This seems like an auspicious day and topic to start a new feature that I’ve been mulling over for a few weeks. I want to talk every now and then about what I do as a library assistant, and one of the main things I do is create displays for our children’s room. So, Library Displays will showcase what I do throughout the year, as well as a bit about the topic, why I chose it, and how I made the display.
YMA time! For the uninitiated, that means Youth Media Awards–the ones that the ALA gives to the best children’s and YA books for the last year. This year’s announcement was today. It contained a few surprises, a few disappointments, and lots of awesome.
I like to do a display for the Newbery (“for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature”) and Caldecott (“for the most distinguished American picture book for children”) winners from past years. I will say up front that I’m not entirely happy with my presentation, but I’m hoping that inspiration strikes between now and next year. And if anyone has a favorite display for this topic, please share it!
We have a few main spaces for displays in our room as it’s currently set up. One of them is a sort of pyramid of cubes which can be stacked and re-arranged and so on.
I wanted to avoid putting a simple “Here are the Newberys! And the Caldecotts!” sort of sign up, so I went with “It’s a Winner!” and then the date for the 2013 announcement. After I got everything up, I realized that this allowed me to add some of the Pura Belpre and Coretta Scott King winners as well, which is never a bad thing. The other thing I did was to print off fairly high-resolution versions of both the Newbery and Caldecott medals. I had considered adding little ribbons, ala the Olympic medals, but that seemed like too much work and also maybe a little too hokey.
And here it is. As I said, I want to figure out a better presentation, but given the time constraint and lack of inspiration, I’m okay with what I got.
Here is the other side of the display. I really like the three-dimensionality of the cubes and the different angles they give to work with. They’re also right by our DVDs, which makes them more visible to the patrons. I’ve noticed that the circulation for this year’s display seems to have gone up versus last year’s, which was on a pillar stand and not very eye-catching.
And here’s another view. When choosing the books to feature, I tried to do a mix of both Newbery and Caldecott (hard when I can recite Newbery winners & struggle to remember Caldecott). I also started by focusing on the last 5-10 years. While I love (love!) many of the earlier award books, I also know that the newer books are often in better condition and more likely to get picked up. I did stick on Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown, because it’s Robin McKinley, people. And I did add a few more old favorites when the initial group disappeared. (See: Strega Nona above.)
So, now that we have the winners for this year, the real excitement begins: dissecting every move the committees might have made to figure out why they chose the books they did. Congratulations to all the authors who were honored today!
Title of display: It’s a Winner!
Theme: ALA awards
Time spent: Didn’t keep good track, but not more than 1 hour
Resources: YMA award lists