Since I’m not able to do outreach or programming yet, an initial goal in my new position has been to make the designated teen area in my branch more inviting and engaging to teens (and less a nook for our older newspaper regulars). In addition to rethinking furniture and adding some passive activities, my brain went to displays. What would catch teens’ attention? One of my first thoughts: a tiny library!
Inspired by this tiny book workshop program idea, I crafted a collection of tiny copies of current popular titles that have long waitlists, but inside each are suggestions for read alikes. Not everyone is comfortable approaching staff for reading recommendations, so I thought these tiny books would be appealing and help teens find things to read if they’re waiting for in-demand titles.
With the help of collection development staff, I learned how to easily access and modify a report for high demand titles and narrowed it to about a dozen with the most holds. Then, using the library’s catalog, Novelist Plus, and a bit of my own knowledge, I came up with lists of read alikes for each title.
To reduce time and resources, I simplified the book craft by shrinking covers to about 1.75″ x 3.25″ in Publisher and printing them on cardstock. I cut out them out, doubling the width, and folded them in half for the front and back covers. Then I created little booklets by printing the reading suggestions on regular paper, folding them in half and stapling them to the covers.
I plan to monitor holds and update the tiny library regularly if it goes over well. So far, I don’t think any have disappeared, which was my original intention, but I might play with signage to indicate that they can be. Some of my new coworkers, though, thought they were adorable at least!