One of the “fiercely creative projects” that I committed to yesterday in my final post for the Read Along of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was:

  • Learn in Public about how to make a table display about my book group for a conference on February 27
Learn In Public Workbook by Doug Neill

The process we’ll explore in the soon-to-be-released Learn in Public Workbook

I’m anxiously awaiting the publication on February 5 of the Learn in Public workbook by Doug Neill (available now at a half-off pre-order price!). In the meantime, I need to get this thing rolling.

I’ve done a couple of poster sessions at library conferences in the past, with a poster on an easel. I’ve also occasionally set up a table for my book group, but I just threw some books on the table — this event calls for better than that! Have you put together a table display before? What advice can you give me?

Here are the details:

Educating for Change conference flyer

Educating for Change conference, February 27, Maplewood-Richmond Heights Elementary School

I’ve been asked to provide a table display about my book group at the Educating for Change Conference at the end of this month.  If you live in the St. Louis area and are interested in education and social justice, this looks like it will be a wonderful day.

My book group’s formal title is the Community for Understanding and Hope Book Group, but I often call it the Diversity Book Club on my blog. We have been meeting since the summer of 2008 to discuss books about race in America. Here’s our most recent book list and here’s the most detailed description I’ve written about the history of our group.

My goal on February 27 is to encourage new participants to join our book group among the educators, parents, and citizens who will be attending the conference.

The conference will provide a table that is approximately 2.5 x 4 feet. What shall I put on it?

Tri-fold Display. Those folding display boards like kids use in Science Fairs are what was shown on the example tables that the conference sent me.

  • Is there an alternative? I’m willing to commit to a tri-fold display, but I don’t want to miss out on other possibilities.
  • Foam or cardboard? The cardboard tri-fold display is considerably cheaper. I do hope to re-use this, but it will likely only be a couple of times a year. And, it will get dated since we keep reading new books.
  • Size? According to, they come in 28″ x 40″ or 36″ x 48″. I think the small one is plenty big and the large one might be overwhelming — what do you think?
  • What goes on it? For posters, I’ve made a giant “slide” in Power Point that I had printed at Kinkos. Is that the same sort of procedure one uses for these things? Or, are there better ways to decorate the display board?
  • What content goes on it? What would you want to know about our book group? What would make you want to take the list of current books and consider joining us?

Decorations. I know I’ve come to events with my stack of books and, after witnessing other tables, wished that I’d brought a table cloth. I suppose I should also think about a color scheme so the display board and the table cloth and anything else goes together. Do I want to use a fabric, plastic, or paper “cloth” to cover the table?

I’ll certainly want some of our favorite books. And, there will be handouts.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about to put on the table?

Thank you! Thanks for any ideas, best practices, stories of experiences, or other information that you can provide me as I tackle this project.

Signature of Joy Weese Moll


Conference Table Display — a plea for help — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Mock-up Table Display | Joy's Book Blog

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