January and February Book Displays

Hello groovy internet people! I wanted to share the book displays I did in January and February for my library’s Young Adult room.

For January my theme was “Chill out… with a cool read.” As I always do I found some inspiration from Pinterest, combined a few ideas, and came up with this one! I printed the words out in blue color and picked a font that kind of made it look like the letters were shaking because they were so cold. I found some adorable polar bear pictures that I laminated (so I can use them again!). I made the snowflakes from a water damaged book that we had to get rid of – if I remember correctly it was The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Don’t Worry! I promise we are replacing it! I also made “snowballs” from color copies of some of our new/popular YA books. I wanted to mix new young adult books and some older ones to encourage the teens to browse more on the shelves and not just pick up whatever is on the new cart. Everyone seemed to like it – though I did have one patron say that “it looks too busy” so I will try and keep that in mind from now on 🙂

For February my theme has been “Fall in Love with a Good Book!” I basically ripped this one right off from Pinterest. I saw about a dozen different versions of this online, but I don’t have a lot of wall space to work with, so I had to adjust it. Instead of making a giant swirling circle, I went with a big swish. The smaller hearts are made of construction paper and book pages (from a discarded book – don’t worry!) and they were cut out using a die-cut machine. The giant heart is also made out of construction paper and was made from a giant die-cut. I took a few of the middle sections of the discarded book and carefully cut them out so they were still attached by the binding. I took the two middle pages and stapled/taped them together to create a heart shape. We had run out of sticky-tack so I attached the “book” to the wall with tape, and shockingly it is still up! I though for sure that it was too heavy and would have fallen down by now, but so far-so good! On the main shelves in our YA room I displayed a bunch of lovey-dovey teen romances.

My Abyss Month

The definition of “abyss” according to Google is: abyss

That is what January is to me.

Everyone has that one month of the year that it is extremely difficult for them to get through. Mine is January. I hate January. The only holiday is New Years Day, which is on the first day of the month and it isn’t even that great. Since I live in NY, January is cold, snowy, damp, and dark.

I feel like January is endless. It feels like my abyss. I can never see the end of the month until I’m there on the 31st.

Back in 2012 January became the worst month of my life and I will still attest to that month containing some of the worst and most painful days that I have ever been through. Every January gets harder for me. I’m reminded of all the bad that happened and I get a ridiculously large case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


On January 1st I always feel like I’m balancing on my toes staring into a dark hole. February 1st comes along and it almost feels like a breath of fresh air, like I’ve been holding my breath for 31 days – just waiting for something bad to happen.

February is here and I feel like I can focus more on my graduate school work, look forward to spring, and feel a little lighter even though we are still in winter.

The image above is of Guillaume Nery base jumping at Dean’s Blue Hole. The video below is of his dive and it is amazing and terrifying all at the same time.

Teen Book Displays

This fall I was given a new opportunity at my library. I was allowed to use the “empty wall space” leading into our Young Adult Room as a kind of bulletin board. I’ve been the “Head of Teen Services” (a completely made up by me title) at my library for a little over 2 years now and I have really enjoyed working with the teens and selecting new Young Adult items. I was ecstatic for this new wall space because it finally meant that all of my Pinterest Library Book Display dreams could come true!

The wall space is just that… a wall. Not a bulletin board. So everything has to be carefully attached with scotch tape in the hopes that it will not peel any paint off in the process (it hasn’t yet!). I will say that I do get most of my ideas from Pinterest, but I try my best not to outright completely copy someone.


At the beginning of September I put up my “Fall for Books” display. In our Young Adult Room we have 2 chest height shelving units that I use to display books on top of. For September I displayed a lot of YA books that were about “high school” and “high school teen drama” (isn’t that like, every YA book???). I found a gorgeous fall tree idea on Pinterest that looked ridiculously hard to make so I modified it to fit my lazy craft style. The tree trunk is several pieces of brown construction paper (without the leaves, the tree trunk actually kind of looked like a dancing bear). The red, yellow, and green leaves are also made from construction paper. The book pages leaves are… dun dun dun… made from a book! I know, I know! How dare I cut up a book! Truthfully, it was Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes. The book had been donated to the library earlier that week and it had clearly lived in someone’s basement. It smelled very musty-dusty and the cover was warped with water damage. I ripped out the best looking pages and used them for my leaves (see, re-purposing, it’s ok!). My “Fall for Books” phrase was graciously made by my supervisor’s Cricut Machine (they are magic and every library should own one!).


