Extreme Library Makeover: Fiction Edition

18 Nov

My husband and I watch Extreme Home Makeover every week. It is super cheesy but, like a car crash, I can’t help but watch. I like to see the (sometimes ridiculous) final design, learn about a family in need who is being helped and watch my husband tear up as I wrestle back my own tears (he didn’t even cry at our wedding so I will take his tears any way that I can get them).

Initially, we held all of the new books in a small display right near the circulation counter but after their short stay there, they would disappear into the spinners and may be lost forever. So, instead of maintaining this limited display area, we compressed the nonfiction section to give a whole bank of bookshelves to make a fiction display.

For a week I visited bookstores in the city and a few in the states (that’s right, I justified my weekend cross-border shopping as research for work). I focused on the way that books were displayed and tried to determine what drew me to look at certain areas or certain books. I realized that I spent most of my time at the new or recommended book displays and that the visuals and graphics surrounding these areas helped to make them welcoming and fun to peruse. For my new library display to have that same impact, it has to have some of these components.

Here are the before pictures…

A nice and clean non-fiction bookshelf.

But there is so much potential here....


It was alright before, however the new display allows us to highlight our fabulous collection of YA books. Move that book!


My beautiful fiction letters (that took hours to make but were so worth it!). I would like to thank Borders Books for this idea. It's in a bookstore - why not in a library?


Oh man, you know you're a happy librarian when you look at these makeover photos and the NERD song "Hot-n-Fun" starts playing in your head.

The bookshelf is displayed in sections, with magnet-backed signs that can be moved and replaced when we make a new display. And I can’t just be typical (ask my mom) so I had to come up with creative ways to say “books.” Here are a few:

Now I just need to get the word out about the makeover so I am not the only one enjoying it.

My plan for next week:

  • post the updates on our staff discussion online
  • create a window display to advertise the changes
  • get the library on Facebook and maybe even Twitter
  • create a witty advertisement for the daily school announcements
  • watch the kids stream in

Also, in a week and a half I go to training so I can learn how to create our new library website. Woot-woot! The library make-over continues.


2 Responses to “Extreme Library Makeover: Fiction Edition”

  1. Desiree Craig November 19, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Super fantastic before and after pics!! I do love me some before and afters! Good job! I want to read all of those books now…. can I come to the library and check them out?

  2. Anne Letain December 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Be-yoo-ti-ful. Great appeal and the kids (and you) will adore the display. Have you discovered Glogster?

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