June Book Display: LGBT Pride!


One of my first projects here at my new library has been analyzing the YA fiction and nonfiction. Specifically, I’ve been weeding old titles that don’t circulate well and looking for collection gaps. One of the immediate gaps I noticed in my new collection was a lack of LGBT titles. With June being PRIDE month, I knew I wanted to do something about it.

So I went on a shopping spree and snagged some wonderful titles. I created a “PRIDE!” pennant banner and printed out LGBT triangles to hang in the window. Finally, I arranged the aforementioned titles and put them on display.


I’m really pleased with how this display turned out. More importantly, I’m pleased that I can be an ally and promote diverse books. Next year, I’ll expand the display to include additional gender identities (asexual, pansexual, etc.) I want all of my teens to be able to have access to characters they can identify with.

I’ve included a list of some of my recommended titles below. Any others you think I should add? Comment and let me know!



Everything Leads to You

Ask the Passengers

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel


A Love Story Starring my Dead Best Friend

The Miseducation of Cameron Post


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two Boys Kissing

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Openly Straight

One Man Guy

Gone, Gone, Gone



Grasshopper Jungle

Far From You

Empress of the World

Cut Both Ways

Fans of the Impossible Life

Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Not Otherwise Specified


Almost Perfect

Being Emily

I am J

Jumpstart the World

Beyond Magenta


Teen MLK “Black Lives Matter” Display

IMG_3335“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

In the wake of the events in Ferguson and New York, when January rolled around I knew I had to do something. As a teen librarian, I want to inspire my teens to slip into the shoes of others. I want them to feel empathy, to stand up for their fellow citizens, and make a difference in our community.

Add to that the fact Martin Luther King day was January 19th, and I knew right away what I needed to do: create a book display featuring African-American protagonists.

I specifically zeroed-in on books that dealt with issues of social justice: equality, poverty, GLBT issues. I wanted books that, just like the lives of their protagonists, mattered. I also made mini posters featuring quotes by famous African Americans – Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., etc – and put them in the windows.




I’m posting the titles that I included in my display below. Since February is African-American history month, I challenge you to read as many of these titles as you can (and encourage your teens to do the same). The only way to combat ignorance is through education, and books like these can be powerful tools.

MLK Book Display Titles:

Tyrell by Coe Booth

Bronxwood by Coe Booth

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Know of any titles I should’ve added? Please post them below. Let’s make this an ongoing conversation. Black lives matter.

Teen Holiday Display: Tradition Tree

For my December Teen Display, I wanted to do something inclusive and festive. So I decided to create a “Tradition Tree” and put it up in the Teen Section. I created book ornaments using our Ellison Die Cut Machine. I also hung Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa banners in the windows, along with correlating fiction titles. Then I invited our teens to write down their favorite holiday traditions and place them on our tree.


So far, this has been a really great passive program. In the first two days alone, ten teenagers have hung ornaments on our tree! I like this display because it celebrates the diversity of our traditions, rather than a generic “happy holidays.” Individually unique, together complete. 🙂 Here’s to the holidays!


Teen Zombie Book Display

IMG_2261So we’re bringing back ZombieFest this year in the form of Zombie Prom. We’ll be showing a zombie movie, crowning a zombie king and queen, and dancing to some zombie tunes. To celebrate and promote our event, I thought I’d create a deliciously creepy book display.

I pulled all of the zombie-themed books I could find, both from YA and the adult section:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Zom-B by Darren Shan

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry

World War Z by Max Brooks

Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies by Seth Graham Smith

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Using a white table cloth and some paint, my teen volunteers helped me create our “The Zombies Are Coming…” banner. To finish it off, I attached zombie “caution tape” over the windows, along with our zombie standee, a few severed limbs, some moss and a couple tombstones.

So far, it’s been a tremendously popular display. Here’s hoping it’ll help us successfully promote Zombie Prom!




September Book Display: Banned Book Bonanza

DSC01988To celebrate Banned Book Week this year, I decided to create an interactive display in our Teen Section. It’s similar to our Blind Date with a Book Display, only – instead of describing the books – I list the reasons why they’re banned.

All month long, the teens can check out any of the books on display. After reading, they fill out a card telling me how they felt about the banned book they read and drop it in our raffle box. At the end of the month, we’ll do a drawing from all of the participants for a Target gift card.

IMG_2072This has probably been one of our most successful displays yet. Within five minutes of putting my first round out, six out of eight books were already snatched up! Luckily (or unluckily) I have plenty of other banned books to chose from.    

The only thing I think I’ll do differently next time is differentiate “challenged” from “banned.” This time, I sort of just lumped them together and I feel like I missed out an a “teachable moment” by doing so. Other than that, however, I absolutely adore this display. Feel free to steal it and use it in your classroom, media center, or library! 🙂

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

May Military Book Display

Since May is “Military Month” at the Library (due to Memorial Day), I decided to put together a book display of both fiction and nonfiction featuring US veterans and soldiers. I think it’s all to easy for those of us who don’t come from military backgrounds to overlook the sacrifices these brave men and women have made. So I wanted to do something special to honor them this month.

I decided to incorporate a letter box for Operation Gratitude. For those of you unfamiliar with this organization, Operation Gratitude drops care packages for service members overseas. These packages contain everything from chocolate to books to letters, so I wanted to encourage my teens to express their gratitude by making custom cards. I placed construction paper, scissors, and markers in the middle of the display (bordering them with military books on both sides). The end result was an interactive and attractive display.




Thus far, we’ve had eighteen tweens and teens make cards and place them in our box. Exciting, right?  That’s one of the highest participation rates for a passive program yet! So if you’re looking for a fun and meaningful May display, I’d highly recommend military month! My tweens and teens agree. 🙂


Recommended Books:

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb

Poet-Tree Display

I wanted to do something fun to celebrate National Poetry Month. I specialized in poetry in my undergrad program, so it holds a special place in my heart.


I stole the idea for this display from Pinterest (a great resource for book displays). The only difference is that I’m turning our “tree” into a contest. Each tween or teen will write their contact info on the back of an ornament; their poem will go on the front. At the end of the month, the librarians and I will judge the poems. The winner will get a Barnes & Noble gift certificate. 🙂

I also put out some verse novels to complement the tree. All and all, I think it turned out well. Happy National Poet-Tree Month!


“Blind Date with A Book” Display

So I know it isn’t February anymore, but I couldn’t help myself. Our BDWOB winner came in today and she was so giddy and excited that I thought I should share her cute face. And my cute display.

I wrapped each book up like a Valentine’s Day present, complete with nerdy, literary pick-up line. Teens then picked the book that looked the most interesting, read it, and wrote a short review. At the end of the month, I did a drawing from all of the submissions and gave away a Barnes & Noble gift card.

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All in all, it was a lot of fun and the kiddos seemed to enjoy it. We’ll definitely be doing it again next year. 🙂

Book Display: Teen Tech Week Display

???????????????????????????????So I’ll confess: as a newbie library employee, I forgot Teen Tech Week was coming up. So I frantically scrambled to throw together a display, and I think the results aren’t half bad.

I tried to pick both fiction and nonfiction titles that featured technology. I’m also doing a “Technology Survey” as part of my passive programming/data mining initiative (more on that another time).

???????????????????????????????The tweens and teens can take the survey online or in person and, at the end of the week, I’ll draw a name and the winner will receive a flash drive and a set of earbuds.

It might not sound terrifically exciting, but the kids seem really into it. I already several survey submissions and the display just went up! Here’s hoping we get even more.