For October we had a contest that was put on by our T.A.B. (Teen Advisory Board). They had recently chosen an adorable green monster as their new mascot and they wanted the public’s help naming him. I had scrap paper, pencils, and a huge jar on a nearby bookshelf and patrons could vote for their favorite name once a day and the winning name, with the most votes, would be announced on Halloween! My teens absolutely loved this contest and they got very competitive with each other. Each member of T.A.B. chose a name and then tried to convince everyone they knew to vote for it. The names were: Norman, J. K. Growling, Edgar, Chewy, Bucktooth, Fred, and Wilson. We had a staggering amount of votes by the end of the month, 291 votes total! The name Norman won with 72 votes! For this display I had a poster made by our local print shop, Max Graphics. The word bubble, instructions, and names were printed and then glued onto different colored construction paper. The Norman poster now lives in our Young Adult Room and we also add his image to all of our teen related posters. While this was up, I displayed all of our brand new YA books that had just come in.


In November I put up one of my favorite displays so far! “We Read A Latte Books!” I found this idea (and 50 other similar ones) on Pinterest. I started by roving through the Young Adult Room and picking out books with really eye-catching or interesting covers. I then used our library’s color copier and copied the front covers. I found a simple clip art image of a mug and used that to trace and cut the main part of the mug and the handle. After that I used brown construction paper and traced and cut ovals to fit right behind the lip of my mugs. I taped the ovals into place and voila – you have an adorable paper coffee mug! The “We Read A Latte Books!” phrase was printed out, glued onto construction paper, and then laminated (so I can use it again!). For the shelf display, I put up all of the books that I used to create the mugs.

My final display of the year was a “Christmas Present” and “Elf” themed display in December. Again, I found this display idea on Pinterest and fell in love with it! I found 2 different “Elf” ideas that I kind of smushed into one display. I started by searching for the split pose of Will Ferrell on Google images. I then inserted that image into an 11 x 16 size Publisher document. I added the 2 book covers (Let It Snow and A Christmas Carol) that he is holding, and the phrase “Don’t be a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins! Check Out These Books!” I also created a second poster that was just green text on a red background that said “I just love to read! Reading’s my favorite!” I printed both of these posters out and laminated them. I then chose books that had covers that were set in winter, or had winter blue or purple colors on them. I copied the covers on our color copier and cut them into different size “presents.” I cut out ribbon and bows using construction paper. For the shelf display, I put up all of the books that I used to make the presents and also a few “Winter Holiday” themed YA books.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year! And may your 2017 be better than your 2016 (cuz last year sucked)!

A Banjo Fool – #IST646 Final Project

The end is near!

The end of this class that is. Today I finished my FINAL PROJECT!!!

I can honestly say that this project was a labor of love! There were many mishaps, miscommunications, and missed nights of sleep. But it’s as done as it will ever be!

My Final Project is titled “A Banjo Fool.” This story is about how I wanted to surprise my Dad and do something special for him. I decided to learn the banjo. This video is my journey, and mishaps, of learning the banjo.


(P.S. Make sure to watch all the way till the end! There is a surprise after the credits 😀 )

Mid-Term Project – #Ist646

This week I was hopping a ride on the struggle bus. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Which made this assignment that much harder. For this week’s assignment we had to create a 1:30-2 minute video that contained pictures, narration, music, etc.

I really struggled with creating this story for some reason. It took me 3 days to figure I wanted to tell the story of how I got my cat. Then it took 2 days just to record my audio! No matter what I did, I just didn’t like my script. Even now as I listen to it one last time (it’s already edited, compressed, yada yada…. I’m not changing it again!), I’m still not really happy with it. But I don’t know what to do to make it better. Perhaps this is storyteller’s block? Is that a thing?


This story is about how I acquired my cat. She is a 1 year old Russian Blue named Tickles. I’m very passionate about animals and that passion carries over into adoption/fostering pets. I think one of the best things you can do if you’re lonely is to go to your local animal shelter and love on some fur babies. I know so many animals get forgotten or put down because someone wanted to pay big bucks to get the latest Poodle/Retriever/Pug mix. Animals are not accessories, they are companions. They are family. Adopting a shelter animal won’t just save their life, if might just save yours too.

Adopt. Don’t Shop.

