• Pages

  • Activities and Competitions

    Organizing activities and competitions can be fun but there are times you need some fresh input. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Think inside the hat!

    Party hats, store-bought or made from pages of an old book or scrap paper are very useful for a display. You can staple the hat to the board as a container for whatever you want to showcase. Or hang them in front of the board filled with little notes, poems, toy animals or whatever takes your fancy
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Removing old display items will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle when you tack items to the board. The staples will stick out at one side - perfect to get hold of and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools for 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 Spring or Garden display.
  • TIP: Don’t overdue it!

    Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. It all becomes a blur. 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.

Reach for the sky – 45-minute Display Workshop

Creating a display in three-quarters of an hour isn’t easy. Luckily I had prepared a lot of the images beforehand and could concentrate on the finishing part. During this energetic workshop with a group of fantastic colleagues, I could show tips and tricks and make a colorful and attractive display with a touch of humor using materials readily available.

Sea, sky, mountains. A bit of activity on the mountain with people trying to reach the top where a lighthouse is situated. A Seagull rides the currents, clouds drift past and a little cloud has the text: Cloud computing.

The topic could be climate change or mountaineering or challenging yourself. This display is easy to make and very attractive to look at. The outdoors, clear sky, pristine waters and steep mountains inviting us to hike and explore. All that encompasses New Zealand.

In the introduction, I used climate change as a metaphor to describe the changes that are happening in the library world.

We need to climb the steep unfamiliar, digital mountain and navigate through all the changes and adapt to reach the top where we, librarians, need to arrive before our students so we can be a lightning beacon.

I continued to use metaphors to describe the tools we could use to get higher up – first of all we need a boat to keep us afloat and to bring us to a safe place, the foot of the mountain. Subsequently, I used the image of a woman with a wheelbarrow (still a bit old fashioned) to cart the heavy load higher up the mountain, followed by a warrior on a horse when the path gets too steep for the wheelbarrow. The horse has more speed but is not really equipped for the task and after a long and windy journey, a woman climbs higher up using her own skills and strength.

A seagull glides through the sky – providing us with a bird’s view but by that time we’ve also learned to use social media and have dived into new features enabling us to reach the top. We’ve familiarized ourselves with the new trends and technology and we’re ‘up in the sky’. Where we belong!

To take away the seriousness of the topic and add some humor I attached little colorful boxes to all of the carrying, racing, climbing and gliding images with the statement that the old ways of doing the same thing the same way doesn’t do it any longer.

We have to change!!!


Along the way, I placed a signpost with signs saying: confused, disoriented, bewildered, unclear, unsure, lost. At times most of us feel all of these but there’s no way back, we have to continue our path up the mountain and we will. Luckily there are lights that guide us (peers, PD courses, list serves, colleagues, workshops, etc) to guide us and train us.

So follow the lights and you will surely reach the top where the lighthouse sends out a bright beam to keep us on track

We can become the keeper of light…….riding and streamlining the wave of information that comes our way.

What you need:

  • Light blue wrapping paper
  • Dark blue wrapping paper
  • Copied images from mountains from an atlas – light for the upper mountain and darker for the bottom part
  • Images of a boat, a woman pushing a wheelbarrow, climber, signpost, lighthouse, seagull – or create your own version of this display with your own images.
  • Image of Cloud computing (Google Images- creative commons)
  • Variety of little boxes (two dollar shop)
  • Christmas lights
  • Toilet roll cardboard core – cut in two-centimeter pieces
  • The title ‘Reach for the sky” made in Word, printed and laminated
  • Little signs with names: Facebook Valley etc. (see description above for more examples)
  • Sheets of clouds – Google Images – creative commons – laminated
  • Carton boxes (supermarket) covered in leftover paper from displays to use as extra display space.


What to do:

  • Staple the ‘sky’ and ‘sea’ wrapping paper to the board. Make the dark blue part a bit larger than the light blue part.
  • Crumple the sheets of mountain paper and pin them to the board. Start left from the middle with the highest peak and work towards the sides. Fill in the bottom part with darker color mountain sheets. When it’s in the right place staple the sheets to the board.

  • Staple the title to the board.
  • Attach the signs etc. to the board indicating the way to the different passes and valleys.
  • Use the glue gun to attach the images of the boat, climber, etc, to the pieces of toilet paper roll and attach these to the board – following a path uphill, end with the lighthouse on top of the mountain. Place the little boxes beside or on top of the images like they’re carried by the figures and glue them to the board.


  • Attach the Christmas lights to the board, following the path uphill.
  • Staple the Cloud computing sign to the board – somewhere in the sky.
  • Cut the clouds in shape and staple them to the board.

Step back and look at your display from a distance. Walk away, do something else for a moment and look with fresh eyes at your work. Adjust if there’s anything that doesn’t look right.

Put the boxes in front of the display and attach the metal book standards to the boxes with a bit of tape. Place the books on the standards.

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