School will be out soon and the Summer Reading Program will take center stage. Birds are singing and making nests. Find some handmade bird houses and display them with books on bird house building and bird watching. Here are 10 more display ideas for May:
Latino Books Month
In its ongoing efforts to promote books by and for Latinos, the Association of American Publishers has designated May as Latino Books Month. During the month-long celebration, booksellers, librarians and others in the book industry will encourage people in their communities to read books by and for Latinos, in both English and Spanish. Highlight your books by and for Latinos or request a Spanish-language kit from the RVLS Office for this display.
National Bike Month
This is an annual celebration of bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. Display your books about bicycles and bike safety along with a children’s bike. Go to http://www.safekids.org/bike for safety tips and resources including coloring pages. Hold a bike “rodeo” in the library’s parking lot and have your local law enforcement register the participants’ bikes. This fun family event is sure to draw a crowd.
National Vinegar Month
Celebrate the season of cleaning and cooking with one of the home’s most versatile products. Go to http://www.versatilevinegar.org for a list of recipes and uses for cleaning. The website even has a “Daily Vinegar Tip.” It might be fun to have a sign on the circulation desk with a new tip each day. Many people prefer to use vinegar instead of cleaning products with fragrances. Invite someone you know that uses vinegar to share their knowledge.
Robert’s Rules Day (May 2)
Henry M. Robert, author of Robert’s Rules of Order, a standard parliamentary guide was born at Robertville, SC, on May 2, 1837. A simple sign in the stacks would highlight this book that is used so often.
Kentucky Derby (May 3)
The Kentucky Derby is a race for three-year-old thoroughbreds held annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. The race is 1 and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” Display books about horses and racing. This might be an opportunity to feature mysteries by Dick Francis.
First American in Space (May 5, 1961)
From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Invite your local earth science teacher and host a family stargazing event on a warm evening. Gather books about stars, planets, astronauts, and space travel for an eye-catching display.
Fintastic Friday (May 9, 2014)
This event will raise awareness of the worldwide plight of sharks and get children involved in an important conservation issue. People kill as many as 100 million sharks a year. Populations are declining at catastrophic rates. Go to http://www.whaletimes.org/FintasticFriday.htm for more information. Display all your shark books on a table in the children’s area. These will definitely get checked out.
Mari Sandoz’s Birthday (May 11, 1896)
Mari Sandoz, the author of several histories that demonstrated sympathy for Indians that was unusual for the time, was born in Sheridan County, Nebraska. Sandoz authored a number of novels, but today she is remembered for her meticulously researched non-fiction histories. Her 1935 biography of her father, Old Jules, is a bittersweet and moving history of homesteading on the Great Plains. Even more valuable, though, were Sandoz’s histories of the Plains Indians. In 1949, she published Crazy Horse, a biography of the great Sioux warrior who participated in the 1876 defeat of George Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Sandoz’s biography revealed a noble and admirable man dedicated to his people and to resisting white theft of their traditional lands. Place a sign in the stacks near the titles written by Mari Sandoz to commemorate her birthday. RVLS has a Book Club Kit for Crazy Horse. Maybe this would be the month for your book club to read it. Call the office to reserve it today.
First Major Wagon Train West—Oregon Trail (May 22, 1843)
A massive wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. Known as the “Great Emigration,” the expedition came two years after the first modest party of settlers made the long, overland journey to Oregon. The Great Emigration finally arrived in Oregon in October, completing the 2,000-mile journey from Independence in five months. Prepare a mixed-media display with fiction and nonfiction books from both the adult and children’s area, as well as DVDs and audiobooks about the Old West. Add an old saddle and some boots with holes in them to draw attention to the material.
Robert Ludlum’s Birthday (May 25, 1927)
Ludlum, who published his first novel when he was in his 40s, sold more than 200 million books by the time of his death in 2001. Known for complex plots featuring conspiracies, corruption and world takeovers inspired by diabolical forces, Ludlum has been credited as one of the pioneers of the type of fast-paced, engaging and easy-to-read book that came to be dubbed an airport novel. Display his books with a bookmark listing the titles of Ludlum’s works, including the Jason Bourne series.
Library Trivia: On May 23, 1911, in a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft, the New York Public Library, the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States, was dedicated in New York City. Occupying a two-block section of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, the monumental beaux-arts structure took 14 years to complete at a cost of $9 million. The day after its dedication, the library opened its doors to the public, and some 40,000 citizens passed through to make use of a collection that already consisted of more than a million books. Today, the New York Public Library is visited and used annually by more than 10 million people, and there are currently well over two million cardholders, more than for any other library system in the nation.
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