Couldn't figure out what to put in the glass display case at first. Then my mom was volunteering in the library one day (adorable, right?) and she suggested back to school stuff and next thing you know the idea of the traditional "little red school house" popped up, which seemed perfect. If you try to get too "modern," and figure out what back to school really means for today's teen, you'll just end up looking like an old person trying to be cool. I don't know what the hell kind of supplies and electronics and doo-dads they need or want now. (Yeah, I work in a school, but I don't pay attention to anything other than books.)
          Going vintage/iconic seems safer, and ultimately cooler.
I grabbed a bunch of very obviously school-themed books to display.
Close-up of my handiwork.
          I even cut out the windows of the little schoolhouse and cut the door so it opens! I used red construction paper, some blue paper (it matches the bulletin boards), yellow for the bell, and white-out for the trim and the clock. I felt very clever with the letters, sticking them in the ends of the books and using erasers to make the "YOU" stand up. But every time I see that phrase, "are you ready," in my head I hear Jonathan Davis from Korn screaming/growling it at the beginning of "Blind."
          Don't know if you noticed in the first picture, but one of the books on the very bottom shelf is "School of Fear" by Gitty Daneshvari. I think that's funny.
          For the rest of the library I chose a pleasing blue and purple color scheme that I am quite fond of.

GENRE: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.

Can't decide what to read? Pick a genre!
          We got all the genre posters free from Random House Teens. We've been slowly collecting them. There are even a few more than this, like horror and "beach reads," but they wouldn't all fit. Sometimes the Librarian asks me if we have enough of the books on each of these posters to display them, but I tell her if kids start asking for some of the books we DON'T have, that just gives us a good excuse to ask for money.
          I keep a clipboard labeled "STUDENT REQUESTS," and write down any titles we're asked for that we don't have. We use that, plus our own recommended lists, whenever we get some funding. I also take the student request list to the used book store when I have credit there from our donations program.
          As soon as the kids get settled after the first couple weeks of school, I'm going to plaster everything in here with "BANNED BOOKS WEEK" (September 24th - October 1st) stuff. I thought it might be a little too alarming for the parents and new 7th graders during registration and orientation. But look out in a few weeks.