer the public. Before you spend all of your concern on the books, remember all the other services libraries offer and all of the support library workers provide your community.
  • Libraries are very worried about protecting patrons AND staff from exposure to Covid-19. Part of that is limited services. Part of it might also include no longer accepting donations.

Wherever You Donate Books:

  • Wherever you donate, especially if you plan on donating in bulk: ASK FIRST
  • There might be specific requirements for donations and specific times in which donations are accepted.
  • Even if they accepted donations in the past, things change and you don’t want to take a trip for nothing.
  • Do NOT leave donations after being told they will not be accepted.

Donated Books Should Be:

  • Pristine: no tears, no writing or highlighting, no mold/foxing, dust jackets if applicable, no ex-library copies. If you wouldn’t buy it at a book sale, don’t donate it.
  • Recent: If you are donating non-fiction it should have been published within the last five years. Older than that runs the risk of spreading out of date information.
  • No textbooks: These are usually too specialized for public libraries and even for academic libraries are probably out of date.
  • No encyclopedias: They’re out of date. Don’t do it.
  • No periodicals: Do not bring your old magazines to the library. After you read them their next step in life should be the recycling bin.

When You Donate:

  • Donating a book does not mean it will enter the collection. Your books might instead be sold in a library book sale (another costly process for the library to put together), given away at programs, or recycled by the library themselves.
  • Remember, once you donate a book, you’re done with it. Which is to say you will not be able to control what happens next. Some will be used and read. Some will be sold.
  • Many donated books will be recycled. This is the natural cycle of a book (really). The good thing about donating is, even if they end up being recycled, it will be done properly because the donation site probably has a relationship with a book recycling facility.

Your Library Doesn’t Take Donations. Now What?

Before we talk about donation options, I also want to be clear: “readable” is not the same as “donatable.” Any books you donate should be pristine—new or very good condition with dust jackets if applicable. For non-fiction this also means recent. Older than 5 years? Recycle it.

Remember: ALWAYS ASK before donating books.

You can try contacting the places below:

  • Local Schools/Teachers (when books are age appropriate): With very few exceptions your books will not end up in a school library, but they might be useful for a teacher’s classroom library.
  • Local Hospitals: Many hospitals have waiting rooms or other sites with books. Be prepared for them to have restrictions on what they can accept and when, especially with the pandemic.
  • Thrift Stores/Used Bookstores: You might find a store that will buy books from you. They will pay a fraction of retail. You might also find stores that will accept donations to resell.
  • Local Shelters
  • Retirement Centers and Nursing Homes: Many people chimed in with this suggestion. They might only accept specific formats or types of books so be sure to check before trying to drop something off.
  • Local Literacy Programs
  • After School/Daycare Programs (when age appropriate)
  • Armed Forces Charities: There are many organizations that get books into the hands of members of the armed forces. You can get details on where to start at Books for Soldiers and Operation Paperback.
  • Prison Libraries: Many prison libraries are also desperate for materials. They are a great place to donate but will have restrictions on the types of books they can accept (this could be both for content and format).
    You can find Books to Prisoners programs here:
    https://prisonbookprogram.org/prisonbooknetwork/
    For more comprehensive information on donating to prison libraries–including contacts for NY-centric donations–check out this flyer from PLSN (Prison Library Support Network): https://plsn-nyc.tumblr.com/donate

What Else Can You Do With Books You Want to Donate?

If you don’t have any luck with any of the above you can also:

  • Add your books to a little free library (or create one)
  • Ask at local laundromats
  • Set up book swaps in your community (following safety protocols)
  • Post them on Paperback Swap: This is a trading site where you can post individual books for trade. They also run periodic campaigns accepting donations for schools and the military.
  • Use books for altered book crafts including folded book sculptures, collage, using pages for origami, etc. You can find some book art tutorials in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaCIIkaCEX4

Other Ways to Support Your Library:

Libraries are so much more than books. The best ways to support your local library (and your library’s workers) are to use it, to give cash donations, and to advocate for the library with your elected officials.

Book Donation Infographic made by Emma Carbone

Book Display: Blind Date With a Book

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love this holiday (and the discount chocolate I will be buying tomorrow) with zero irony. I also love using the holiday as an excuse to make a wrapped book display for my monthly YA display.

A wrapped book display is exactly what it sounds like: all of the books are covered to hide the title and author information.

