I’ve had the privilege to work in various styles of school libraries, none of which had wall space for book displays or advertisements. Drawing students into the library at the beginning of the year is one of the easiest ways to increase student traffic through the library. But how will student interest increase without bulletin boards or wall space to advertise your collection?
1. Create Displays with Front-Facing Books
Students are visual. Turn some of your books face-out so that students are able to see the cover art. Use book stands on various shelves. No stands? No problem. Books stand up on their own!
Try using book talk forms or post-its for book reviews. They only take a moment for students and teachers to complete. There are many book talk forms on Pinterest. If a student mentions how much they enjoyed the book, ask them to jot down a sentence or phrase on a post-it to display.
Since I am in an elementary library, I rarely use the top shelf for books. I build displays on them. They’re low enough for students to see and reach, but too high that I’d want a shelf full of books on them constantly. I also have some low shelves for the kindergartners and first graders. I utilize the tops of those shelves often.
During holidays, I pull all of the books (like Christmas) and display them forward-facing on the top of the shelves. Make them creative and eye-catching. Open window ledges work well for displays, too!
Library shelves do NOT have to be evenly spaced. Create space for displays by adjusting shelf height. I utilize Scholastic Book Fair posters to create displays.
Feature your state’s reading list along with a poster of the titles. Not only will it create a great display, but the students will know right where to go to find the books. Movie posters also make great visuals for displays and can often fit in a small space between shelves.
Don’t be afraid to rearrange some titles and shelves to create space for book displays.
As media specialists, we are pretty much experts in the field of social media. Why not make use of it for your book displays?
Use hashtags to advertise for books. These small displays can be created on a table top or rolling cart! Again, using social media marketing tools can appeal to highly visual students. By using tools that students are familiar with, you’ll also find yourself “speaking their language” while creating a great display.
Take it a step further and create QR codes to the books’ trailer or e-book. Students will be able to scan the code on the go!
5. Go Digital
If you utilize Google Classroom or a similar platform, you can push out media advertisements to your students and teachers.
Have you heard of Flipgrid? Create a grid for students to create book talks. Take it a step further and ask teachers to share their favorite books. Links to the Flipgrid book talks can be posted on all of the school’s social media accounts.
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.