My mom (Library Volunteer Extraordinaire) found the slogan, "It Starts Raining, I Start Reading," so we created this bulletin board in the hallway just outside the library. We had to work fast, because soon we'll have to focus on preparing for Read Across America Week, and some big plans for that.
     It was overcast when I took the above photo, and it made the color look super weird.

     Above is a nice little alcove the students pass on their way out the door of the library, so it seemed like a good place to remind them to keep their books dry. Those purple things are supposed to be storm clouds. Do they read as storm clouds? I was in a hurry.


     I meant to post these pictures early in October, but things got away from me. So I'm just gonna post them now. I'm kinda bummed that I totally forgot to take pictures of all the OTHER Halloween decorations we put around the library, especially since my library volunteer (Mom) and I really went all-out and did a super great job with it. So you just have to trust me, we should have won an award for "Best Halloween Decorations On Campus." The Attendance Office and the Counseling Office think they're so great, with all their fancy things on windows and hanging from the ceiling...
     We'll see how things fall out when the Christmas decorating contest rolls around. We'll just see about all that...

SSR stands for "Sustained Silent Reading"
     At the beginning of this school year SSR was newly reinstated, after a hiatus of probably more than 10 years. At first, LOTS of teachers just were not doing it. Didn't understand it, couldn't figure out how to handle it. Kids were still wandering into the library for various reasons during that sacred 15 minutes of SSR, when the ENTIRE CAMPUS is supposed to be silently reading, especially the adults who need to model it for the kids.
     I kept having to put my own book down and send kids back, and when I'd ask them why they weren't doing SSR, many of them had never even HEARD of it, which means their teachers were not only ignoring it, but they weren't even MENTIONING it.
     Luckily, our Principal was really good (and patient) about doing reminder announcements and emails, until finally I think most of them are doing it now. (3 months down the road)

I stole that slogan from somewhere online. I think it's super clever. But I can't take credit for it. I can take credit for the artwork and lettering above, though. Isn't it nice? Why, thank you. :)

BULLETIN BOARDS & DISPLAY : November 2015 (cont.)

    Above is the interior bulletin board version of the NaNoWriMo display I did in the glass case outside the library. I made those big typewriter letters a few years ago, using a silver Sharpie to outline them. I think I just did a Google image search for old-fashioned typewriter letter keys, and copied and pasted into a Word doc, then cropped and enlarged, etc. Really pretty easy.

National Picture Book Month

     Our new District Librarian, Regina, who is awesome, reminded us all that November is National Picture Book Month, and if any of our libraries have cool picture books, now is the time to promote them. My high school actually has a lot of great picture books, which rarely get used because it's a high school, and because they're located in a far corner, facing the wall. I think the previous library staff purchased them for all the kids who are struggling at very low reading levels, but most of the time those kids are too embarrassed to check out Goodnight Moon or Bread & Jam For Frances.
     I used three end-of-stacks display shelves that face out to showcase some of the better picture books I thought would interest our students. Funny ones, and classics, and ones that are geared toward older readers and are more "all ages."
     For more info: nationalpicturebookmonth.com

Staff Favorites
     One of my library technician friends in the same district shared that she was putting up leaves that she was having staff write their favorite book titles on. I appropriated that idea, and created a quick template, printed it on variously sort of autumn leaf-colored papers, and had my trusty library volunteer (Mom) distribute one to every staff mailbox.

Staff Favorites Leaf Template
(That's my hulking shadow looming across the page...)

     We immediately started receiving filled-out leaves back, and started cutting them out and posting them on the end of a shelf, with a sign on top to explain what they are. Mom and I both did one, of course.
     One of our library regulars already asked for the title I put on mine (The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey) and checked it out. :)
     So... that's November so far!


"Fight the CHILL with some steeeamy ROMANCE!"

     January is always tricky when it comes to decorating in the 'brary. You come back from Winter Break and there's that damn Christmas tree and all the garland and snowmen and elves and shit, staring you in the face like an un-flushed toilet.
     Luckily I can leave anything that is just wintery and not necessarily Christmasy. So I left up the snowy background paper on the big bulletin board, and the Narnia poster, and just had to figure out something to go on the left side to replace Santa.
     I finally came up with the slogan, "Fight the CHILL with some steeeamy ROMANCE!" which is very unlike me because that's my least-favorite genre. But it's been FREEZING in the library the last couple of days, so I've been thinking about COLD and CHILLS.
     I printed out some romance book covers, including David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing, plus a gay girl book by Julie Ann Peters, and several hetero romances. I always try to represent everyone.
     I cut the flames out of big sheets of red construction paper. Simple.

     But every time I look at it, in my head I change it to, "Fight the chill with some stiiiiinky romance!" and then I get the crazy giggles.

Display cabinet dedicated to "Year of the Horse"
     January 31st is Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse. So my mom (trusty library volunteer) and I put together a display of horse books in the circular display cabinet. She half-jokingly said I could bring in some ponies from my personal collection, and I was like, "I will TOTALLY do that!!!" I have a shitload of My Little Ponies, but also other types. The crazier the better. (She has asked me in the past if I can ever have too many ponies, and I have said no.)

