August 9, 2018

Steal this idea: Create a Display Hub for busy librarians

Written by:
Allie Jackson

Tags: , ,

What it is: A centralized location with everything you need to create a great library display, fast.

Why librarians will love it: It simplifies the process of creating a display while promoting your collection and Readers’ Advisory resources.

The Readers’ Advisory Committee at Durham County Library (DCL) recently pioneered a project to provide all-in-one display resources for all librarians in the system. The DCL Display Hub aims to make it as simple as possible for library staff and volunteers to put together a great book display quickly and easily between programs, desk work, and printer jams!

Since DCL uses the NextReads newsletters in LibraryAware, we decided to base displays in the hub on the newsletters we provide. Finding books to fill these displays is made easier by the recommended reading lists, genre browse, and metadata in NoveList. Then we create an eye-catching and effective display using these newsletter materials and LibraryAware’s ever-expanding collection of templates. Because newsletters also feature information about our RA services, including My Next 5 and NoveList, these displays provide a wealth of opportunities to promote both our physical collections and various online RA resources.

The Display Hub exists on the system-wide network where any staff member can access it, and each display in the hub pulls together a similar set of materials:

  • A poster that explains and advertises the display. These can be created by a staff member passionate about graphic design, or you can pre-built posters and flyers available on LibraryAware and let NoveList’s librarians and graphic designers do the hard work for you!
  • A book list of recommended reads that patrons can take with them into the stacks. These are created by librarians, staff, and volunteers and typically have a selection of books that includes the title, author, call number, and a short description. These can be created using NoveList’s book suggestions and pre-made lists.
  • A separate, more comprehensive pull list of books and other materials that fit the display’s theme, for librarian use in setting up and maintaining the display.
  • When applicable, a bookmark/flyer promoting your library’s NextRead’s newsletters. This bookmark can feature a generic list of all your newsletters and the URL where patrons can sign up for additional ones. This can also be built using a LibraryAware template.

Finally, some displays also have additional material. For example, a Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise display, based on the NextReads newsletter of the same name, might also include a selection of adult coloring sheets for patrons who need to get in a little mindfulness time at the library. Including these files in the hub means a librarian can efficiently locate and print any supplemental materials and create a display that stands out!

Setting up the Displays Hub does take a bit of time initially, although using LibraryAware’s flyer and poster templates streamlines the process. A trusted student worker or volunteer could do all or most of it as a special project, or members of the Readers’ Advisory or similar committee could set some time aside each week to work on assembling the components.

Creating a Display Hub for staff members facilitates the creation of displays, and attractive and colorful displays mean higher circulation for your collection and increased usage for online resources. Additionally, after an initial expenditure of time building the hub, staff can spend less time creating and maintaining displays, and more time doing all the other various tasks they are called to do. Beautiful displays and a less stressed, smiling librarian at the service desk mean patrons enjoy the library more, and that makes everyone happier.

Want to know more about LibraryAware? Request a demo.

Allie Jackson is a Children’s Librarian at the South Regional location of Durham County Library.


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