17 August 2011

MORE Library Alcove Display Posters, August 2011

The "WORD" is that we have a great collection of urban fiction at the library!

In my earlier post, I showed two of the five large format alcove display posters developed for the month of August. Due to time restraints, we canceled one planned for Romance, but all others were created. Here, I show the two remaining posters. 

"WORD On The Street" is a simple graphic to promote the library's Urban Fiction Collection. I sourced for photos of urban street scenes--roadways and walls--and found an image that I had hoped to find: a wall with a great assortment of graffiti on it that I could add our own wording to in complimentary graffiti style. I had to source for graffiti fonts also, because prior to this assignment I didn't have anything that really looked like good, hand-generated graffiti lettering. I simply went to Google, input a keyword search for "free graffiti fonts" and perused some of the offered sites for fonts I thought I could use. I should note that I advocated for us encourage viewer participation by placing crayons or other writing utensils out for patrons to use to also mark on the poster, but we all knew that would leave us open to having certain unsavory words marked on the poster. As much as graffitiing up a wall would be just like real life, we didn't want promote too much delinquent real life behavior inside the library itself!

Mystery display poster incorporates the use of QR code
"clues" to reference selections from the collection to
encourage viewer participation.
Our Mystery display poster ended with its original concept visual elements. However, enroute to creating it, it took an interesting twist. First, I re-wrote the planned headline "If the butler didn't do it, who did?" to become "Who Done It?" so it could fit into three panels of a window I created. That phrase conjured up my memory of the Ellery Queen murder mystery novels which used the same phrase. That made me recall other classic catch phrases and themes often used in murder mysteries, such did the butler do it, did the murder take place somewhere else and the body moved or staged at a second location, was the victim poisoned, was evidence planted to throw investigators off the murderer's trail, etc. I thought it might be fun and kind of kitchy to include those questions on the poster too. 

The installed large format poster.
Once I started placing the questions with their associated imagery, it occurred to me that since I was asking a question (or questions), wouldn't it be great if I could find a way to engage patrons to answer it/them? Perhaps I could even turn it into an activity challenge of some sort. I remembered when we began to develop our QR code program, the possibility of using QR codes as part of a scavenger hunt or other activities could be a fun and useful way of promoting our service using this technology. So I decided to ask if this poster could be a good project for testing out such an endeavour. Everyone liked the idea of it and wanted to see if it was something we were ready to undertake. After a few weeks of planning and developing the back-end resources, QR code images were created and added to white squares placed after each question. The activity results--whether people used them or not, and if so, to what extent and success—will be interesting to know. 


  1. I really like the one about the mystery. I might have to come up with something like that for my library. But it could never be as good as this one.... Thanks! js

  2. Yeah, the mystery one was my favourite too, because it took a regular visual display a step further by incorporating interactive elements into it. I think a scavenger hunt or a challenge is a great activity for libraries. There's so many opportunities and resources available to vary the challenge with there.

  3. I did a version of your mystery one...a lot of cut and paste stuff...window scene, potted plant, cat, outline of body, etc. It was very colorful and one of our staff members thought it was clever. So, it's up! And thank you for the idea. js

  4. Excellent! Snap a photo for me if you can!

  5. I love the WORD - sooo colorful and eye catching! Nice play on the idea of word for a library. The mystery poster is interesting to me as I like the background pic..looks similar to the grain elevator in our tiny farm town! K

  6. WORD got good feedback and comments from the librarians. Mystery will be a bit more of a challenge due to its interactive nature. Grain elevators, eh? Well...maybe it was YOU lurking in the shadows, hehe.