Fantasy display

I got this idea from Rachel Moani’s wonderful blog about her library journey and work. She is seriously creative and I love her ideas. You have to check her out!

Rachel Moani: The Crafty Life of an Almost Librarian

We have a high population of international students at our elementary school. Lots of the little girls love Princess books and fantasy books. However, other than the Frog Princess, Mulan and Jasmin there are not many multicultural Princesses out there in the Disney realm. I was inspired by Ms. Moani’s Fantasy display here.

My Princess was made using paper and a plastic table cloth to give her a fluffy skirt. I added a gold ribbon belt around her waist and put a book in her hand.

Here she is before I put her in the case. I had to hand stitch her skirt layers together. There is also lots of strategically hidden tape!

I added some fluffy clouds and blue swirls to the background in the case. Then I put up the word “Fantasy” in royal purple letters. Needless to say it was a hit! The little girls and even some boys loved the giant Princess. The best part was a very shy student who grabbed my hand and said “Ms. B, she looks like me!” I have to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. After that we spent lots of time looking for more fantasy and princess books with multicultural characters to add to our collection.

I cannot find any pictures that her with the book in her hand. I also added some fluff under her skirt to make it more 3D.

She is neatly folded in my storage cabinet and ready for a new display this year.  I might even add a Prince for the boys! This display really made me aware of how badly we needed to add to our multicultural collection. I was also very humbling when my sweet students told me that the Princess looked like them or their Moms. This was one of my favorites of 2012.



A recipe for a great year!

My librarian and I are avid foodies. We are always sharing good recipes and new places to eat at work. This year we decided to have a theme in the library for “Meet the teacher” night. We were blessed to receive a large donation of funds from our PTA’s book fair last year. It allowed us to add e-books, DVD’s, books, and books on CD to our collection. Our PTA is amazing!

Our theme  is – “A recipe for a great year starts in the library”.

I had only a week to put together a fun display for the cases outside the library. If I had more time I would have added a background to my design to make everything stand out. However, the beginning of the year is always full of meetings so this is what I came up with.

First, I made a Menu board from an idea on Pinterest. I love the look of hand lettering.  It is starting to make a comeback at coffee shops and pretty much everywhere else. I got a piece of black poster board and some Poster Crayons from Crayola to do my book menu. The crayons gave it a pretty good chalk like feel. I clearly need practice on my lettering but the kids won’t care! I apologize for the lighting. That glass is super reflective and right across from our front doors.


Next, I made my chef and painted him with acrylics. Then I printed a ton of food graphics and made some giant recipe cards. I learned at the MLA conference last year that red, black, and yellow are great attention grabbers. We have these monster glass shelves that require two people to move. I am forever in fear of shattering one of those things! This time I turned it into a dining table. I stole some dishes from my cupboard and added lots of books for the “food”.


The chef serving up some good books!


The left side with the table.


The right side with the chef and books. I tried to pick a good variety.


Books are good brain food!

There are a few things I would do different with the recipe cards but for the most part I think it looks great. The kids enjoy it and are asking when they can check out the books in the case! Here is the whole thing..


What do you think?? Anything I can change for next time?



A simple Martin Luther King display

Library displays don’t have to be super busy or crazy to get the message across. I had only about an hour to come up with a quick bulletin board for Martin Luther King’s birthday last year. I used a podium shadow to represent the famous speech. The title is a play on “I have a dream” and the quotes are paraphrased from the most famous lines. I traced hands in different colors and lengths and added them at the bottom. You could have your students trace their hands and add something that they dream about for their future.

This took me about an hour to quickly cut out the pieces and add some pre-made letters. I like the simplicity and how the words are the focus.

Crazy displays- Living models

I spend many a Thursday and Friday crawling around in our schools display case outside the library. We change our displays each month to highlight what our teachers are doing or what is happening in the library world. My last design was a huge paper Princess for the Fantasy genre study going on throughout the school. This time I decided to go with a Superhero theme and have our students color Superhero pages with word bubbles that say what their favorite book is.

I created a large 6 1/2 foot paper city skyline for the background with fluffy blue fog and clouds. Let me just say that putting up a almost seven foot long skyline is not a job for one person! I had to climb into the display case with my trusty stapler and do gymnast moves to get the whole thing up! It was very amusing to the students and teachers on their way to lunch that day.

As I was finishing up my Principal came out to chat and to present a brilliant idea for getting our overdue books down to a more manageable level. She suggested that I dress up as a superhero and hold a sign with a blurb about turning your books in on time. My first thought was “Really, you are okay with letting me get inside a huge breakable case” and second “Why didn’t I think of that!” Cue Super Library Lady!

My first appearance happened after President’s day and an impromptu snow day. Unfortunately 18 of our 19 teachers were at a conference that day so Super Library Lady was tasked with keeping peace in the halls. I was also sick and had no voice. A random search through my box of Halloween costumes produced a red cape and a purple wig. I added my “Eat, Sleep, Read” shirt from a YALSA conference and a paper sign. Tada- Live Model speed bump for all the little kids who like to run in the halls on the way to class!

The reactions from the kids were hilarious! One or two would spot me out of a group and then they all would come to a screeching halt to stare. I did the whole standing super still thing that you see with street performers. Then I would randomly wave which would elicit screams and giggles. Needless to say it was a hit.

Super Library Lady


The next time I got in the case was for Dr. Seuss day. I dressed as the Cat in the hat and sat there reading books as the students walked by. I think out of all the times I was in the case, that was my favorite. Several teachers came by and had their classes pose with me. I had signs with Dr. Seuss trivia hung up and the kids would get thumbs up and silent cheers from me when they got the questions right. I had quite a crowd of students that day! It was a blast. I am lucky to work in a school that allows me to be super wacky and creative. Not many schools would trust someone in a huge and expensive glass case. It’s a lesson in stretching the boundaries of your creative thinking. It was cheap, easy and totally fun!