Close-up of top shelf of Year of the Horse cabinet.

     I grabbed a book on Chinese Astrology, and found a listing of traits attributed to people born in the Year of the Horse, and those are the words you see on the red-backed cards placed randomly on the glass shelves betwixt various horses & ponies. Calm, independent, cheerful, sociable, curious, popular, generous, confident, amusing, talented, etc.

That big horse is from the Bratz toy line. It has glittery hooves.
The purple pony in front is a special edition My Little Pony designed by artist Junko Mizuno.
     I ended up using an assortment of my more tasteful ponies, for the most part. For example, I refrained from including Strawberry Shortcake's scented horse, "Honey Pie." And I did not include She-Ra's transparent blue winged horse, "Crystal Moonbeam." 

Back of the Year of the Horse display cabinet.

This one is from the "Bratz Babyz Ponyz" line. It looks pretty snarky.

     We have these two big black frames I use as bulletin boards, one on each side of the library. It helps break up the monotony of blank white institutional walls. Anyway, we slapped a Chinese New Year poster up on one, which you see above. 
     Below is the one my mom assembled with online images she found, plus a great Year of the Horse quote. And some intricate Chinese paper cuts we found in a fancy book. It was donated years ago, and I never knew what to do with it because if I allowed students to borrow it, the delicate paper-cut things would have been ruined. So Mom carefully extracted them from the book, and now they can be enjoyed as decor!

     So that was January's decorating frenzy. Now it's back to shelving, mending, generating library and textbook fine notices, and doing inventory. GET BACK TO WORK!


Vintage Halloween tablecloth used as bulletin board covering.

     My Aunt Wanda gave me this rad bag full of vintage Halloween decorations. We figure they're from the 1950s, or maybe even the '40s. Some of the stuff was never even opened! Anthony and I put some of it up at home, and the rest I took to the library. My mom helped me put everything up, which was totally fun. Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Aunt Wanda!

Vintage scarecrow as centerpiece of the big bulletin board. (I made the reading tarantula years ago when I worked in the Children's Room of the Santa Ana Public Library.)

     I'm actually ashamed of that half-hearted "WEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING" slogan. I was in a hurry to come up with something reading-related and also spooky or whatever, and kids were due to come flooding into the library any minute.

Luckily for me there were TWO of these vintage flying saucer witches, so one is at home hovering over our dining table, and the other is coasting across the library whiteboard. She's bitchin'.

     Then this crepe paper honeycomb spider happened!

"Kiss my fat black ass!"

     Rubberhead the Skeleton Man hangs out in the library every year. He's surrounded by potions, ravens, a vintage black cat crepe paper thingie, and horror stories.

Vintage crepe paper honeycomb bats, clip art collage stuff, and spoooooky books! Plus my extended bibliography of horror reading recommendations printed on orange paper.

There's that witch, some skull lights, and that sassy black spider...

Vintage Halloween tablecloth, vintage crepe paper spider, Maurice Sendak calendar, Chris Van Allsburg glowing pumpkin print from "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick," and Alice In Wonderland Halloween scrapbook paper.

I drew that lil' skeleton years ago, and he really needs some new material because he says "The horror… the horror…" every damn year.

    In the picture above, see those two vintage orange and black plastic Halloween decorations? My Librarian gave those to me before she retired. I love them. Thanks, Marilyn!

The End!


"READ THE MOVIE but don't judge the book by the film"
          After I tore down all the Christmas crap in the library, things were bare for a while before I could wrap my head around what to put up next. Then we received a copy of the ALA catalog and I saw the new "READ" poster featuring the cast of the Hunger Games movie, so I thought it would be a good time to revive the "Read the Movie" theme. We've ordered the Hunger Games poster, and I'll add it when it arrives. In the meantime I cut out the image of the poster from the catalog and taped it to the front of the circulation desk, and kids are totally noticing it and squealing and dragging their friends over to look at it. I feel like saying, "Okay, take it DOWN a notch so I don't end up HATING the Hunger Games!"
Left to right: Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), and Gale (Liam Hemsworth)
ALA ordering info for Hunger Games poster: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3650

Detail of 3-D foam film reels and filmstrip ribbon
          For my b-board I used a construction paper marquee I made a few years ago, with the library symbol. The film reels are cut out of foam sheets, and spray-painted silver. I used black construction paper circles glued between to make it look like rolls of film. The filmstrip ribbon is something you can get at party supply stores that have "movie theme" stuff. I used more foam to create spacers between the halves of the film reels. It wasn't that hard, really.
          I went through all of our posters and used the best from books that were made into films. I purposely did NOT use the Twilight poster because some girls saw it out and said they'd be very disappointed in me if I put that one up. I happily obliged them by exiling it. They reminded me that when it was up before, during the heyday of Twilight, I ended up sticking goggly eyes on Kristen Stewart. They liked that.
          I also weeded out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid poster just because... well, it's lame. The books are lame, the movie looks lame, the poster is lame. The "READ" poster actually has an illustration of the Wimpy Kid on the TOILET. I am not putting that up.
          Oh- and I cut out stars and printed this slogan across several of them: "...but don't judge the book by the film."