This fall I started to discuss how I wanted to do something to expand our RA options. I do bookmarks and half-sheet flyers, but I keep them small and at max only have 12 titles on them. This is great for keeping titles fresh, but I wanted to give the teens something they could look at in-library that would have even more titles. I was considering an RA binder, but then my one supervisor came back from a conference talking about binder ring booklets. The more she talked about them and how she planned to use them for preschoolers, I knew this was the perfect direction for me as well.
My predecessor had done the binder ring booklets, but I didn’t want to do it quite the same. She only included hot titles or ones that teens were talking about. I wanted to make it more of a genre thing. One genre per ring. My goal with the start is to keep the titles no older than a year, however, as I add more on I will allow it to cover a larger timeframe than that. I will take off titles as it gets too big though or when I’m weeding.
So, how do I make them?
Step #1: Title selection. This one is up to you. I get order cards (basically index cards of every book I order with title/author/etc on each card) from my technical services department. I look each title up in goodreads and decide from there; I discard any title that has a rating lower than 3 -3.5 stars. On my work computer/drive, I keep a main folder called booklists and then have genre folders broken down inside. I save the cover as I look up each book. I know most people probably don’t have the luxury of order cards, in which case, I recommend goodreads genres or whatever other way you normally create your booklists.
Step #2: Creation. I use Canva. This is where grids and frames become your friend. I set the dimensions to 11 x 8.5in and then pull over a 4 division grid. Then I create a box to be the “white area” and then added in a rectangle frame for where the cover will go. (hint: you can C&P one grid to the next to make things easier) On the first page, I do leave one spot for the “title card” I try to make this a basic cover that stands out and makes the starting part easily visible. For the background images, I use vectorstock, however, any image site you prefer would be fine. I alternate pages – 1 books, 1 images–so that the cards can be double sided.
Step #3: Printing. I print them out on cardstock and then laminate them. You could skip the lamination part, but I love how it makes them more sturdy. Then, of course, I cut, hole punch, and then clip them together.
Step #4: Display. Right now I’m displaying them on 3-m hooks. At one location I have them on a shelf end and at the other on the actual shelves. I am trying to keep them in line of sight as they do have the high risk of walking off. In fact, I have lost 2 already at my main location. If they continue to walk off, I will move them behind the desk and have it more for staff use with patrons. However, I am hoping it doesn’t have to come to that!
These little booklets really are my favorite RA creation at the moment. They are eye-catching and a great way for teens to find books they’re interested in. If anyone needs help creating them or any other information, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m happy to help in anyway I can! You can also view all of my booklets over on my Canva profile.