It’s almost the end of summer, and while kids and teachers (and school librarians) are preparing to go back to school (or are already there), I’ve been playing with pool noodles. If you don’t know what they are, they’re those long heavy Styrofoam colored columns that people will take to the pool and use to stay afloat- or, in the case of the pool near my library, to beat each other with IN the pool.
If you’re like me, you adore Pinterest and scour it for ideas. And if you search, there are a TON of ideas for using pool noodles. Wreaths. Light sabers. Race car tracks. Just ton of awesome ideas. However, I have a practical one that I haven’t seen on there.
I recently moved our DVD collection from the very front of the library to the very back- one, to give the DVD collection more space, and two, to drive walking traffic through the library so that patrons would browse through the library to and from the collection. And it’s worked. Our circulation has gone up, and patrons have commented that it’s much easier to SEE the collection because it’s not on the bottom few shelves of the shorter cases.
There’s just one problem, however. Since the shelves they were moved to are bracketed to the wall, there’s a space between where the shelf ends and the shelves hooks into the bracket mounted on the wall. It’s just enough room for DVDs to slip through the crack and fall ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM.
The solution? POOL NOODLES.
I purchased them in pairs and cut them to the length of the shelves using a pair of regular scissors. I started out using an X-Acto knife and then tried a box cutter, but scissors worked the best. Then, I cut the sized-down pool noodle straight down the middle. Then, I worked the noodle around the back end of the shelf, so that it was hugging the shelf from the back side, and the rounded end was facing the wall.
TADA! Colorful DVD blockers that solved the problem with a minimum of effort, a minimum of cost, and the leftovers gave me extra material for crafts later on. BONUS!
And, we have yet to lose a DVD to the evil shelf monster.