[In which we finally get to put the population on notice that, once again, there are new books to be had in the Lending Library….]

Last night, we created a “Just Arrived!” and “New Library Books” display in the (6) display cabinets in the lobby of the Norfolk School Building. We’re advertising the books that were purchased at NE Mobile Book Fair a few weeks ago.

From a random sampling of about 70 books, we photocopied their covers onto brightly-colored paper, and then taped these pages onto the Plexiglas panes of each display cabinet. I wanted each cabinet to have a display theme (Sports, Self-Help, Recovery, Humor, Fiction), but I failed to communicate this in time to my clerk, and by the time I got out in the hallway, the display cabinets were an explosion of pretty oranges and yellows and greens and reds and blues and all like that. That’s a lot of tape and a lot of effort, so I had to leave it.

It’s difficult getting photos taken of these cases. Camera ownership is necessarily limited inside. Camera use is limited to security staff only, which means the Library is not permitted to have one. When you want photos of your new display cabinets, you’re at the mercy and mood of whoever is available at the time. I do not have photos of the current display, but here are photos of a previous one:

While the new display was going up, I noticed an inmate in the hallway checking out the new book postings. He’d just returned from the bathroom at the end of the hall, was on his way to the School upstairs, and just stopped a minute to take a look. I went over to him. He pointed at one of the self-help books and said, “I’d like to get that.” I told him it was available in the Self-Help section, and he said he’d check it out when his class was over.

As he walked away, I glanced over to the Library clerk who was finishing up the displays, who glanced over at me with a smile.


Every so often, someone notices what the Library does for them.

‘Gratifying’ I believe is the word here….


  1. Many moons ago I worked in retail and whenever we wanted to get rid of something quickly, we’d put it on the top of a “rounder” (the round clothing rack). It usually wasn’t anything special, but the point was that we included a whole outfit in a way that was visible from another part of the store. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes it’s best just to plant the visual idea in someone’s head. In this case, you planted that seed in the lobby, which I assume isn’t immediately near your library space. It made people think about what you have in your collection that might be of interest to them. Perhaps weeding through stacks and stacks of books doesn’t appeal to them, but you were able to reach them in a different way, even if it was only one person (that you know of).

Comments are closed.