Friday, November 6, 2015

Library Displays: Do Yours Matter?

Earlier this month Jennifer LaGarde, aka Library Girl, wrote a timely blog post, Six Tips for Building Book Displays That Matter that made me take a second look at how I approach the book displays in the JCHS Library.  Out of the six tips Jennifer features it is tip number 5, Build Displays That Generate Meaningful Data, that will present the greatest challenge.  I'd love to see some examples of how others have achieved this type of data as related to displays.

After reading Jennifer's blog post I have since designed two new library displays.  The first is seasonal and will be taken down after Thanksgiving Break.  The title of this display is, What Are You Thankful For?.  Students and teachers can choose to either write what they are thankful for and why on a construction paper leaf and place it on the display wall in the JCHS Library OR they can add to this display virtually via a Padlet.

The other display created, READBox, is intended to stay up throughout the year. This display includes input from our Not Your Average Book Club members, other students, teachers, administration, parents and community members. We hope that our principal, Dr. Brian Clayton, our superintendent, Dr. Dee Fowler, Mayor Troy Trulock, school board members, city council members, parents and others will all contribute their top picks for students to enjoy.

To get feed back and book suggestions to add to the READBox display I created a Google Form and sent the link to the form out via a QR Code using

It will be exciting to watch this display grow and see how our students use it.

BTW: Students have already started checking out books from the display even though it just went up during the course of this week. It will mean so much to them to see their teachers and administrators names associated with books they have recommended!


OK Jennifer...I'm ready for your feedback! How have I done so far in meeting your 6 tips?


  1. I <3 you, Nikki and your students are lucky to have a librarian who is so thoughtful and intentional in her practice. I love the QR code/padlet wall as a way to generate data about the display and as a digital way to make it participatory. Having students also use the padlet wall (or some other collaborative space) to reflect on their experience with a book they read from the display or a with the display itself is a great way to get feedback and generate some qualitative data. It can also be as simple as an exit ticket. "If you checked out a book from this display, tell me why...." next to a pile of post it notes. You can also add a tag to the marc records associated with the books on the display or put them on a reading list/book cart within your LMS to help you generate circ stats specific to those titles. These are all just tiny tweaks you can make to help you capture the impact of your work, both as an advocacy tool and as feedback to help you make the next display even better. That said, I'm going to challenge you to take this great work even further in a future display. In addition to involving kids in the process, making the display interactive and generating some data (which you've already mastered) I'm going to challenge you to make a display that targets a group of students at your school who really needs you. (Hint: these kids probably don't spend a lot of time in the library right now). See if you can use a future display as part of an action plan to help awaken some dormant readers - or those who maybe don't feel as confident or comfortable behind the pages of a book as some of your other kiddos. Then... let me know how it goes! In the meantime, thank you for all that you do. JCHS is lucky to have you!

    1. Thank you Jennifer. You are the guru of data and I feel I really need to improve in that area. Your example and willingness to lead and share help me so much!