Library idea: Scrolling PowerPoint


  • Very long PowerPoint that scrolls slides throughout the school day when I am not using the equipment to teach a lesson. Slides can be booktalks, quotations, trivia questions, reminders, school/library announcements, etc. Ideally, you need at least 30 slides to start, but you should add as many as possible. My current slideshow has 116 slides; it takes about 33 minutes to complete one cycle.


  • TV or computer projector with screen
  • Computer that can be hooked to the TV or projector AND can be designated for this purpose all day, every day. Computer or laptop needs to have the ability to play PowerPoint slides
  • Lots and lots of PowerPoint slides! I included some of my slides below to give you some ideas. I would have included the entire thing, but as I use lots of Google images, I don’t want to risk copyright issues (some of my images are attributed, but some are not).


  • The first thing I do every morning when I get to school is set up my scrolling PowerPoint. I keep the PowerPoint presentation on a USB stick so I can easily transfer the new PowerPoint onto my presentation laptop. I keep the file (called “Daily”) on the desktop of the presentation laptop. When I load the new presentation, which is slightly different every day, I just replace the previous one. This also keeps an extra copy of my presentation in case–gasp–something horrible should happen to my USB stick.
  • The second thing I do each day is set up my circulation computer. Along with opening up Destiny for circulation, I open my scrolling PowerPoint so it’s ready for any new slides I may want to add. During the day, if I notice an outdated slide (such as “This Week in History” from three weeks ago), I already have the presentation open on my circulation computer. It just takes a second to delete the old slide.
  • Throughout the day, I try to add at least a couple of new slides. It doesn’t always happen, but some days, I am able to add five or ten new slides.
  • Slides can also be from my library lessons. For example, I recently did a lesson and booktalk on the Fantasy genre. Our library is genre-fied, and I split Fantasy into multiple smaller genres (light fantasy, high fantasy, paranormal, mythology, and horror). Since I used PowerPoint for that presentation, it was easy to copy some of the slides and add them into my scrolling PowerPoint. This also helps reinforce the characteristics of the genres I taught that day. 



    Yes, I know creating 50+ PowerPoint slides is time-consuming. You don’t have to start with 50 though. The first day I did this, I had maybe 10 slides. They scrolled all day, and the students saw them over and over and over. But the next day, there were a couple of new slides. Then more the next day. Before long, I had 116 slides. Over the course of a few months, I had added more slides than I had removed. Some ideas for things to include in your presentation:

    • Booktalks–I include the book’s front cover image and a quotation or the first line. I also put the call number of the book underneath the cover image.
    • Famous quotations
    • Funny cartoons
    • Trivia questions–There are lots of daily trivia websites out there for kids and teens! I put the question on one slide, then have the answer come up 2-3 slides later. This gives the students a chance to think about their answers and encourages them to watch the slides in between.
    • This Week in History–because “This Day in History” needs to be changed too frequently. I also have a couple of “This Month in History” that need even less-frequent changes.
    • Word of the Day or Week–A new, interesting vocabulary word for your students to learn.
    • Facts, particularly animal facts–They love them! For Earth Day, I created 10 slides for each of the ten most endangered animals in the world. Extreme weather facts and photos also seem to be popular.
    • Caught ya reading! photographs–I always get permission from the students before I use their photos on my PowerPoints.
    • Other photos from around the library–Again, I recommend getting permission from the students first.
    • Friendly library reminders–I do allow my students to have drinks in the library. Spills mostly aren’t a huge problem, though they do sometimes happen. For this reason, I have a slide reminding them to “Keep a cap on your drink in the library!” along with a photo of a water spill on the library carpet. Other slides are things like “How many books do you have checked out? Now is a great time to check your account!” or “Don’t know where a book is? Check the Destiny search stations on the circulation desk!”
    • Current events–Many students do not read the news or know much at all about world events.
    • School announcements–“Picture Day is this Friday” along with one of those “Worst Yearbook Photos” I’ve seen all over Facebook lately. Or, “Congratulations to our Wildcat Football team on their 36-12 win over the Meadowside Badgers. Go Cats!” Include a photo from the game or a pep rally.


      YouTube is full of instrumental music compilations. Behind my scrolling PowerPoint, I play classical instrumental music from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Lizst, Tchaivosky all day long. You can sort by >20 minutes and find many playlists that last for two hours or more. Look for instrumental movie music such as The Lord of the Rings, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Disney instrumentals, and Braveheart. Watch for audio ads though–they can sometimes be inappropriate for school (beer ads, for example) or simply just a lot louder than the music.


      • Change your slides often. I cannot emphasize this enough. Some slides can stay indefinitely (booktalks, reminders about drinks having caps on them), but others will need to be deleted after a certain period of time. A current event from two months ago is no longer “current” and should be changed out for another newsworthy event. “This Week in History” should actually be THIS WEEK. If you don’t want to change it that frequently, make it “This Month in History.”
      • Time your slides. My slides automatically advance after 17 seconds.
      • Make your slides colorful and visually appealing. Include at least one large image and colorful text.
      • Look for images with high-resolution. You don’t want blurry, pixelated images on your presentation. If you use Google images, you can click on Search Tools and sort by size (select Large or Extra Large for the highest resolution).
      • Let your students and teachers create slides and send them to you via email. I just started this at my school, but I’ve already had one slide submitted from an 8th grade girl. When introducing it, we talked about what made a slide good/interesting versus boring/not interesting. We talked about color and image quality and large text size. I will be doing this with multiple classes over the next couple of weeks, so we will see how it goes. 

      Leave a Comment

      Your email address will not be published.