Gifts for the Librarians in Your Life
Just this week I’ve finished my Masters in Teacher Librarianship – insert applause. I now have three degrees to my name, two of them in librarianship, so it would be fair to say that I love all things library.
I surround myself with all things electronic and beeping, but occasionally I long for the days of a card catalogue system and a due date stamp (not that I’ve ever actually experienced this in my working life I have to say!). Call me odd (many do), but I can imagine it would be terribly therapeutic to file catalogue cards all day and stamp due dates with authority. I spent much of my childhood playing teachers and/or librarians, creating classification cards and stamping due dates on the inside front covers. My mum is also a teacher librarian (you can read a bit more about her here) – and just quietly I’m hoping PudStar or ChickPea might have inherited the library/information architecture/information management gene.
So I was let’s just say I was *overjoyed* when I saw the gorgeous artworks from WingedWorld. The librarians in my life are all receiving a framed library card as this year’s Christmas present and I have purchased one for myself as a graduation present. I’m always on the lookout for librarian themed gifts – ever since the lovely Trish gave me the Nancy Pearl Librarian action figure years and year ago.
I’ve chosen cards which reflect something about them: flowers for the gardener; a globe for the traveller; an Eames chair for the stylish one; Van Gogh for the artist; Peter Rabbit for the children’s librarian; a flamingo feather for the flamingo lover. I’m hoping they are not all reading this – but ladies if you are, see if you can work out which card is for which librarian!
Vickie rescues dis-used library cards and adds her gorgeous artworks to them. More about the process is below.
Turning library cards into art
When I was visiting a local library a few years ago, I noticed obsolete library card catalog cards being used as scratch paper, then tossed into garbage or recycling bins. Somehow it felt wrong to me that these little pieces of history were being tossed away. (As a little girl, I lived one block from a library and spent many a summer day there. I’m quite sure that I read every horse book on the shelves.)
I asked the librarians if I could have some of the cards, and they graciously let me pick some out from a single cardboard box they had in a back room. That was all they had left out of the thousands upon thousands of cards that used to be in the library.
I decided to start painting imagery on the cards inspired by the titles, subjects or authors listed on each card. When I posted some of the painted cards in my Etsy shop, sales took off. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, I think people have a real sense of nostalgia for library card catalogs and library cards. Since then, I’ve shipped library card art to almost every state in America, as well as Canada, Europe and Australia.
I start each library card painting by sifting through my collection — which has now grown to a few thousand cards — and choosing one that inspires me that day. I then research imagery and select something that fits the card. I’m always careful not to paint over important words on the card, such as titles or author names. Sometimes I feel like painting a character on a card for a classic children’s book, and sometimes I want to try something new and completely fresh.
Libraries, the way we read books and the world will continue to change, but a good book will always be priceless. My library card art is my way of showing how much I will always love books.Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.