Let Patrons Create a Poet-Tree

How do you share a love for words, poetry, and expression with patrons who think poetry is boring?  A "Poet Tree" is part "stealth programming" and part National Poetry Month display, that can appeal to all ages.

The idea of the poet-tree is to create a space where patrons of all ages can celebrate poetry by writing and sharing it.
Encourage members to write original poems or copy them from your library's poetry collection onto index cards or die-cut leaves.
As people walk by, they can add to the poetry or simply read the poems that others have shared.

Your tree can be made of construction paper posted on a bulletin board, or "a small potted tree, a fake tree that you buy, or a makeshift tree you cobble together. Feel free to use your library's Christmas tree or a shrubbery of some sort. The tree needs to be able to stand alone and provide branches on which to hang things." Get more tree ideas from Lindsey Dunn here.

You can download free printable leaves from FirstPalette for a variety of shapes and sizes that include maple leaves, oak leaves, oval-shaped leaves, heart-shaped leaves, and star-shaped leaves. And download a free ready-to-display poster from the NoveList Book Squad you can use to encourage patrons to "leaf" the tree.

Lindsey says, "In short, having a poet-tree can encourage participation, increase circulation numbers of the poetry collection, create material for participation in library programs, and stimulate conversations between staff members and library patrons. It's a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!"

Source: Steal this idea: Read and share a poem on the poet-tree, by Lindsey Dunn at the NoveList blog
Image credit: NoveList Book Squad (PDF)