Ideas for Library Display Cases

By Elizabeth Stover
Eye-catching library displays

Library display cases brighten up library décor and create a fun atmosphere for reading. They grab the attention of library visitors and provide ideas about interesting books and subject matter. Coming up with unusual ideas for display cases can become difficult over time. However, making the effort to change out your cases regularly keeps the library fresh and people coming back. These ideas provide several ways to create interesting display cases year round.

Fun Themes

Choose a reading-related theme such as "Fly Away with Books" for the display case, with an airplane or bird theme. The theme should make reading sound fun and exciting. Use a list like that created by the Texas Reading Club at the Texas State Library for ideas.

For the theme "Read Around the World" for example, cover the surfaces and background of the display case with fabric or paper in map or globe related designs. Arrange small globes, dolls in different cultural outfits and artifacts from other countries in the display case. Pull fiction and non-fiction books from the shelves about different places around the world to display in the case with the other objects.

Local or Student Authors

Feature local or student authors in your display case. Check with local teachers, newspapers or small town magazines to find authors living in your town. Several resources online offer lists of published authors, categorized by state, that visit public or school libraries. Contact an author to arrange for a library visit. While in contact, ask for a signed publicity photo to place in the display case. Cover the background of your display case in sparkling star cutouts, fabric or decorative paper. Place copies of the author's books, biographical information about the author and any book-related artifacts in the case. Be sure to display the date and time for the visit prominently.

Creature Case

Create an arrangement of books, models and live creatures for an engaging display case. Contact local pet shops that deal with exotic animals such as lizards, snakes and bugs. Ask to borrow one or more in a small cage that fits in your display case. Be sure to ask for any special food, lighting or heating directions.

Arrange a background of natural items such as vines, straw or leaves on which to display your borrowed creature. Pull books that deal with your creature, its habitat and any related creatures. Look for a fictional book that features your creature to add to the display. Photos and models of similar creatures also add interest to the arrangement if available.

Special Days

Use traditional seasonal ideas such as Mother's Day, Harvest or Christmas for your display case theme and change it monthly. Place background paper or fabric such as ties for Father's Day in the display case followed by artifacts that go along with the subject. For Father's Day that might include fishing and hunting gear, pictures of famous fathers with children throughout history and a large remote control for humor. Finally, pull fiction and non-fiction books on the subject of fathers.

Create a birthday display case. Use a reference such as to find historically and culturally significant birthdays for the month, week or day. Fill the case with wrapping paper background, confetti, balloons, gift-wrapped boxes and ribbons. Create or purchase a large birthday card on which you write the names of the honorees and place prominently in the case. Place biographical books and articles about them to complete the birthday celebration case.

About the Author

Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."