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Create the best book displays in your school library

Create the best book displays in your school library

January 12th 2022

Create the best book displays in your school library

Creating eye-catching book displays for your school library is vital for engaging students, but it can be tricky to dream up ways to maintain their interest and excitement about reading in the longer term. Refreshing and updating your library space regularly helps keep pupils interested, so how can you make sure your book displays stay up to date?   

In this post, our curriculum specialists share their ideas on creating topical book displays in both primary and secondary schools, and there are some great tips from our library design team on the accessories we have available to help show off your books!


How to use themes and topics to create attractive book displays

Keep your pupils keen to grab a book and get reading with these suggestions for creating striking library displays around a theme or topic.

  • Author focus – showcase an author of the week or author of the month, including authors from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities.
  • New books this month – choose a selection of books that reflect the diversity and experiences of all your pupils.
  • Tie in with key themes on the school calendar – Black History Month, Pride Month, National Non-Fiction November, Diwali and teen romance books for Valentine’s Day are all good examples but there are many more.
  • Books made into films – from Harry Potter to His Dark Materials, there are so many incredible stories that have been adapted for the big screen.
  • Book award shortlists and winners – for primary and younger secondary school pupils, take a look at the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s longest-running children’s book awards, for inspiration. Older teenagers and sixth formers may be interested in the Booker Prize, Women’s Prize For Fiction or Costa Book Awards, for example.
  • Curriculum themed displays – to tie in with topics that classes are studying.
  • Peer recommendation displays – featuring book reviews by pupils at primary or secondary.
  • Involve pupil librarians – you may like to make these children responsible for the displays, including creating posters and other materials.


Introduce front-facing displays

It’s important to have displays of front-facing books to capture children’s attention at a glance when they walk past. Use these displays to promote both fiction and non-fiction to appeal to a broad range of pupils and to help attract readers who are less keen on fiction.

Showcasing non-fiction helps to engage reluctant readers, celebrate diversity, boost wellbeing and mental health and get boys reading. It also improves vocabulary and teaches children the importance of reading for information which is a vital skill as they progress through education as well as in later life. Read more about the benefits of non-fiction.  

Surrey Libraries found that displaying their books front-on increased their issues of non-fiction books by 16% in one year. Learn more in our blog post.

Our Apto bookshelves have been designed specifically for front-facing displays and are available at a range of heights for different age groups in both single-sided and double-sided options.


Add mixed displays

In a secondary school library, the Focus unit offers an elegant and durable way to create a mixed display that showcases books by spine or sideways on. Available in a range of colours and finishes, this unit works perfectly as a stand-alone feature or at the end of a row of shelving. It’s great for bringing attention to your newest books or a selection of titles on a specific theme or topic. It includes a built-in header panel and adjustable shelves for maximum display impact and holds around 80 books.


For primary schools, our display unit is ideal for showcasing new books or titles around a particular theme or topic. Our display unit is solid and hard-wearing for durability and includes three shelves, two of which are adjustable, and a blank header panel. Side panels are available in a range of colours and finishes so you can customise them to match your library. Each shelf holds around 22 paperbacks so there’s plenty of space to get creative.


Use book stands

Our acrylic book stands allow you to feature even more titles. A transparent single-tier book stand is ideal for displaying new and interesting titles face out and the two-tier book stand can be used to display the latest picture book titles face out. Both options can be used on any number of surfaces including shelves, tables, end-bay displayers and display units. Also available acrylic bookends to stop your books from slipping and keep your shelves tidy.


Choose your book displays

If you’d like our experts to help you put together attractive book displays for your school library, contact our library design team at


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