Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hunger Games Bulletin Board Tips

I don't know about you, but bulletin boards are one of the banes of my existence as a librarian. I used to love doing them, but now they're just a time sucking hassle, and I truly wonder if they have any impact on the teens they're supposed to attract. Nevertheless, there is a board that need to be filled in my teen area, so I usually try and put up something that can stay up for many months which reduces the amount of time I have to devote to coming up with ideas and executing them.

However, I wanted to create a special bulletin board to advertise our Hunger Games Movie Release party on March 21, and when I searched the internet for ideas I was shocked at the lack thereof! So I decided to share my idea with you, and hopefully you all will share other bulletin board ideas with me as you create them. Maybe together we can make this a less painful process. :)

As I was assembling my bulletin board display, I started to think about how many of us operate as lone rangers or with limited, albeit much appreciated, support from children's services staff. So as I was putting this up by myself today I thought it might be useful to post some tips on how to put up a bulletin board if you're all alone.

- My bulletin board is about 60 inches across x 48 inches high and my arms are certainly not that long. So one trick I use is to stick push pins in the upper and lower left hand corners of the paper to hold it in place while I'm rolling it across the bulletin board. Once you get to the other side you can staple it into place and then go back and replace the other push pins with staples.

- Buy a staple gun! Depending on the location & accessibility of your bulletin board, you may have to contort yourself to get the stapler in the correct angle and a staple gun is just so much easier to maneuver than a Swingline stapler from the Reference Desk.

- Try to think ahead to what your next bulletin board motif will be and choose a background paper in a color you can leave up and reuse for multiple displays.

- As I mentioned above, I try to come up with generic themes that last can span many months.

- Use re-positionable double-stick tape, especially when you're positioning text, so you can step back & get perspective to make sure everything is straight or properly aligned before you cover it with staples.

- If you're really a perfectionist, you can even raid the nearest tool box to borrow the level.

For this display, I used a red background that was already up from a February display, and cut out orange letters that spell "May the odds be ever in your favor". The contrast in the picture doesn't come through very well, but in person they're very readable. I then free-handed some flames from orange bulletin board paper and centered our Hunger Games Movie Release Party poster along with a mockingjay image and voila! I only had about an hour to assemble this today, so I may go back and add more to it tomorrow. I would love to add some glitter, paint some contrasting flames on the orange, and add some texture to the fire such as cellophane or even some yellow plastic bags that I found leftover from summer reading. Oh the possibilities!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I moved...and Bubbles?

I started a new job on Monday and while I can't tell you the name of the library (County policy) I will say I'm very excited about the system and I no longer live in California. However, the name of the blog will remain the same, cause I'm always a so-Cal girl at heart.

This week I have had the opportunity to observe a number of storytimes and every one of the librarians used bubbles. I was so surprised, who knew bubbles were the rage?

 Each librarian had a version of a hello/goodbye bubble song which was nice. But I'm wondering if I could do more with the bubbles, because I really like my own hello/goodbye routine. Thoughts? Suggestions? What do you do with bubbles during storytime?