October Display Ideas

October makes me think of pumpkins. For a display this month, how about carving a jack-o-lantern and place it near the circulation desk with a sign that says “Carve Out Time to Read.” Craft books that have pumpkin carving or decorating ideas would make the display even better. Here are 10 more display ideas for October.

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
To celebrate the wholesome, economical, natural food value of popcorn, America’s native snack. Few people can resist the smell of freshly popped corn. Display a sign on the circulation desk, advertising free popcorn each Friday (or Monday) of October. Your patrons are sure to linger in the library with their bag of popcorn.

James Herriot Birthday (October 3, 1916)
James Herriot, author and veterinarian, was born James Alfred Wight at Glasgow, Scotland. He wrote more than 12 books chronicling his life as a veterinarian in northern England. His All Creatures Great and Small was made into a TV series that was an international hit. He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1979. Herriot died February 23, 1995, at Yorkshire, England. Place a sign in the stacks near his books and display them face out.

Fire Prevention Week (October 6-12)
This week increases awareness of the danger of fire and to educate the public on how to stay safe from fire. Go to the website for the National Fire Protection Association for more information and printable activity pages for young children.

R. L. Stine Birthday (October 8, 1943)
It seems only fitting that the author of the “Goosebumps” series was born in October. Display his spooky books with a sign about his birthday.

National Stop Bullying Day (October 9)
Approximately 160,000 teens stay home from school every day because they fear for their safety. The self-esteem- and empathy-building nonprofit Hey U.G.L.Y (Unique Gifted Lovable You) has designated the second Wednesday in October as a day for schools across America to conduct Stop Bullying classroom activities and school assembly presentations on how to eradicate bullying from schools and neighborhoods. Go to their website for more information.

Teen Read Week (October 13-19)
This year’s theme is Seek the Unknown @ your library. The teen years are a time when many young adults reject reading as being just another dreary assignment. The goal of Teen Read Week is to encourage young adults to read for the fun of it and to remind parents, teachers, booksellers and others that reading for fun is important for teens. This week also seeks to increase awareness of the many library resources available. Thousands of school and public libraries across the US participate each year. For more information, go to http://teenreadweek.ning.com/. Display the most popular teen books and have a program during this important week sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Dictionary Day (October 16)
The birthday of Noah Webster, American teacher and lexicographer, is an occasion to encourage every person to acquire at least one dictionary—and use it regularly. Display as many different dictionaries as you can find in your collection. Look in the old stuff (where ever that might be—the storage closet, the basement, etc.) and try to locate a few more dictionaries to put out for your patrons to see.

First Newspaper Comic Strip (October 18, 1896)
Although cartoons had appeared in newspapers for many years, the comic strip—a narrative told in cartoons over several panels—took its main form with the appearance of “The Yellow Kid Takes a Hand at Golf” in the New York Journal’s weekly supplement, American Humorist. The creator was Richard Fenton Outcault. In March 1897, the Yellow Kid Magazine gathered the strips and became the first published collection of a comic strip—setting the stage for the first comic books in the late 1920s. Clip some comic strips out of your old newspapers and display on a poster board with books of collected comic strips (the Garfield books will be checked out immediately).

iPod Unveiled (October 23, 2001)
The Apple company unveiled its portable MP3 music player to the press on this date. The iPod officially went on sale on November 10, 2001, for $399. Critics at the time complained about the cost, but the iPod became incredibly popular. In January 2010, Apple announced that it had sold 250 million iPods. This would make a great display in your music area. Find some old records, LPs and 45s, and set them out with a record player, music cassettes and a boombox, CDs and a CD Walkman…whatever you have to show the change in the way we listen to music.

“War of the Worlds” 75th Broadcast Anniversary (October 30, 1938)
As part of a series of radio dramas based on famous novels, Orson Welles with the Mercury Players produced H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Near panic resulted when listeners believed the simulated news bulletins, which described a Martian invasion of New Jersey, to be real. Put together a display of Science Fiction books along with a sign to commemorate this event.

BONUS Program Idea: First Shrinky Dinks® sold (October 17, 1973)
Plan an after school activity using Shrinky Dinks.

BONUS Passive Program Idea: Support math skills and celebrate Halloween at the same time with a display of guessing jars filled with Halloween-themed objects, such as candy corn or other Halloween candy, plastic spiders or bats, or even a larger container filled with small gourds. Set out three or four jars (each containing different-sized objects) with a slotted box, paper, and pencils next to each one. Children write their name and their estimates on a slip of paper and place it in the box. Winning estimators can win the jars or a book. (Call the RVLS Office for some books to give away…we have a stash.)

Don’t forget to look at the new Displays for Libraries board I’ve added to the System Pinterest account for even more ideas.

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