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  • For Activities and Competitions select from the Activity list below

    Organizing activities and competitions is fun but sometimes you might want some inspiration. I've collected ideas and posted them in our activity lists below. What about a Jelly Bean Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Keep an action list

    Make a rough sketch of how the display will look like. Write down what materials and tools you will need. Create a time-line / checklist: This week copying and laminating - Next week: buy or beg materials - Two weeks: covering display boxes with matching paper - Three weeks: collect books matching the display....
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Your job will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle. The staples will stick out a bit at one side - perfect to get hold of them with pliers and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools when creating displays. You can attach all sorts of materials like hard plastic, metal, fabric and everything else you can think off. Be careful with your fingers (blow - blow) the glue is very hot and you easily get blisters
  • TIP: Create a 3D effect!

    Create a 3D effect by hanging objects in front of the display board, like fish in a Sea Life display or lanterns in a Summer Reading display.
  • TIP: Don’t overdue it!

    Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. Each object needs its own space. Think of a shop window that is more than full with appliances, you can’t distinguish one object from the other, while carefully placed objects attract the attention.


anita-paintingWe live in a visual world and what is greater joy than being welcomed in a vibrant space where the mind is challenged and the eye is invited to explore?

The philosophy of a good display:

Displays are like advertisements; they attract attention, and  once a customer walks over for a look, they take notice of the product you want to sell. That might be a specific collection or to promote your Audiobooks on MP3. It could be a community project or global topic.

Whatever it is, a display that stands out is likely to get the message across. That's why buses have striking advertisements on the back, even if you are not interested in the latest brand of ice cream, you absorb that information when you drive past or – in a cloud of smoke – wait for the traffic light to turn green. Subconsciously you have processed the information and stored it away.

A good display tells a story. It connects your product and your visitors on several levels. It shows that you care for your environment, that you connect with the community and it shows that you value your customer's opinion, Through making a display, one that makes your customer smile or contemplate, you connect with a future musician, mum or scientist. 

When I came to New Zealand in 2006 I had resigned a fantastic job in a public library (winner of Best Library of the Country 2011) in The Netherlands,  I was part of a team that organized and managed all activities involving art, culture and education. The team was responsible for the image of the library, managed art exhibitions, established cultural and educational interactions with schools and made displays for special occasions. A four meter high Roald Dahl character with a huge paper maché head for a communal library/ theater event was one of the highlights.

I learned to use a jigsaw or glue gun as easily as scissors and staple gun to create wall hangings, exhibition backgrounds and displays you could walk through. I love upcycling and using materials that are for grabs like old umbrellas, garden tools, branches from a cut down tree or withdrawn encyclopedias…..

Major changes in my life changed my outlook on life. I wanted to do something else, travel, discover another me in a different setting. Challenge myself.

Parakeet park Kerikeriwent to New Zealand for a sabbatical but stayed to join my new found kiwi partner and build up a life in New Zealand. We stayed for a year in the most beautiful place on earth – The Bay Of Islands – until life caught up with us.

I was offered a job in a College Library where I would learn the NZ way of librarianship and experience what a School Library is all about. I established myself well and started to create displays that were noticed. Teachers and colleague Librarians were keen to learn the tricks. After sending  another load of photos with descriptions on request I thought it time for a website.

I love sharing my ideas and enjoy seeing my work copied, to me that is a compliment. All photos and descriptions are Creative Commons and therefore free to use.

I've presented workshops at schools in Auckland and Kerikeri, at the SLANZA Conference in Christchurch and a LIANZA Conference in Palmerston North. I've provided PDs from Hamilton to Wellington and gave sessions at National Library Auckland. Participants went home with a fantastic array of ideas on how to make eye-catching displays, often on a shoestring. 

Lemon treeThe challenge in life is to do what you love most and for me that is promoting collections, initiating new initiatives and finding ways of attracting customers, wether it is through creating a fantastic collection, establishing a online newsletter or platform or making the workspace even more welcoming and inviting.

I hope that my tips and tricks will help you to feel confident that you too can make eye-catching displays. You can copy and use whatever you like from this website. If you make a display you're proud of, and used this website, please let me know. It's great to get positive feedback. 

You can email me: admin@creativelibrarydisplays.com. and if you send some photos I might be inspired by your work.  Together we can create a display database for a global community.


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