Update: Using ‘Unshelved’ in Your Library
It’s a new year – why not try a new reading promotion idea?
Or, like me, you can lazily take an old idea and “update it” for 2011 (I believe I’m supposed to mention something about the insanity of “re-inventing the wheel” here).
Back in the glory days of 2009, I wrote about how I used the superbly library-centric webcomic Unshelved to promote books in my school libraries, with impressive results. Each week they create an Unshelved Book Club strip, which is a booktalk in cartoon form. For example:
Well, lovers of lamination aroma rejoice! A year or so has passed and there’s an entirely new batch of Book Club strips for protecting under plastic. I’m beginning to think they are writing them specifically for me, as a ton of my favorites have shown up. Here’s a list of all the strips that generally work for my 5-6th grade school (if you’re looking for something different, click here to see every book they’ve featured):
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo
Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm & Matt Holm
Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Mischief Makers Manual by Sir John Hargrave
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The following strips were featured in my last Unshelved post:
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Using them is simple and it really works:
Step 1: Print ’em
Step 2: Laminate ’em
Step 3: Fan them out in a satisfying manner
Step 4: Stick ’em next to a stack of the books (I usually order extra paperback copies in advance)
Step 5: Finished product
I’m very interested to see if the increase in interest I call the “Unshelved bump” works on older books as well, so I’m including From the Mixed Up Files and Bill Peet: An Autobiography among the highlighted titles.
A wholeheartedly approved method of book promotion.
Filed under: Articles
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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