That we’re at the end of October and this post is about September displays is pretty indicative of how busy I have been at work! As a commuter, I have limited evening time, and trying to fit in the gym and a good amount of sleep have been my top priorities, so it’s pretty much just prep for the next work day once I get home.
In September, I had one display for Major Idea, centered around Art History.
I don’t celebrate Library Card Sign Up Month in a big way in September other than publicizing the public library. Since school begins in mid-August, I did a big pitch for students to get library barcode stickers on their student IDs during the latter half of August. All the students who got barcodes were entered into a drawing for a prize pack, which included school supplies, such as highlighters, Post-It notes, a print card for the computer lab, Scantrons, blue books, a college folder, and a $25 Starbucks gift card. The prize is actually one I was trying to give out during our campus’ outreach event in the spring, but the winner never claimed his prize.
I also had a display up for Constitution Day. The history/political science professor and I were hired at the same time, and once she discovered how much I enjoy community engagement, she pitched a Constitution Day Quiz contest. We house the quiz in the Library; students take the quiz, which is a 15-question multiple choice quiz they take via Scantron (our campus dean approved the purchase of little Scantrons). The students with the highest scores are entered into a drawing for a prize. What’s nice about our set-up is that the professor calls the winners to tell them to come back to the Library to get their prizes, so they can come have a chat with their librarian, and it helps my cause to show that the library can be a fun, positive place. Last year, the history/political science professor and I purchased two Starbucks gift cards. The prize this year was smaller, but it was free thanks to some leftover prizes for another campus event–two $10 gasoline gift cards.
As one of the few Latina faculty members on campus, and as we are a Hispanic-serving institution, I take great care in our Hispanic Heritage Month displays. This year, I designed the flyer in homage to lotería, a Bingo-like game I played as a child with my cousins. Over the summer, we had a family reunion with my Mexican family, and my aunts and older cousins and I all got to play together. I think I have been carrying around those little memories since summer. Last year, I did key Hispanic/Latino figures in history, but this year, I decided to do a U.S. Latino Voices display, featuring U.S. Latino/Hispanic poets and authors. The new U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Latino-American to hold this role, had a lot to do with this theme.
I also continued with my participatory banners, but it started to go a little wrong with student comments (students advertising their social media accounts, writing their own names, etc.). I decided to take a break with banners for now. The banner that was scheduled to go up after the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in mid-October, “What are you or your kids going to be for Halloween?,” could go very wrong. Last year, I did this question on a white board in the Student Lounge in 2014, and a student posted, “A sexy librarian” as a comment. Sigh.
This year, one of our new evening librarians put together the display for Banned Books Week; you can see some of her work in the online flyer I made for that display. She also put together a fun contest. I bought a $10 Target gift card for the prize. The evening librarian also purchased a used copy of the book the students had to guess, which was To Kill a Mockingbird. Several students got the correct answer, so she did a drawing to select the winner. One of our student workers actually won! I encouraged her to submit to librariandesignshare.org, and I was so pleased that her display was recently featured there. However, I was surprised to see that some of the photos I took for the online newsletter, including the photo collage, were on the post featuring her display; my name is not included. She did a similar display at the other campus, which is also featured in that blog post, but I didn’t take those photos.
Hopefully I can get the October displays up before the end of November.