Creative Crafting – A Librarian’s Guide

I don’t know if I’m creative or simply crafty. Although “crafty” wouldn’t be the right word, would it? Let’s just say the negative connotation doesn’t really work for library displays. I wouldn’t say I’m “cunning” about it, ya’ll.

I’m a librarian, but I’m also in charge of updating our book display each month.  I’m constantly checking into any special holidays that month has to incorporate or if that month is designated for something significant.

My next step? Stalking Pinterest.

Halloween was fairly easy. Horror books galore (many Stephen King), and the decorations? Where do I begin?

How about here? I made a hairy spider out of my old shoe box, black construction paper, googly eyes and 1″ pipe cleaners. Ghosts were made from upside down plastic cups that I drew two eyes and a screaming mouth. Then I put a tissue in the cup, punched a hole in the top of the cup, and attached the tissue to a paperclip so it could hang on a string and surround our circulation desk. Then it was pumpkins on paper plates where I glued random bits of orange construction paper to make it more visually interesting.

And then there’s this guy:


The other librarians loved them, commenting on how creative I was. It got me thinking. If I saw it on Pinterest and replicated it, wouldn’t that just make me a good crafter? Crafting individual? Someone who realizes a good idea, tweaks it a bit, and reintroduces the idea to the public? Sure, the ghosts were my own design on a budget. The spider was my own creation, technically speaking. But did that make me creative?

Being the librarian I am, I looked up the definition:

relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

In essence, anything that comes from your imagination. So, I guess that relates in some aspects. I mean, even if I tweak another idea, how I put together my display as well as what mediums I use, what books I select, how I adapt it to my library, will invariably differ from how someone else takes the same idea.

How about this example?

My February book display. I did “Blind Date with a Book,” a common enough theme on Pinterest for library displays in the month. It wasn’t my original idea, but how I put it together came from my imagination. I saw bits and pieces of the design on various Pinterest boards and combined them to make ours.

I saw someone had wrapped their books with a cover, so I decided to incorporate that with the white wrapper – giving the first line of the book as well as a couple bullet points for the patrons. Another board had cut outs of hearts with messages so I created my own, placing them sporadically around my display. The sign I simply did because I thought it would look better than having nothing else on top.

Again, I replicated and miss-mashed ideas to create my own display.

Creative, perhaps.

But it definitely required more crafting. Especially the wrapping since not everyone enjoys it. (Just ask my husband. It took him an hour to wrap four presents this past year at Christmas.  I listened to him curse the entire time  before he shouted  “forget it” and just stuck a big bow on it.)

So, next step? The definition of crafting:

the activity or hobby of making decorative articles by hand

That, I believe, describes my attempts at library book displays. I’m making things by hand. It isn’t like I print out what I see and follow it straight to to the key or that I can order a handcrafted spider just for me (although, perhaps you can with all that’s yet to be discovered on the internet.

Crafting would explain what I did for my Christmas display. I saw some Pinterest boards where librarians made large drawings of snow or Christmas-related creatures for the end caps.  So, when I was making mine, I ended up doing the Grinch (because, fun!), Santa Clause (with a cotton ball beard), as well as my own version of the snowman. Aren’t they cute? (I’m not proficient at drawing, so let’s not get too critical.)


If you’re wondering what this blog post is about, I’m hoping for this. That maybe you’ll also check out all the interesting crafts one can make or do on Pinterest. Give them a try and post it online. Give opportunities to people like me who need ideas! To brainstorm. To think outside the box.

Because I’m both, I think. Creative and craft-oriented. (I know it’s not crafty, even though many times throughout this post, I’ve had to delete “crafty” dozens of times. I looked it up  earlier as well and somehow don’t think I didn’t my crafts with cunning).  But I’ve decided it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I think they can be intertwined. Interconnected?

Either way, I have more plans. March is National Women’s History Month and April is Poetry Month. So visit your library. Post a picture of one of their displays. Read. Get involved.

And get back with this librarian (she could always use more ideas).





Leave a Reply

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