We have a few shelves which are smaller and lower than the big shelves one normally associates with a library. Since we use a Deweyless system to arrange our library, I thought it might be fun to occasionally display something on top of these shelves to call attention to the items there, add some visual interest, and perhaps stoke someone’s curiosity.

The displays are nothing big. They’re simply those plastic sheet holders used on the front desks of thousands of libraries around the world that allow you to display a sheet of paper with some kind of writing on it. I use two of these per display, but I can get away with doubling up the front and back because of the way our shelves are laid out. In other words, the shelves I put these on have a front and back and I work both sides of those using the same plastic sheet holder.

In one area, there is our Nature and Science books, back to back on the same shelves, and I have a Nature and Science display I throw up there. Then, just across the aisle there’s a shelf shared by Math on one side and Music on the other.

All I do is come up with some quick subject ideas. Then I’ll hit up Wikipedia for some images and text. The whole process maybe takes half an hour from start to finish. I’ll select the best image I can find on Wikipedia and print it out full page. Then I’ll usually copy and paste the first paragraph of the article and make it huge on another page. (Of course, I cite the sources on the bottom of the page.) Normally, the first paragraph of any encyclopedia article is perfect for a “just the facts” quick overview of the subject. It’s not too much, and it’s not too little, and it fits on a page pretty well after you set the font size to 28 point.

This week, my four displays are:

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy display to call attention to a subject, and one that you can change quickly and frequently, this isn’t too bad.