Here’s the finished display:This year I wrapped the books and composed short annotations based on jacket copy, plot summary, or first lines from the books. My teen intern transcribed these annotations and decorated with her own artwork and hearts that she cut out with out die cut machine.

Here’s one with my favorite annotation and one of my favorite finished decorating projects from my intern:

I make sure to pick books that have multiple copies on the shelves so that nothing is accidentally declared missing while it’s undercover.

I wrap every book like a gift and make sure to cut out a notch for the barcode for easy checkout.

Here’s what the back of a wrapped book looks like:


Which ones would you check out from this display?

Let’s Talk About the 2018 Printz Award

So how about those Youth Media Awards? (I previously talked about my library’s mock printz for this year and shared some predictions in this older post.)

Every year the American Library Association’s (ALA) division called YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) (among others) has committees of dedicated librarians choosing the best of the best books in various categories for things called the Youth Media Awards. In YA literature, the biggest award is the Printz for outstanding overall books. Other awards include the Morris which is for best debut.

Speculation on what will and will not make the Printz cut is a hot topic in library circles and heavily debated since the official criteria leaves a lot up to interpretation. I spend a lot of time trying to guess contenders both for myself and for my job where I chair a committee that chooses shortlist titles for a systemwide Mock Printz.

This year I came up with this short list. The first six titles were on my library’s Mock Printz shortlist and the final four were ones that I hoped would win something.

  1. Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
  3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  4. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  6. Spinning by Tillie Walden
  7. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
  8. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
  9. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  10. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

So how did my predictions stack up? Pretty well. While I still with I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Jane Unlimited, and American Street had gotten more attention I’m happy to say my committee’s shortlist was pretty on point. I’m not going to detail all of the awards here (you can find the full roster of winners and honors in ALA’s press release) I will say my committee covered about 80% of the winning titles between booktalks and our Mock Printz program.

Here are the wins for the books I mentioned here:

  1. Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
  3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Printz honor, Newbery honor, Coretta Scott King honor)
  4. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater (Stonewall winner, Nonfiction award finalist)
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Printz honor, Coretta Scott King honor, Morris Award winner)
  6. Spinning by Tillie Walden
  7. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (Best Fiction for Young Adults booklist selection)
  8. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
  9. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman (Printz honor, nonfiction award winner)
  10. American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Best Fiction for Young Adults booklist selection)

Have you read any of these or are they on your radar? Do you follow the youth media awards every year?

 

Let’s Talk About the Printz Award, my library’s Mock Printz, and how you can join in

Every year the American Library Association’s (ALA) division called YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has committees of dedicated librarians choosing the best of the best books in various categories for things called the Youth Media Awards. In YA literature, the biggest award is the Printz for outstanding overall books. Other awards include the Morris which is for best debut.

Speculation on what will and will not make the Printz cut is a hot topic in library circles and heavily debated since the official criteria leaves a lot up to interpretation. I spend a lot of time trying to guess contenders both for myself and for my job where I chair a committee that chooses shortlist titles for a systemwide Mock Printz.

This year, I thought it would be fun to get blog readers involved and try to do a Miss Print Mock Printz.

As a starting point here is the shortlist my committee came up with:

  • Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  • The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Spinning by Tillie Walden

Because of time constraints (we do the Mock Printz as a live two hour discussion) we only cover five or six books at most. This list is determined based on titles the committee enjoyed, books getting buzz and critical acclaim (starred reviews from publishers and the like), and general appeal. We also try to cover a variety of genres which is something the real Printz doesn’t have to do. Now, a few of my favorites of the year did not make the cut with our shortlist so to the above contenders I would add:

  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
  • Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi

There could be other books I’ve read that are just as likely as contenders which I’m forgetting. There could be titles I’ve never read or even heard of that will get attention from the committee. It’s hard to say and they read much more widely than I would.

That said, I feel good about this list and comfortable predicting that at least some of them will be Printz contenders.

This year I’m feeling pretty on point with my pre-awards reading. I have read 4 of the 5 Morris finalists (still need to get to Devils Within from the titles there) and 2 of the 5 nonfiction award finalists (The 57 Bus and Vincent and Theo). These are the only two awards that give a shortlist before the award announcements at ALA’s midwinter conference. Knowing and having read so many of the titles in play this year I’m very excited to see how the awards shake out this year.

I’m going to post an update for this post after my library system has their Mock Printz with our winners and then I’ll do another follow up after the actual awards are announced.