#IST646 – The Travelers and the Bear


This week in class one of our assignments was to create a digital story using Audacity. I had heard of Audacity before, but I’d never used it. As I watched the tutorials I was relieved to see that the tools are simple and quite similar to the iMovie tools that I’m used to. The hardest part about this assignment was finding a good story! And not just a good story, a good story that lends itself to fun sound effects and background music! (We are getting so techy and fancy with our stories now!) With a cushy 1 minute (ish) limit, it was hard for me to find something that was short, sweet, and fun.

I ended up reading through a book of Aesop’s fables to try and find a good story. I’m one of the few people (and librarians) on this earth who DOES NOT like Aesop’s Fables. I know, I know. They are supposed to teach good lessons, blah blah blah. I remember as a child I had an Aesop’s Fables book and I hated all of the stories in it because they all had such miserable endings. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. So, as I was pouring over the Aesop book I didn’t have high hopes of finding a fable I favored. I stumbled upon the tale of “The Travelers and the Bear.” I’d never heard this story before and it’s kind of funny when you think about the ending. And at least no one dies in this fable… *oops, that probably was a spoiler alert*

The moral of this story is…. Misfortune is the true test of friendship.

The Travelers and the Bear hosted on PodOmatic!



The Short Story of a Short Storyteller – #IST646

When I was young, it was thought that I might be a pathological liar, though I prefer the term “avid storyteller.” I would make up the most fantastic or horrific things that had never happened to my family and proceed to tell absolutely everyone. This would be a good time to note that I got in trouble for lying a lot! As I grew older into school age I became the class clown, always good for a funny story and a laugh. In college, on a whim, I decided that my minor would be Dramatic Production and I took acting class for 4 years. I was never in a play. They always had me work backstage crew because I was a terrible actress. It was no surprise that after working in libraries for several years, in 2013 I was asked to cover a story time for our Youth Services Librarian. I’d seen her do it 100 times, but I was still nervous to get in front of these 3-5 year olds with their pouty lips and “judgy” eyes! Apparently it went well because I continued to cover our Preschool and Baby story times for the next 3 years.

YS Room

Where all my previous performances happened.

Who knows if it’s my constant attention seeking ways or my love of entertainment, but I do love having an audience (even if the audience only comes up to my knees). It seemed like a no-brainer to me that my first Grad class would be Storytelling for the Information Professional. Another note, you should really actually read what the class is about before you register. Silly me thought it would be just like all of my story times! How simple. I’d ace this class. Silly me never saw the description about DIGITAL STORYTELLING. Oh boy. What I thought was going to be a cinch class has challenged me in every possible way for the last 3 weeks. I became so out of my comfort zone that I even considered dropping the class!


Maybe reading the title of the text book would have given me a hint.

The first assignment was to make a short video introducing myself to the rest of the class and our teacher. 2 minutes. My video was 2 minutes long… and it took me 2 HOURS to complete it. What is wrong with me? I  thought as I slumped over my computer at my dining room table. Why was it so hard to think of any interesting facts about myself! The comments on my video were gracious and it boosted my confidence to work full steam ahead on our next assignment!

The second assignment was to record myself telling a tall tale. I calculated that my interpretation of the tale I chose would take me about 2 minutes to recite. 2 minutes. It took me 3 hours to complete! With some tips from my rehearsal buddy, I sat at my table and prepared to record myself. Why was my throat so dry? Why was I sweating? How could I be nervous when there was no one here to listen to me (except for my cat)! The first time I recorded myself I messed up. The second time I messed up again. The third time you could hear my cat meowing in the background! After I finally recorded a semi-ok version, I listened to it. BLECH. My voice! Why is it so loud? I tried again, but now my voice sounded too high! Another try and I was reading so fast that I sounded like an auctioneer! Thoughts started to creep in. Have I always sounded like this? Is this what people hear every day? Why has no one told me that I sound like Fran Drescher from the tv show The Nanny?!?!? I slumped over my laptop in defeat, sighed dramatically, drank some water, and tried again. The next recording didn’t sound half bad and I figured I couldn’t do any better than that. I crossed my fingers and toes and submitted my assignment. My teacher was kind and encouraging in her remarks and gave me a better score than I gave myself!


The noisy culprit. 

Now with our third assignment I am faced with the challenge of writing a story about my storytelling journey, and make it seem not as boring as my real life journey actually is. Friday nights at my library tend to be dead. So with my favorite pen in hand, some scrap paper, and a quiet moment (more like a few quiet hours), I dashed out some notes on what I could possibly write to tell my story. Should I make myself sound cooler than I am (there’s that compulsive liar trait again)? I guess you’ll have to tell me what you think, since you just read it.