An Ode to Bulletin Boards

I love bulletin boards.

I hate bulletin boards.

I love combing Pinterest for clever ideas, I love creating the pieces- from book covers to flower to letters- by hand, I love the finished product.

I hate hanging bulletin board paper. I hate hanging bulletin board paper SO MUCH that I resist changing my bulletin board for weeks (*cough*months*cough*) at a time. I’ve been working at my library for close to three years; in that time, I’ve hung maybe six bulletin boards. Of those, I was proud of three and I’d like to contribute my ideas to the hive mind of storytime librarians.

The “Intentionally Designed to Leave Up for Months” Bulletin Board

The letters were cut from gardening magazines. I used Century Gothic in 500 pt font and cut them by hand because that somehow seems easier than asking the branch that stores the Ellison Die letters to send them to me.

The leaves (Ellison Die) and flowers (handmade stencils) are made from picture book covers, both ones I printed myself and some sent to me by our collections department just for crafting.

The “Wait, Is Pokemon Cool Again?” Bulletin Board

I went old school for this one and traced the characters using a projector. I painted them by hand (which is why Clefairy looks like she’s wearing pants… sorry, Clefairy). It was super relaxing, I would paint five more giant Pokemon right now and love it.

I made the border in Publisher by overlapping Pokeballs on a sheet of 11×17 paper and printing them out in sets of five. I just flipped them to change the orientation for the sides and top.

The letters are again Century Gothic in size 500 font (because I have really convinced myself it’s easier to cut them by hand than to send a single email to one person and ask for the Ellison Die letters. I’m hopeless). I used a Pokemon character computer wallpaper and traced the letters onto it.

The “I Always Regret Doing Thematic Bulletin Boards Because I Have to Change Them Sooner Than I Want To,” Women’s History Month Bulletin Board

This one was actually a ton of fun to make. I repurposed my giant Century Gothic stencils and pinned them to the paper, then sponge painted around them. Then I carefully covered everything, including myself, with paint smocks and threw every color of paint at it for a while.

Pro-tip: it will 100% get on the walls anyway. Acrylic paint wipes off with wet paper towel easily but ONLY if you clean it immediately. Got that part?

Mess aside, it looks really cool. Here’s a close-up to prove it:

I made a big ol’ list of women I like and who inspire me and the kinds of women I want the girls I meet in the library to aspire to be like. I sent it around to a few friends and co-workers because it was important to me to present a diverse view of what women can look like, what they can do, and who they can be.

Bulletin boards are a great way to express to the community what your library values, whether it’s the skills you’re trying to help kids attain, programs you provide, or the diversity of the community you serve, and I love seeing what I can create and what others can create.

But, man, do I hate putting up bulletin board paper.


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