Gifts for the Librarians in Your Life

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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.

tintin 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.

1-P1140835 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!

1-P1140833 Vickie rescues dis-used library cards and adds her gorgeous artworks to them. More about the process is below.

flamingo This is not a sponsored post…just me sharing my latest Etsy purchase!

Turning library cards into art

By Vickie Moore of WingedWorld

Winged World 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.

dogs animals

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  1. Melinda Iacovella on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Congratulations on achieving your Masters! Love what Vickie has done with the old library cards! So would my schools fantastic librarian, Trish!

    • Anonymous on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks so much Melinda! It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m DONE!

  2. Jennifer on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    the artists’ Ann Chamberlain and Ann Hamilton did an installation art project with library stack cards for the San Francisco Main Public Library – you can see it here…. or google about it. It’s magnificent.

    Congrats on your masters! The drawing are wonderful!

    • Anonymous on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Oh that is the most gorgeous installation! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jacinta on Oct 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I am amazed at the wonderful and beautiful creativity that people have. I admire the talent of being able to see things, sometimes a little obscure, and create these amazing pieces!! And by the way, congratulations Megan

  4. Margaret on Oct 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    These are so lovely….When at High School I was a Monitor and filed cards and then worked after school at the Council Library at Ashgrove doing jobs there…My Mother feels I was destined to work in a Library which I have for 13 Years now in the one school……Teacher Aide ..yes but do everything but teach Library Lessons……:)

    • Anonymous on Oct 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Oh I do so love the Ashgrove Library!

  5. Marg Donaghue on Oct 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I absolutely love these library card art pieces!! I do remember using them to locate books as a student, then doing the catalogue record as a TL to be typed on them. What a blast from the past and such an innovative and creative way to use and honour that era in libraries. I love the ones with the book characters on them! Thanks Megan so much for sharing and also for completing your Masters. (PS love your blog)

  6. Jenny Stubbs on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Megan
    Congratulations on completing the masters! Lovely displays today in your library.
    Love the catalogue card artwork.
    Have you seen this site? or

    • Anonymous on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Oh JENNY! No I’ve NOT seen these!!!!

  7. Michelle Nye on Nov 4, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Thanks for this idea – I will be buying some for my team – I will also miss seeing you online for my remaining QUT units – how ever did you finish so quickly?

    • Anonymous on Nov 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Michelle, Michelle, MICHELLE! Don’t be fooled…FIVE YEARS to complete that Masters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many do you have to go???

  8. Evie on Oct 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Wow!!! Congratulations on your Masters Mrs Daley XD Super Proud and excited for you!! 😀 What a great idea!

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