How to Make a Readers’ Advisory Graphic

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A few commenters have asked how I make the RA graphics featured on this blog,  so I’m going to break it down in this post. It’s really not that hard, though it can be time-consuming. I have faith that y’all can do it!

Step 1: Pick a theme – The possibilities are limitless. You can make a genre graphic, readalike graphic, book suggestions based on other media people enjoy, etc… There are plenty of great examples out there. I think that Molly over at Wrapped Up in Books makes some wonderful graphics. Pinterest is also an excellent place to find examples. If you draw inspiration from someone else’s creation (especially if you are reworking something they’ve already done), credit them.

Step 2: Find your titles – Once you’ve picked your theme, you need to decide what titles you will feature on your graphic. You can pull from your own knowledge or use outside sources. NoveList is a great resource for finding readalikes and most libraries have a subscription to it. I will sometimes use lists from sources like Buzzfeed or Flavorwire. If you do that, make sure to credit them in your post.

Step 3: Put it all together – This is the really time-consuming part. I use Publisher because it’s easy to import and arrange images and I have access to all of my own fonts. All of the jacket images I use come from our catalog. I sometimes incorporate Microsoft’s free stock photos and Creative Commons images from Flickr. Again, make sure to credit appropriately if you use a CC image from Flickr. For fonts, I use Fontspace or dafont to find relevant fonts for my graphics. Many of their fonts are free for personal use and some are free for commercial use. Check the license before using any font. Once I have everything set up how I want it look, I group it together and then save it as an image. Occasionally I will upload it to a free, online photo editor to add extra flourishes. My favorites are: PicMonkey, iPiccy, fotor, & befunky. After adding finishing touches, I share the graphic with the world on various social media sites and this blog.

So there you have it – three steps to making an RA graphic! Go forth and create!

Book Recommendations for your Vacation Destination

summer reading

Another graphic I created for our library Tumblr page.

Image credits:

Pofu Camp – Northern Circuit” by Gopal Vijayaraghavan on Flickr.

Desert Road” by William Warby on Flickr.

Paris.2012” by Emax-photo on Flickr.

Font Credit:

Confetti Stream” by Jonathan S. Harris on FontSpace.

Spark a Reaction – 2014 Teen Summer Reading Program

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It’s hard to believe that Summer Reading is almost here (or already here for some of you). Teen programs are on hiatus for the month of June at my library because bridesmaid duties are taking over my life, but our Summer Reading Program will start up July 1st. This year I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of using BINGO cards and doing random drawings each week, I’ve created a book log. Teens will keep track of all the titles they read in July (including fan fiction), whoever reads the most books wins the grand prize. If they read five books, they will earn a prize and an invitation to the after-hours awards party.

I’ve also got lots of activities planned: two LEGO robotics classes, crafts, weekly movies, and a video-making club. My book club teens have been begging to make a movie, so I’m making their dreams come true. I have some video-editing experience, but we all be learning together (which is fun).

Here are some of the handouts I’ve created for SRP packets this year:

Calendar of Events

Reading Log

Recommended Reading List

I would love to hear what other librarians have planned for this summer. Tell me in the comments!

Awesome Readers’ Club – Uglies

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This month, ARC is reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This is my second go at Uglies, I didn’t finish it the first time around. I don’t remember why. In addition to discussion, I have a couple other activities planned: the Opening Lines Matching Game and it’s time for us to select more books to read (yay!). For book selections, I generally let everyone write down suggestions to put in a basket and then we pull titles at random. We then look up a description of the titles pulled and vote on whether or not the club wants to read it. We will choose about 6 books at a time. I also put a few titles into the basket (which is how we ended up reading The Name of the Star last year). The teens enjoy this method because everyone gets to be involved in selection and they feel like their voices get heard.

On to the discussion questions. This month I’ll be using questions that Mr. Westerfeld himself wrote (found on his blog).

*WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

1. Have you ever had a friend like Peris, who abandoned your friendship after they moved away?

2. At first, did you hope Tally would get the operation? When did you change your mind? (Or did you?)

3. Have you ever found yourself trusting someone more or paying more attention to what they said not because they deserved it, but just because of their looks?

4. In what ways did Tally’s trip through the wild prepare her for what she learned in the Smoke?

5. Would you give up your ability to think independently in exchange for being happy, beautiful, perpetually healthy, and rich?

6. How did David see Tally differently than she saw herself?

7. If Shay could have gone back in time and never have met Tally, do you think she would?

8. Other than the pretty operation, what are the main differences between the pretty society and our own? (Are there any ways in which the pretty society is healthier than ours?)

9. To what extent did Tally decide her own fate, and how much did other people decide it for her?

10. The Rusty civilization collapsed because of its dependence on oil. In what ways is your lifestyle dependent on oil and gasoline? How easily would you survive if it all disappeared one day?

9 Books To Try If You Loved Divergent

9 BOOKS TO TRY IF YOU LOVED DIVERGENT

Just put this one up today on all of our social media sites. We have 139 holds on our ebook copy of Divergent. There is no way we can purchase enough copies to get through the list quickly, so I created this graphic to present some other options in our collection.

Paperback Wallet Craft

Paperback Wallet CraftMy regular teens seem to really enjoy destroying old books when we do crafts. My most popular crafternoon to date was a hollowed book. I guess it seems taboo to them, being in the library and all. Since they love cutting up books so much, I’ve been trying to think of a new upcycle craft for them. Before I took over teen programs, I made a paperback wallet for a friend for their birthday and he loved it. It seems like the perfect project for our teens. I tweaked the process a little to incorporate another teen favorite (duct tape) and to simplify it.

Supply Costs:

Paperbacks – $0, I plan to use recently weeded items.

Duct tape – $0, still have lots on hand from another crafternoon.

Contact paper – $0, the PR Manager had some lying around (way to go, Julie!)

Adhesive Velcro – $0, more leftovers.

Scissors – $0, a library programmer’s pantry necessity.

Pens – $0, we’re going use some from the stockpile of promotional pens.

Total Supply Costs: $0!!!! My favorite kind of craft is the craft that uses up all my leftover supplies (the director loves that, too). If I had to guestimate the cost of supplies if you don’t have leftovers, I would say $20-30 for approximately 10 teens. Just depends on where you shop and the brands you purchase (tip: always go off-brand).

Total Craft Time: 30-45 minutes.

Here are the Paperback Wallet instructions.