Until then:

Have you read of the Youth Media Awards? Do you follow them? What books would you predict for the Printz award?

If you want to try to read some of the shortlist (including my four extra picks) you still have plenty of time to track them down at your library and I’d love to hear thoughts as you read them!

  1. Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
  3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  4. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  6. Spinning by Tillie Walden
  7. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
  8. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
  9. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  10. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

November NaNoWriMo Display

November is National Novel Writing Month. Although it has a short duration, I like to do a display for NaNoWriMo because it ties so well to the library and, of course, to the collection.

This year my coworker wanted to host some pop up writing workshops for kids and teens excited about NaNoWriMo (our adult department has workshops all month with another organization coming in to host writing sessions) so I also wanted to tie back to that.

img_3799This year’s display prompts teens to find their inspiration with some books from the YA collection. All of the books featured on the board were written during NaNoWriMo except for Afterworlds. (Afterworlds features a young NaNoWriMo winner navigating her first book deal while sharing her NaNoWriMo novel though so it still fits.)

After creating the graphics which I love–I think it’s one of the nicest displays I’ve made, I stocked the display.

img_3797In addition to some of the books featured on my sign (or books by the author at least) I also included some books from the 800s which is the “how to” writing section in the non-fiction area. I was especially excited to have an excuse to showcase The Anatomy of Curiosity which is one of my favorite books about writing.

Are you familiar with NaNoWriMo? Are you participating this year? Have you read any of these titles? Would you recommend others? Let me know in the comments!

Book Display: The Talking Dead

I don’t do a lot of seasonal/holiday displays in the library, but October sort of demands it. I have used The Talking Dead a lot as a booklist name and in previous displays so I was excited to turn to that idea again this month with some new graphics (made with PicMonkey like always) and featuring some new titles.

As you may have noticed from my other posts, my library’s teen area doesn’t have a lot of display space. I tried to spread out the display this time around with plastic sign holders and books on the YA information desk and on top of some of our shorter display shelves to accompany my larger poster board display.

Here’s the main display:

talkingdead1As you can see I pulled books including ghosts, zombies, vampires, and other sundry undead creatures to stock the display.

I added stock images of pumpkins and a creepy fence to fill out my poster:

talkingdead2I kept things simply by the reference desk and shelves with just a Talking Dead sign and some books.

talkingdead4Have you read any of the titles I’m featuring? What are some of your favorite spooky reads? What displays would you make for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Banned Books Week Display

Since blind books are always a hit, I decided to bring back a wrapped/blind book display for Banned Books Week.

IMG_3390
This year I started with a black background (foam core as usual) and tried to streamline some of my graphics. I printed a giant “banned” to put on the side and then made my “Do You Read Banned Books?” image with a stock photo featuring letters on it. This year I realized I could save myself some time by making the actually BBW graphic separate so that I can conceivably reuse my other graphics down the line. (I also saved the stock image I used for background because it turns out they are not easy to find at all.)

I really like the way the display looks with the black background. Here it is fully stocked with banned books:

IMG_3389

I stocked the display with wrapped books. I pre-printed the banned graphics which I did save from last year and then just worked with a second sheet of paper to make sure that the books were all fully wrapped.

Here’s a close up of one of the books:

IMG_3391(1)

Because we have barcode checkout (and self-checkout options) I also made sure the barcode on the back is visible even when the book is wrapped:

IMG_3392

This year I put my Banned Books Display up very early (start of September) to coincide with a coworker’s interactive display (she printed out pictures of frequently banned books and prompts patrons to use stickers to mark off the books they have read). It’s been interesting having the display up so early to see how patrons are interacting with it. I have routinely come back to restock the display to find it filled with unwrapped books or book wrappers that have been abandoned. The “sexually explicit” books I have put out have been opened several times to the point that I had to make new wrappers from scratch because they got so beat up.

If you want to know more you can visit BannedBooks.Org. The American Library Association also has a handy Banned Books Week landing page with a lot more information. School Library Journal also has compiled many useful resources.

What are you doing this year for Banned Books Week? Tell me in the comments!

Wondering how scandalous your reading history might be? Take this BuzzFeed quiz to find out (and share your results in the comments).

Here’s how I did on the quiz:

How Scandalous Is Your Reading History?

You ‘ve read 28 out of 93 banned books! You’ve dipped a toe into the pool of banned books, and you’re not afraid of at least some of life’s more illicit themes, like drugs, sex, and/or spooky monsters.