Library Display: Banned Books Week


This week is Banned Books Week (September 27th through October 3rd) and I am excited to share with you the banners that I created for the lobby of our library.

Although we are a smaller branch, and don’t always have challenged materials on hand to feature, I was asked to create a display to promote awareness. I knew right away I wanted to make a big impact in our beautiful windowed lobby for all to see. And what better way to represent Banned Books Week than with a book burning? Kidding, of course, but I did want to make a similar statement with this display.


We have a prominent balcony in the lobby for the elevator, and we regularly hang promotional materials and displays from its rails. I immediately thought about creating some sort of banner or banners to hang from the space. Some creative “book page” pinning landed me this inspiration picture from the blog Creative Sofa.

Photo courtesy of

Debbie Dusenberry’s blog and online shop Creative Sofa specializes in antiques, “comfortable furnishings, uncommon objects and offbeat gifts.” Her book page wall/divider was created for a design event.

I loved the look of these pages, but there was an immense amount of time put in to create it. In library land,
ain’t nobody got time for that.
I condensed the process a bit. I ended up double-sided taping a bunch…okay a ton (precise number unknown) of book pages together into three vertical banners. I also used the library’s Silhouette Cameo to cut stencils on 12”x12” paper to spell out “Banned Books Week.” I left the ends of the banners uneven to later tear and rip the bottom edge. I taped the stencils in place and rolled my banners into epic book scrolls and hauled them home to finish the process.
Book page banners

Welcome to the floor- a.k.a my work table.

Banned Books painting process
Once unravelled in my garage, I spray painted the stenciled letters with black spray paint.

Then came the fun part! I ripped the bottom edge of each banner to ultimately look disintegrated and burnt!

I masked off my garage floor and lightly sprayed Rust-o-leum Flat Brown along the ripped edges letting the pages show through. I then sprayed black on top of that, focusing on the bottom edge and letting some of the brown show through. This made the ends of the banners look freshly charred and burnt. I made sure to spray the back side in the same manner since the banners would be seen from both sides.

The banners were rather fragile, so to reinforce them for hanging, I used a strip of book tape (you could use packing tape as well) on the front and back top edge on each banner. I punched holes through the corners and hung them up with fishing line.

I’m super pleased with how the display turned out. Each banner ended up being 2.5’ wide and ranging from 8’ to 10’ in length. Suffice it to say, they certainly make an impact when patrons enter the space.

Hopefully our patrons are prompted to ask about Banned Books Week- and if they do, we provide them with a great INFOGRAPHIC FLYER from the AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. It features the most challenged titles of 2014, and facts and statistics about challenged books and other materials.

SignatureThanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my Banned Books Week Burned Banners! If you would like more display ideas follow my Library board on Pinterest. You’ll find plenty of ideas for parties, decorations, or a ton of ideas for using book pages in your own crafts and projects.

3 thoughts on “Library Display: Banned Books Week

  1. Melody says:

    LOVE how this looks. Adding to my list of ideas for Banned Books Week 2016! My library is much much smaller, but I definitely think I can make this work.

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