Ah, the time honored librarian tradition of book displays. Even for a well-funded library, creating a display that’s eye-catching and well designed can be a tall order. What’s a librarian to do? Well, sometimes you just work with what you’ve got.

Ella Hassett from Arup Library has this to say about her International Women’s Day book display:

This is the International Women’s Day (IWD) book display, which was launched in our library space on 8th March 2018. As is evident from the image below, the space available for book displays is narrow and sits in front of staff desks, so it is difficult to work with, as any display cannot block the area behind. It is also restricted as there is no wall or board to display information behind the display, so this has to be done using the units underneath instead. As this was my first display, it was very much an exercise in frugal creativity.

This book display was created with zero budget and utilised whatever stationery was available from the cupboard. It shows what can be done with access to office supplies! The books on display are a collection of titles about significant women working in the built environment and books about gender equality in the workplace. The display encompassed upright Venus signs made of paper cups with the motif glued to them, which were visible when approaching the library space. Some of the books were also standing upright to attract attention, with others laid flat for people to browse. I designed a simple sign to indicate what the display was for and used the same red colour as the IWD firm campaign, of which we included some posters on the unit underneath, as this created consistency. The stars were leftover Christmas decorations that added some sparkle to the display.

Although it was a small display, I am proud of the results, as the majority of the books were checked out over the course of International Women’s Week. Going forward, I will continue to utilise this display space to promote our collections and engage with our users.

photo of an international women's day book display in an academic library

Ella used Adobe Photoshop CS5 to create the signs for the display. Nice work Ella!

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