Homepage / Libraries / Work Examples

Spring Display, Northrop Elementary

This Monday, I had the day off of work at St. Kate’s

for post-Easter holiday (oh, Catholic school).

I had considered going to the zoo, but decided instead to accompany my lovely friend and co-worker Sonja to her regular volunteer gig at Northrop Elementary.

What’d I do?

I got to meet Sam Woolever, the school’s media specialist who shares my love of biking. However, the majority of my short trip to the school was spent unsupervised with Sonja, taking a bare bulletin board (aside from one sheet) and trying to quickly transform it into something “Springy” for display.

I came in with no plans other than the idea of Spring. I didn’t know what would be available for us to use and wanted to play it by ear (it was my day off, remember).

When I work on displays at St. Kate’s, I usually think them through for a few days before I set out to execute them. I also do some internet research for visual ideas on what I’d like to do. In an unfamiliar (but totally amazing) space (the school was beautiful and made me start to regret not training to be a teacher or media specialist as soon as I walked in), I grabbed some picture books off the shelves for inspiration.

The other biggest difference?

Access to a die-cutter.

We don’t have one on the St. Kate’s Minneapolis campus (yes, all the lettering on my other displays are painstakingly cut by hand after finding friendly fonts to print), and I’ve only used the one there once previously to help create a poster for the Women’s Prison Book Project Drive for the Progressive Librarian’s Guild.

Aside: As I write this post, it appears no one has maintained the PLG blog since I left as Communications Chair, but if you’re looking for information on what work PLG is doing, contact the SCU Chapter of ALA – they have lately been doing much collaboratively.

I’m not actually die-cut crazy. It may appear so as you view these pictures. I was working with what was on hand and wanted to give a try to see what I could do with a die cutter as a major tool. (At a lovely session at the 2013 MLA, the ingenious yet obvious – how did I not know? – idea of making flannel-board pieces using die-cuts was introduced.) Really. I’m not die-cut crazy. Just die-cut-curious. :)


helped put everything together and gave suggestions, including the phrasing (I knew I wanted to use “Spring” and “Nature” but she suggested into so we’d have a whole sentence!) and extra ducks! I didn’t know that Northrop Elementary’s mascot was the wood duck, but having heard that, we got the die-cutter cutting more ducks!

She also kept me in the right season. I have lots of ideas for what I like to do for “Spring” storytimes, but apparently my artistic sentiments lean towards autumnal colors. There could have been a whole lot more orange and red in this scene without her sound input. (There would have been more brown, but it appeared that the school needed to replenish this color in the large-paper-roll-department.)

After leaving school, we took a walk towards very greasy food. It was her idea. I didn’t argue.

Spring Into Nature Display Spring Into Nature Display


Details (from the display)

  • One of the ducks is fishing for food!
  • There is a caterpillar in the tree.
  • There is a frog on a rock.
  • The birch trees have oak leaves. They were the only leaves available for the die-cut. We thought it could be, at worst/best, a teachable moment. “What’s wrong with this picture?” This could lead to tree leaf exploration and detective work! I would have loved that as a child. As an adult, I’m starting to learn when I go on camping trips.
  • Between the two of us, we are not great at freehand-sun making.
  • I was trying to use the little die-cut trees in comparison to the birches as a demonstration of perspective in art. Really. Too much? Does it work?





Continue the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s