Don’t get me wrong — color-themed book displays? I love them. They’re eye-catching, easy to make, and easy to refill. But the most successful super-simple display we’ve had outside of those? Book #1 of the series.
My library recently undertook a project to add the spine label “Book #1 of the series” to all of the series openers in our teen and adult fiction. Since the fiction books are shelved by author and then title, an ordered series is usually out of order, and a reader browsing is hard-pressed to figure out where to begin. Many teens bring an intriguing book to the desk to ask where it falls in the series, only to discover that it’s book 3 or 4. The label has made finding the beginning a snap for those who wander the shelves.
The display was my colleague’s brainchild, and proved to be one of our fastest-emptying displays, since each book was what so many readers ask for when coming to the library: “I want to start a new series.” The labels made it easy to refill, but the beauty of this idea is that you don’t need labels to do it. Identify as many series as you can, pull their first titles (you may have to go deep into older series to find available ones!), and invite teen readers to embark on a new read. This display sells itself!
–Rebecca O’Neil, currently listening to Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
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