Monday, May 5, 2014

Simple Book Displays "Sell" Reading

A teacher-librarian wears many different "hats" in the library.  One of those hats is "a salesperson."  Promoting and encouraging reading is much like "selling," as teacher-librarians need to think like a business-person, in terms of marketing, advertising, and selling.  I LOVE advertising and "selling" books to students, as I have learned a few tricks of the trade from two special people in my life, my grandparents.  My grandparents, Arlan and Marjean Urness, own a hardware and appliance store in Clarion, Iowa. They have owned Urness Hardware and Appliances Store for 55 years.  Even though my grandparents are still going strong in their 80s and continue to be a part of the store, my uncle and aunt, Dan and Michele Urness, now oversee the day-to-day operations of the store.  They have clearly shown through hard work what it takes to successfully own and run a business!  I definitely get my "advertising" and "selling" characteristics from my grandpa and grandma, which make it a perfect asset to the school library!

Teacher-librarians are constantly brainstorming ways to "advertise" and "sell" reading!  Two ways I like to advertise" and "sell" books in the Harding IC are through book displays and book talks!

Library skills classes, "five minute meeting" at the start of check-out times, and book fairs are great opportunities to give book talks.  West Des Moines Elementary Teacher-Librarian Del Brink is an inspiration to us all with his magical book talks!  He is a dynamic book talker, and easily captivates his audience!  I first heard Del give book talks when I was a student teacher in West Des Moines.  I was amazed at how the fifth graders were eager to check out the books he talked about!  He definitely has a magical way of bringing enthusiasm, eagerness, and excitement to each book he talks about!  Book talks are truly powerful, as I have witnessed time and time again the books I talk about, and promote, are typically the books that students quickly snatch up!

Up until this year, I was lucky to have a paraprofessional take care of displaying books.  Being shared between two elementary buildings, didn't allow me to the time to display books, so I delegated it to my amazing former paraprofessional, Kathy Corsello.  I could always count on her to display books that promoted and encouraged reading!  Her displays also created an ambiance of a warm, inviting library!

During the first half of the school year, I was busy adjusting to "life in one building," as opposed to serving two elementary school libraries.  I easily consumed myself in projects that involved weeding out the book collection, re-arranging the entire library, and finding ways to enhance educational technology integration within library skills classes and classrooms.

It was my "40 hours in 4 Days" practicum, during spring break, that made me re-think book displays.  Ankeny Northview Middle School 8/9 Teacher-Librarian Kate Lechtenberg inspired me with her simple book displays.  Despite the simplicity of the book displays, students in her library are constantly snatching up the books on display!

During my practicum hours, I helped create the following displays!

Thanks to my amazing practicum experience and Kate's inspiring idea, this is what I have done at Harding Elementary IC to display books!  Do you see a book you would want to check-out?!

Ever since I started these simple book displays, I have noticed an increase of books "flying off the shelves!  Clearly, book displays do "sell" books and reading!

Pretty soon I will be changing up the displays one final time for this school year!  Stay tuned for future blog posts about new displays!