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Branding your library with Local History: Physical Displays

Enhance your library's image by uncovering your community's past! From book displays to online exhibits; learn how to introduce patrons to your local history treasures.

Book Displays

Wallkill Public Library's "Hudson Valley Haunts" book display, October 2013

  • Book displays are basic, but effective ways of generating local history interest in your library
  • They can use books from your collection or materials from other departments or libraries
  • If you lack room to do a book display; add relevent books focused on local topics to existing displays
  • Wallkill's "Hudson Valley Haunts" display enhanced the library's Halloween programming and within a week all books had been checked out. 

Special Exhibits

Borden Day display, Wallkill Public Library, September, 2013.
Items on loan from private owner.
  • Unlike book displays, require planning months in advance.
  • Uses artifacts and materials that revolve around a central theme.
  • Exhibit cards explain the significance of artifacts to the individual(s) or historic event you’re highlighting.
  • Exhibit area must be secure to prevent theft or damage to materials.
  • To commemorate the annual Borden Day festivities in Wallkill, the president of the Wallkill Library Friends; a collector of Borden memorabilia, loaned her collection to the library to put on display. 

Informal Displays

One of Wallkill's "Fact Finding Phantoms", October 2013

  • Use factoids or trivia to engage patrons
  • Allows users to interact with each other or with staff while browsing shelves, using PACs or waiting on line at circulation
  • Can be used to advertise  community events or local organizations
  • Wallkill's "Fact Finding Phantoms" program consisted of 13 cut-out paper ghosts which featured a paragraph-long factoid about a local ghost story, UFO sighting or Halloween event. The program was featured in the library's newsletter and generated discussion among patrons; one even confessed to seeing a UFO!