Creating Book Displays

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, the Scholar’s Commons has a new exhibit set up in the West Tower.  I was able to help select materials for this exhibit, and there are a few things I learned:

  • Locating visually interesting materials can be challenging.

To create a compelling display, I wanted to locate books of varying sizes, colors, and subjects; however, the IU Libraries typically remove the dust jacket for books in the Stacks.  With the dust jacket removed, so many books have the same black cover.  In collaboration with my co-workers, we tried to weed out having too many books with the same exact cover.  We tried to keep those content-crucial books, but we filled out some of the rest of the collection with paperbacks.

  • Locating diverse materials can also be challenging.

Particularly with a subject that is so dominated by White, middle-to-upper-class men, it became challenging to bring diverse voices into the collection.  Our team tried to locate materials about forgotten voices in the Apollo project (similar to the film Hidden Figures), but we also tried to expand beyond just historical data and explore the general topic of the moon and space.  In doing so, we were able to locate some folklore collections around the moon, some international art pieces, and a couple novels that expanded the collection.

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