As Libraries Week 2018 draws to a close, I hope you have had time to reflect on what your Library says about your school. Does it reflect the school’s core values and does it invite children to really make the most of the resources it houses? Effective display is the quickest and easiest method of attracting children to the library and directing them to new titles and authors. Displays are also the most effective method of showcasing the relevance of your library to children’s lives and to what they might be learning in the classroom.
The process of creating displays doesn’t only have aesthetic outcomes. By curating sections of your library, you can simultaneously audit your stock and hone in on areas that are well serviced and those that would benefit from new acquisitions.
It is important to regularly update your display areas to highlight activities within the school community or wider topical areas of interest. Utilise your pupil Librarians, who will thoroughly enjoy the creative aspects of display making. Alternatively each class or year group could be responsible for creating a new display on a rota basis. The task not only provides an creative opportunity to select materials and artefacts to enhance their chosen titles but also allows practise of information literacy skills, as they search for relevant books.
Newly awarded SLA Librarian of the Year Emma Suffield values the importance of display in her vibrant and inviting library in Saint Wilfrid’s C of E Academy in Blackburn. Two excellent and easy to replicate examples are the and staff shout out board and diversity display, which in the primary years could include titles such as Under the Same Sky, Anna Hibiscus, Coming to England, Tall Story, Twelve Dancing Princesses.
Read our full interview with Emma, hot on the heels of her well deserved win.
Other successful displays include:
NEW BOOKS Keep interest high by promoting books that are new into the library. Introduce them in assembly ideally by involving the children in unpacking a box in front of the audience or wrap new titles in paper with an enticing clue or a genre label and invite selected children to open them and get the first read perhaps as a reward for reading effort. Subsequently they can be added to the New Books display with a recommend or review.
A BOOK GRAVEYARD – This month is the perfect time to install a book graveyard in your library. Use black display cloths and Halloween props to create a graveyard where books in poor repair RIP! This is great for provoking excellent discussion on book care and replacement and a brilliant kick start to involving the children in editing your current stock.
SEEN THE FILM/TV SHOW NOW READ THE BOOK – Many children discover stories via television or film. Current TV shows include: Claude, Katie Morag,The Worst Witch, Hank Zipzer, Hetty Feather, Katy, Jamie Johnson: Born to Play, Joe All Alone and films such as Charlotte’s Web, Bridge to Terabithia, Hugo Cabret, Coraline, Boxtrolls, Jumanji, Mary Poppins, Inkheart and of course How to Train Your Dragon and Harry Potter.
ONCE UPON A TIME – As Christmas approaches and pantomime season looms, it provides the perfect time to delve into TRADITIONAL TALES. A beanstalk with the children”s book recommendations written on cut out leaves and attached the stalk as it weaves its way around the library. A display featuring the different versions of one tale can be eye catching. For a ‘Goldilocks’ theme books might include, Anthony Browne’s Me and You, Leigh Hodgkinson’s Goldilocks and Just the One Bear, Nick Sharratt & Stephen Tucker’s Goldilocks featuring a little girl with her hair neatly plaited in cornrows, Allan and Jessica Ahlberg’s multiple retellings including Goldilocks the play, Mo Willems’ Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs with a traditional retelling such as Michael Morpurgo’s version illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the work of the current Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, with her hugely creative version of The Princess and the Pea created in a miniature world – the perfect opportunity for children to create their own miniature fairy world.
WALK IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES – never has there been a more important time in recent history to create an EMPATHY collection. Display a selection of diaries, stories of exploration, triumph over adversity, biographies and poetry alongside different kinds of shoes, trainers, ballet shoes, sandals.
We have updated our own display areas here at Just Imagine and we regularly visit Primary Schools the length and breadth of the country. Here are some displays that have recently caught our eye: