People think that creativity and libraries don’t go together. Libraries have the reputation for being static and librarians as being too analytical to be creative. Not true, I am analytical and creative and I love to use both these traits in my library work.
Displays are like advertisements; they attract attention, and once a customer walks over for a look, they take notice of the product you want to sell. That might be a specific collection or to promote your Audiobooks on MP3. It could be a community project or global topic. Whatever it is, a display that stands out is likely to get the message across. That's why buses have striking advertisements on the back, even if you are not interested in the latest brand of ice cream, you absorb that information when you drive past or – in a cloud of smoke – wait for the traffic light to turn green. Subconsciously you have processed the information and stored it away.
A good display tells a story. It connects Library and visitors on several levels. It shows that you care for your environment, that you connect with the community and it shows that you value your customer's opinion, Through making a display, one that makes your customer smile or contemplate, you connect with a future musician, mum or scientist.
When I came to New Zealand in 2006 I had resigned a fantastic job in a public library (winner of Best Library of the Country 2011) in The Netherlands, I was part of a team that organized and managed all activities involving art, culture and education. The team was responsible for the image of the library, managed art exhibitions, established cultural and educational interactions with schools and made displays for special occasions. A four meter high Roald Dahl character with a huge paper maché head for a communal library/ theatre event was one of the highlights. I learned to use a jigsaw or glue gun as easily as scissors and staple gun to create wall hangings, exhibition backgrounds and displays you could walk through. I love upcycling and using materials that are for grabs like old umbrellas, garden tools, branches from a cut down tree or withdrawn encyclopedias…..
Major changes in my life changed my outlook on life. I wanted to do something else, travel, discover another me in a different setting.Challenge myself.
I went to New Zealand for a sabbatical but stayed to join my new found kiwi partner and build up a life in New Zealand. We stayed for a year in the most beautiful place on earth – The Bay Of Islands – until life caught up with us.
I was offered a job in a College Library in Auckland where I could learn the NZ way of Librarianship and experience what a School Library is all about. I established myself well and started to create displays that were noticed. Teachers and colleague Librarians were keen to learn the tricks . After sending another load of photos with descriptions I thought it time for a website.
I love sharing my ideas and enjoy seeing my work copied, to me that is a great compliment. All photos and descriptions are Creative Commons and therefore free to use.
I've presented workshops st Schools in Auckland and Kerikeri, at the SLANZA Conference in Christchurch and a LIANZA Conference in Palmerston North. I've provided PDs from Hamilton to Wellington and gave sessions at National Library Auckland. Participants went home with a fantastic array of ideas on how to make eye-catching displays, often on a shoestring.
I hope that my tips and tricks will help you to feel confident you can create beautiful displays. You can copy and use whatever you like. If you make a display you're proud of with use of this website, please let me know. It's great to get positive feedback.
If you would like your display to be uploaded to this site you can send photos with a short description plus list of materials and a brief explanation on how you did it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll notify you when I've uploaded it to the website and will ask you to have a look, just to make sure I have the details right. Of course I will attribute it to you with the personal details you prefer. Together we can create a display database for a global community.
We live in a visual world and what is greater joy than being welcomed in a vibrant library where the mind is challenged and the eye is invited to explore?