17 July 2016


Anarda and I, while still mired in the tail end of the Teen Summer Reading Program, are having short but creative little meetings to plan out our teen programs for the next six months or so.

One thing we always "celebrate" with some activity is Teen Read Week, designated by the American Library Association as the second week in October. In the past, we have featured a writing contest, and may do so again (we had a pretty brilliant idea yesterday); but this year we also came up with an idea to help us with display and give the teens a creative outlet to share their favorite books: Shelf Talkers.

You see these more commonly in bookstores (mostly independent ones) than you do libraries, for some reason. There will be a display with "staff picks" cards, and the best are not the typewritten ones on pre-made forms, but hand-made, fancifully embellished comments that draw your eye to the book and make you want to read it.

Rather than do a display (since at Anarda's branch she is lamentably short on display space), we decided to compromise and make them hang over the shelves like the pre-made ones in little plastic cases, but to encourage the teens to personalize them (and not use the plastic cases!). With that in mind, I made up a simple form.

I divided a manila-colored sheet of thin cardstock into quarters, at 4.25x5.5 inches. Then I put a dotted line across the short side at the 1.25-inch mark, so once the folding part is folded over the shelf and taped there, the shelf-talker itself will be approximately square. And then I looked at my list of books on Goodreads and made shelf-talkers for three of the books on there.

I already know what Anarda will tell me: "Some of us don't draw." So I plan to do a few more with simple embellishments like squiggly borders or lettering and no illustrations. But I had fun with these.

Manila cardstock, LePen 0.5, watercolor, colored pencils.

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