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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.

Reach for the sky – SLANZAK workshop September 2011

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 because we recognize it immediately as something so Kiwi. Outdoors, clear sky, water and a steep mountain that invites us to explore.

In the introduction I used climate change as a metaphor to describe the changes that are happening in the library world right now. "The water is rising  – students are technologically ahead of us, leaving us behind struggling to keep up with all the new 'In the clouds' technology and apps – we're nearly dragged down by all that new technology. We need to climb the steep unfamiliar, digital mountain and navigate through Facebook Valley, Twitter Traverse, YouTube Gorge, Kindle Ridge, Blogging Bridge and E-book Summit or Application Path to reach the top where we, librarians, need to arrive to be the light beacon for our students.

The path is difficult and often we're afraid of what's ahead of us because it is all so unfamiliar but we have to move to higher grounds otherwise we'll certainly drown.

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 wheel barrow (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 wheel barrow. The horse has more speed but is not really equipped for the task and after a long and windy journey a climbing 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 an I-pad or I-Pod with a navigation system that is able to guide us to the top. We've familiarized ourselves with the new technology and we're 'up in the sky'.

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!!! WE HAVE TO THINK OUTSIDE OUR BOXES!!!!

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, organizations like NATIONAL LIBRARY / SLANZA/ SLANZAK, PD courses, list serves, colleagues, workshops, etc) to guide us and train us. So follow the lights and you sure will reach the top where the lighthouse sends out a bright beam of light to keep us on track…….and we can become the keeper of light…….riding the wave of information.





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, woman pushing a wheel barrow, climber, signpost, I-Pod, lighthouse, seagull – or create your own version of this display with your own images – Google Images – creative commons – laminated


  • 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
  • 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 left over 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 Facebook Valley 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 up hill, end with the light house 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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