ALA Midwinter Poster Science (and Art!)

by Ellen Myrick

You are walking down the exhibit aisles at ALA this weekend and your eye is caught by a colorful image. You find yourself with the age-old question asked by eye-candy loving librarians at some point in their conference career. Do I pick up that poster? And, even more important, do I get it home without crushing it beyond reclamation? Here’s a handy guide to help you prepare for that moment(s):

Evaluating Whether It’s Worth It?
  1. Is the image arresting? Is it attractive? Is it worthy of your wall? Do you have a place or person immediately in mind when you see it?
  2. Is it just marketing or does it have some redeeming value that extends beyond one season? For example, if there is text, is it text that supports your mission or is it just a book title?
  3. Could you use it as a reward for staff or summer reading?
  4. Would you laminate it? Frame it?
  5. If it’s promoting a book, is it a book your library would logically carry?
Can I Get It from Here to There?

Now that you’ve decided to keep it, you have to be able to get it home. Here are my time-tested techniques on poster preservation:

  1. Combine all of your posters into one roll with the largest on the bottom.
  2. Line up the top edges.
  3. Roll as tightly as possible.
  4. If your roll is especially long, use two rubber bands.
  5. Do not take posters wider than your suitcase is long unless you get a tube (always the best approach).
Time to Practice

I’m glad I was able to help. Now that is settled, here are some posters to help you practice your evaluation techniques. If you would like any of these, be sure to visit Publisher Spotlight at ALA Midwinter, Booth #4621.

Gecko poster tiny

image  image

P.S. We have rubber bands.

About fgoldsmith

Librarian, consultant, writer, reader, regularly on the move

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