Friday, May 1, 2015

RA Tips from Staff: Create Displays Using Monthly Themes

Displays are a great way to promote the collection, especially the back list. 

Do you create displays for your library? Always on the look-out for new ideas or themes to use with a display? An easy way to find ideas for display themes is to check for holidays or events being celebrated each month.

Try picking a theme tied to the current month and create a display. Pull some older titles from your shelves along with a few new titles and be sure to include multiple formats (Audiobooks, Music, DVDs/Blu-rays, even highlight titles available in eMedia) and reading levels (Adult, YA/Teen, Children's) so there is something for everyone.

There are plenty of themes to work with in May. Saturday, May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day and staff may be hearing the catch phrase "May the 4th be with you!" from eager movie fans on Monday, May 4th: Star Wars Day.

You probably know about Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) but did you know that at Booklist Online 'May is Mystery Month'? Why not create a display with all kinds of mysteries?

Were you aware that May 7th will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Lusitania? You could include titles on ships, naval disasters or expand it with a World War I theme. 

Did you know that International Nurses Day is May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale? May 10th is of course, Mother's Day but did you know that May 15th is the International Day of Families

The month of May is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, National Military Appreciation Month as well as the month in which Memorial Day is celebrated, on May 25th in 2015. 

Any of these would be a great theme to use for a display and there are plenty of others you could tap into throughout the year! 

Does your library own a copy of Chase's Calendar of Events but you don't always have access to it? Could you use some online tools which may help by providing similar types of information? Here are a few I've found which may be useful:

Consider famous daily, a website that tells you "what makes today special." You can enter a month and day to see what makes that specific date special or you could subscribe and have an email delivered to you each morning with birthdays, historical events, holidays, and a famous quote for the day.

Or you could check out,founded in 2000 which has over 200,000 entries with extensive 'Today in History' archives. The Search box allows users to hunt by person, event, place, or date. The site provides searching by Famous Birthdays, Weddings, Famous Deaths, Famous People, as well as by date, day, country, or year.

Another site is's This Day in History which reflects the current date although a calendar can be accessed for the present month as well as past and future months. The site provides links to videos related to the topics specific to the date and also provides an RRS link as means to subscribe via email for a daily post.

Or take a look at National Awareness Days, a British website created as a directory of awareness days. The site is arranged by month and includes International, American, British and European awareness days. You can subscribe and receive monthly AWARENESS DAYS ALERT emails or follow their blog to be notified about specific upcoming events. 

What date related tools or websites do you use to find ideas for creating displays? Share them through the Comments link.


  1. Another great source for monthly display ideas is your library's own Calendar of Events. What programs are coming up which you could promote in your library with a display?

  2. Holiday observances include food. USDA features food at this website:

    May is BBQ Month, along with Salad Month, Salsa Month, and Osteoporosis Prevention Month.

    This site also features Brown-Bag-It Day (May 25), and Women's Health Week (second week of May, varies).

    1. Love the Holiday Observances website from the USDA! Lots of good food topics to tap into for monthly displays. Thanks for sharing this!


Thanks for posting to Tales from the RAT Queen!