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.

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.

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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!).

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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.

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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)!

Something Great For Me

I am feeling discouraged.

I feel like there is something great out there for me and I’m missing out. I don’t know how to get to it, where it is, or what it is. But I want it. I need it to happen to me.

Well, don’t I sound selfish… I’m not saying I think society/the universe/God owes me anything. They don’t. I know that I am among the most undeserving people on this planet scrounging around for a blessing or something great.

But it would be really nice if it happened to me.

I’m 24. I’m single. I was salutatorian in high school. I graduated with a 4 year degree from an academically challenging college with an above average GPA. I am a hard worker. I am nice. I am funny. I am loyal. I am dramatic. I love helping people. I am willing to work, to move, to learn new things, to be out of my comfort zone.

So why am I alone. With a semi-ok part time job. Living with my parents. With no social life to speak of. In the middle of no where.

Why have none of the Library Directors, from the 20+ jobs I applied to in NYC, responded to me? Why can’t I move out? Why do most of my friends ignore me on a daily basis? Why has one of my best friends in the whole world started treating me like trash? Why is it that when your college friends get married they forget you exist? Why does my mother put so much freakin pressure on me about not being married? Why do I have such a fragile relationship with my parents? Why do my sister and I only get along when we are not in the same city?

Why am I unhappy?

Why do I feel like there is more out there for me, right at my fingertips, and I keep missing it?

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I know so many people have it worse. I know these are construed as ‘first world problems’ or ‘whining’ or ‘being selfish’ – but may I remind you, I’m just listing the questions I have right now. You have no idea about anything in my life. You don’t know how I was raised, my childhood, or any of the awful things I’ve experienced. So you can stop judging me now.

I almost feel like I’m disappointed in myself. Like I could have done so much better. I look back and I see the mistakes I’ve made. And I know I wish I could go back and change all of them but that ends up making me feel more discouraged. Because I can’t fix them. They happened. It’s done. I have to deal with what my life is now.

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I knew who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go.

But I’m not that person. I didn’t end up doing what I wanted. And I am definitely not where I wanted to be.

I feel like my future is right at my fingertips. I just have to make a decision and go with it. But I am so terrified that I may make the wrong choice. I have a terrible track record for choices. I usually make ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE CHOICES. I never listen to advice from my friends and family. And even though I usually plan things out and do pros and cons and what not – I still end up making a spur of the moment decision. I can’t even trust myself to do the right/smart thing anymore. I’ve screwed up too many times.

But my future is right there. Staring me in the face. I can feel it. I just can’t see it. And people put so much pressure on your future. Like it’s the Holy Promised Land that we are all striving to visit before we die.

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But what if we are already in our future? What if this is it? What you are doing right now, where you are, who you are. This is it. This is your future. What if it’s already started? What if you missed out on that Holy Promised Land.

What if I’m stuck like this forever?

I have two choices staring me in the face right now. One is easy and one is terrifying.

I could just move out in February like I planned – right down the street from where I work. And that’s it.

Or I could move to NYC. Completely start over. And be anything I want to be.

What if I can’t make a choice?

What if I make the wrong one?

Are You Pregnant?

“Awwww…. When are you due?” -person I was checking out at Old Navy 2 years ago.

“Due?” – Me

“Are you pregnant?” -person I now hate

“No.” – Me

“Oh, I’m sorry! You just have that glow.” -worst person in the world

“Right.” – Me

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“Are you having a boy or a girl?” – person I was checking books out to 3 years ago at a library

“Excuse me?” – Me

“Oh, aren’t you pregnant?” – mean mean person

“No.” – Me

“Well! You just… have that look.” – terrible evil person

“Right.” – Me

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“Did you get yourself knocked up?” – homeless lady I was helping at the library 3 months ago

“No.” – Me

“So you’re just fat?” – homeless lady

“Yep, just fat.” – Me

“That’s funny.” – homeless lady

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“Can I ask? Are you pregnant?” – random person shopping at Old Navy 3 years ago

“No, I’m not.” – Me

“Really?” – bewildered person

“Yep, not pregnant.” – Me

“Huh… You just have that look ya know? A maternal look.” – awful horrible person

“Right.” – Me

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These are just a few of the lovely examples of what happens to me every couple of months. Now I’ve talked before about my body image. I’m not skinny. I’m chubby. And I do have a tummy. And it pooches out just enough that I’m sure if I’m wearing the right clothes, standing in the right light, and leaning to the left with my hands on my hips – I look pregnant. I must stand like this a lot because I get asked a lot if I’m with child.

And the funny thing is, that everyone who has been SO BOLD to come up and ask me is SO GENUINELY surprised when they are wrong. How sure can you be? I mean even if I was pregnant, at the size I am I might MIGHT might be at like 3 or 4 – ish months. That’s pretty brave (stupid) to come to someone and be confident (stupid) enough to ask. It boggles my mind, because I have never NEVER EVER ever asked a woman that. Even if she was currently in labor I would not ask a woman that. You just don’t ask.

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And that whole “maternal look” and “glow” crap is just a way to cover your butt when you realized you’ve screwed up big time. Really a “glow” – maybe my makeup was shiny, or I could be sweaty, or I have oily skin for goodness sake, or I have a sunburn, a rash, I’m blushing! And “maternal look” – I don’t have a maternal bone in my body! I don’t even know if I want to have kids because I am an incredibly insane, irrational, selfish, and sarcastic person. I would definitely be cursed with a child just like myself and I was a terrible child (still am).

Now I know, at my age, it is VERY reasonable to be married with kids. Most of my friends are married and have kids or are expecting soon. But I have a different life plan for right now. Staying single and not getting pregnant.

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So please. Never ask a girl if she’s pregnant. NEVER EVER.

Hablas español?

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(Whoa big picture!)

In high school I took 2 years of Spanish (9th and 10th grade) and in college I took 2 years/4 semesters of Spanish (freshman and sophomore year) and I still cannot speak Spanish. And I really wish I could.

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( I actually know all of those words anyways.)

I used to practice it a lot and speak with other people (because it was required) and I wasn’t that bad at it. But somehow in the last 4 years I have lost the ability to speak Spanish. I think it’s because I live in themiddleoffreakinnowhere and no one around here really speaks Spanish a lot.

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Now I do actually remember a lot of vocabulary words. But if I really needed to sit down and have a legitimate conversation with a Spanish speaking person… I would fail utterly and completely. I remember my last semester I had a really hard time. I was great at just memorizing words but the whole conjugating verbs and such into Spanish sentences was not my strongpoint (that and there was a REALLY cute guy in my class the last semester and he was SUPER distracting and I feel like I can justifiably blame my failure on him).

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I see signs like this a lot in stores and such now (and I soooooo do not want to get into a debate about who needs to learn English/Spanish – I don’t care). A lot of the jobs I have applied for require at least some knowledge of the Spanish language because it is actually QUITE helpful to at least know a little bit.

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So I probably need to break this out again so I can stop being ignorant and actually communicate with people.

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Because I don’t want to be that guy. That guy is a jerk… And like 75% of America (if we are going to be honest) shares his ignorant beliefs (darn it I did weigh in on the English/Spanish learning debate… I’m so sneaky!).