Celebrate National Shelfie Day by Brittney Uecker

As a lover of both oddball holidays and plays-on-words, I am a big fan of National Shelfie Day, which takes place this year on Wednesday, January 22nd. Conceived by the New York Public Library in 2014, Shelfie Day is a time for librarians and book lovers to celebrate books by posting a photo of their bookshelf on social media with the hashtag #libraryshelfie. 

As a librarian, my shelving scheme is based mainly on two considerations: keeping books in order so individual titles can be most easily located and catching patrons’ eyes with books to get them to circulate. While this doesn’t leave me a ton of wiggle room with my shelving options at the library, I take much more creative liberty with my book arrangements at home. I love a pretty bookshelf. The aesthetic of a carefully crafted shelf is not only pleasing to the eye, but is a curated representation of your literary tastes and a sort of scrapbook of your past reading adventures. A bookshelf can be so much more than just a storage device or piece of furniture – it is an alternative artform in itself and an opportunity to get creative while expressing your love for the physical beauty of books. 

To inspire your library shelfies, I’ve compiled a list of various shelving schemes to guide you to the most Instagram-worthy photos:

  • By color – Possibly the least helpful as far as organization, this method is definitely the most eye-catching option. What could be better than a monochrome or rainbow bookshelf?
  • By size – Tall to short, fat to thin, deep to shallow, or any alternating form of these. Play with the shapes your books create when they are next to each other.
  • Shifting orientation – No need to shelve all your books vertically with the spine facing out. Try laying a stack horizontally or facing book covers out. This breaks up your bookshelf and puts on display books that you feel need extra attention.
  • By material – I, personally, have a paperback shelf and a hardcover shelf. I just think it looks better that way.
  • Mystery – Nope, not the genre. Make your bookshelf itself a mystery and shelve all your books with the spines facing backwards. You’ll never know what you are going to pull off the shelf.

Join the fun! Post your library shelfies on January 22. Tag #lewistownpubliclibrary and we will repost the best shelfies on our Facebook and Instagram (@lplgram).

Staff ‘Shelfie’ at the Lewistown Public Library.  Pictured:  Library Director Dani Buehler, Public Services Librarian Kari Denison, Fiction & Outreach Librarian Nancy Sackett, Assistant Misty Aldrich, Youth Services Librarian Brittney Uecker.  
Not pictured Local History Librarian Nancy Watts.
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