The theme for this year’s Book Week is Australia: Story Country. My talented aide, Peta, spent the holidays setting up various displays in the library around the theme. The main display is a campfire setting in the middle of the library to bring in the idea of storytelling around the fire. We brought in logs and stones and branches from home and dressed mannequins in borrowed clothes. A rainbow serpent made from electrical tape and cellophane adorns the doors in to the library before a display of Dreamtime stories. On the back wall we have copies of book covers and arrows pointing to a map of Australia, showing where each book is set.
Apart from the lighthouse my aide created (see post below), we’ve also made a number of other light-themed displays that I wanted to share with you.
When we were brainstorming famous lights in literature, we thought of the lamp post in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My aide built a lamp post out of cardboard and wooden dowel, then we covered some bean bags with fluffy cotton wadding to represent snow. The armchairs which we had to move to make way for the lighthouse were placed near the lamp post to create a comfortable corner for reading. Pictures from the Narnia movies were placed on the back wall and we show clips from the movie on the TV screen in the wall.
On the back wall of the library, we took down the existing posters and created a large rainbow using rolls of crepe paper, then used covers we’d saved from hardback books and fishing line to create book “birds”. We also used the fishing line to hang “light bulb moments” from the ceiling in our senior section. The light bulb moments consist of a laminated cardboard light bulb suspended from the ceiling. Hanging from each is a statement about a discovery, invention or idea eg “Malala Yousafzai fights for the rights of girls to an education”, then a colour copy of a book cover from one of our books on that topic. We tried to get a balance of light bulb moments across genders, cultures and past and present. They’ve generated some good discussions with the kids.
When we were brainstorming ideas for this week’s Book Week theme, Books Light up our World, we came up with the idea of having a large lighthouse as a central display. I left it to my library aide, Peta, who’s the creative one, to come up with how to actually create it. She explains below how it was built.
When Ms Keen told us the theme for Book Week was ‘Books Light Up Our World’, we came up with the idea to build a lighthouse. A light house, oh my goodness, how was I to do this?
I knew that it had to be strong enough so it wouldn’t fall over on top of anybody, so had to make the inside structure as strong as I could.
A few months before I had to build it, I had some furniture delivered and thought it would be a good idea to keep all the packaging in case we needed it here in the library to build something, hmmmm such as a lighthouse. It turned out to be exactly what we needed. I had lots of foam panels and solid foam shapes plus all the cardboard packaging.
I started by shaping the solid foam shapes into one solid piece and connected them with strong filament tape that we have in the library. Once I had it how I wanted it and the position that I wanted I began to make the first half of the lighthouse. I turned two large pieces of my cardboard boxes into a hexagon, taped the sides together and then cut the bottom of each side with flat panels, so that the bottom of the cardboard shape laid flat on the foam box. I taped these panels to the foam with filament tape so that the first half of the lighthouse was now secure on the foam base. I left an opening in the top of the lower half of the lighthouse large enough so that I would be able to put a light on a stand in it and thread the power lead through a hole I had cut out on the bottom corner of the hexagon – lighthouses have to have a light.
I then had to cut the foam panels to fit the hexagon shape of the lower half. I measured them all, cut them to size, glued the panels to the cardboard shape and then reinforced each corner with filament tape. I cut foam shapes to make a platform for the top of the lower half to stand the top of the next half of the lighthouse on to.
I then placed a tall lamp inside the lower half of the lighthouse and threaded the power lead to the outside as, once the top half was in place, I would not be able to put the light inside.
After making sure the platform was secure, the light in place, I then made the top half of the lighthouse, out of cardboard only, and in the exact same way as I did the bottom. Once I had the six sides measured, I laid the shape on the floor and cut out the windows, covered them in yellow cellophane and then painted the inside of the top half before securing it in place.
I painted the base black, the lighthouse white and then measured for the red panels which I then painted the next day.
I made the railing out of kebab skewers, stood them in foam and painted them black then placed them around the middle platform of the lighthouse and strung twine for the railing.
To top it off Shannon came up the great idea of putting an umbrella on the top to finish it completely (team work happening).
Working with foam you can imagine I made an absolute mess everywhere from the library office to the junior computer area and beyond and of course the principal, Dr Dolling, showed families through with me crawling around on the floor in a sea of paint, foam and cardboard.