This week, I attended the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Conference in Columbia, South Carolina. There were so many wonderful sessions that at times it was difficult to choose which one to attend.
Ann Hawthorne of Wright Middle School in Abbeville presented at the first session I attended. She creates delightful displays in her media center for just pennies and shared her tricks with us – including “drive by shopping.” She cruises the backs of stores such as Walgreen’s, CVS, Eckerd’s, and Walmart to see what they are throwing away and if she discovers treasures she can use, asks if she can take the merchandise. She never passes up a thrift store which she enters with an open mind. She has purchased numerous stuffed animals to use in her displays. My favorite was a huge stuffed banana which sits on her shelves with a sign that reads “Books are appealing.”
Anne also shops at dollar stores and finds treasures such as book stands. My favorite of her dollar store finds and ideas was one she just got: three little chicks for $1.00. She will use these in a display dealing with a media specialist’s “peeps” – authors. I can’t wait to play with this idea!
Another source of merchandise for her displays is, of all places, a funeral home. One of her former students is a funeral director who gives her beautiful plants that families have left behind.
Ann’s presentation was just as delightful as she is and I came away with many great ideas to brighten up my book display areas.