Part readers’ advisory, part creativity, and part product placement, the book display is a staple in libraries of all kinds. A good book display can create a sense of welcome and invite patrons to stop, explore, and find something new to read.  

It can be so fun to put a book display together and then watch from the sidelines with glee as patrons browse and take titles home. What success to see a picked-over display that constantly needs refilling! But sometimes, it’s a challenge to keep it stocked or find a topic for next month’s display. Luckily, NoveList has all kinds of resources you can tap into to help create the perfect display. I’m sharing some of my favorite NoveList tips here. I hope you find them helpful! 

Hook readers with themes 

Themes are a perfect way to make a display! Themes can highlight what a reader really likes in a story – or sometimes what they really don’t like. Think fish out of water, immigrant experiences, or the butler did it. I am a big theme reader, so if I saw a display for opposites attract or hating to dating, I might just clean it out. My personal preferences aside, themes span all ages and genres and will take your display game to the next level. From facing racism, to dealing with bullies, to celebrating identity, you can use themes to design fun, engaging, or thought-provoking displays. Browse themes by genre or topic on the Explore Themes page (find all the Explore pages on the NoveList Plus homepage) or use the new Story Elements Index to see them all. 

Want a quick and easy place to start? Check out NoveList’s newest theme for adult and teen titles, Dark academia or explore the Themes guides for an overview of some themes.  

Book Bundles 

Book bundle displays are an easy solution for customers who on the run or open to a bit of a grab-bag surprise. They can be time consuming to create, but not if you use this tip a library in Wisconsin shared with me: use the carousel of appeal combos on the NoveList Plus homepage for inspiration. Updated regularly, the carousels feature suggestions for all ages. Let our book experts do the heavy lifting by creating engaging appeal combos, writing clever descriptions, and finding titles so all you need to do is set them out! Based on a particular mood, tone, writing, or illustration style, bundles such as bittersweet and engaging, or authentic and funny, are creative ways to package books. Because they speak to a particular feeling or type of reading experience, they are likely to draw readers in and entice them to find out just what makes a book reflective and thoughtful, or amusing and mischievous.  

LibraryAware users can find book bundle sign templates as well as tag templates that can be used as is or customized to fit your needs. Search book bundle to see them all!  

Tie into pop culture 

Is everyone in your community bingeing the latest TV series? Do you know teens who are big fans of superheroes or BookTok? Why not make displays that tie into those interests? NoveList Plus has For Fans Of... lists so that you can effortlessly showcase books for fans of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, or Bridgerton, or Prey, just to name a few.   

If your library also subscribes to LibraryAware, the LibraryAware graphic designers work closely with NoveList’s Book Discovery team to take those For Fans Of... lists and turn them into amazing book flyers and widgets that you can print or share online.

Mix it up 

Book displays that contain a mix of formats and genres can appeal to many types of readers or introduce patrons to something new. My colleagues have shared some great ideas for combining fiction and nonfiction books in displays or incorporating multiple formats using Page to Screen. Consider including information or handouts about library events, resources, or grab-and-go kits. For example, if you have a STEM-themed display, promote your makerspace or Slime Science program along with it. 

Find a display sign 

Once you’ve found the books, a display sign lets patrons know what it’s all about! LibraryAware saves you time and makes signage easy with all kinds of book display flyers and signs created specifically for libraries by graphic designers with library experience. From seasonal displays to new books and more, there are hundreds of templates to choose from. You can browse templates for Collection Promotion or search book display to get started.  

Go virtual  

Creating virtual book displays can be an eye-catching way to promote titles to patrons who are not in the library. These online browsing opportunities are a great way to bring books out of your catalog and feature them throughout your website. With LibraryAware, you can easily add book carousels or professionally designed book flyers to various pages. Bonus tip: if you tie a book carousel to one of the NextReads newsletters (included in LibraryAware), your widget will automatically update every time a new edition of the newsletter goes out. You’ll have regularly refreshed content on your website without having to do anything! 

Collection Promotion Deep-Dive 

If you’re looking to really dig deep into coordinating collection promotion efforts in print, on digital platforms, and in personal interactions with community members, you may be interested in bringing the Learn with NoveList course, Collection Promotion Deep-Dive, to your library. Email us at learnwithnovelist@ebsco.com for a free consultation. 

Learn more about how LibraryAware and Learn with NoveList can help you make the most of collection promotion and better reach and engage your community. 

Lauren Campbell is a NoveList Consultant. She’s currently reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.