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Check Out Our Library Card Table

   July 25th, 2012

Tommy's Library Card TableEarlier this summer, my coworker Tommy got the idea for a library art project: mail a letter to 200+ libraries across the country, asking them to send him one of their library cards.

He enclosed a return envelope, and most of them responded! For the next few weeks, Tommy's envelopes, with new library cards enclosed, poured into the library from all over the country. It was fun to see the variety and creativity of library cards.

Tommy's project was dependent on how many library cards he received. In the end, the number he got fit more or less perfectly on one of the coffee tables in the library, so he got permission to arrange them on a table and cover them with a protective epoxy. It looks great in the library, and the plan is to leave it in the library permanently. Tom also put up a sign on the table explaining what he did - the table is very eye-catching, and has already proved popular with staff and patrons.

Here's the top of the table - click to see a bigger image:

Library Card Table top

Nice work Tom - and thanks to all the library who participated.




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17 Responses to “Check Out Our Library Card Table”

  1. Nicole Says:

    What an awesome idea!! And it’s so neat to see the library I grew up with represented (The Jones Library)!!

  2. Peggy Says:

    We are doing some re-arranging here at the Maine State Library and this idea will fit in perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mara Says:

    I spotted the Oshkosh Public Library in next to the bottom row in the third column. Note the lion logo. We have two bronze lions, known as Sawyer and Harris for the names of benefactors carved on the building.
    . Sawyer and Harris will be 100 years old this October, and we would like them to receive picture postcards from other lion sculptures and other libraries wishing then a happy birthday. Anyone who’d like to be part of this project can send a card to Sawyer and Harris, c/o Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave., Oshkosh WI 54901-4985. Thanks.

  4. Christina Says:

    wow, this is so cool! I’ve been collecting library cards for a while, but never thought to display them this way. Kudos!

  5. Elizabeth Says:

    Love it! @Nicole, The Jones was the library I grew up with as well, being from the Amherst area. :)

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, and I love the Lichtenstein-inspired one!

  7. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Peggy: great idea – a card from every Maine library would be pretty awesome (please post a photo when it’s finished!)

    @Christina: I’ve got a bit of a collection too, but just from libraries I’ve used personally (it helps that I’ve moved around a lot)

    @Elizabeth: I really like Edmonton PL’s “Use at the first sign of boredom.” Also, it seemed like one system let people upload their own photos for their card, like some credit cards allow, but I can’t remember who did that.

  8. looloolooweez Says:

    This is amazing! I’m tempted to borrow Peggy’s idea and try for all the ones in Texas.

  9. Brandon Felix Says:

    Thanks for sharing this awesome project! Tommy did a great job and the table looks amazing! I work for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries and our card is the black and red one in the lower left corner and we were all very excited to see it! Thanks for including us – library solidarity!

  10. World’s Strangest | At the Libraries: Cook Like an Author Says:

    […] Hunter S. Thompson isn’t on this list. * Is your library card part of the very awesome library card table? Photo by Flickr user herzogbr * Yikes and yikes! Looks like we’ve got another Jayson Blair […]

  11. At the Libraries: Cook Like an Author - Cine Sopaipleto » Cine Sopaipleto Says:

    […] Hunter S. Thompson isn’t on this list. * Is your library card part of the very awesome library card table? Photo by Flickr user herzogbr * Yikes and yikes! Looks like we’ve got another Jayson Blair […]

  12. At the Libraries: Cook Like an Author - Sopaipleto » Sopaipleto Says:

    […] Hunter S. Thompson isn’t on this list. * Is your library card part of the very awesome library card table? Photo by Flickr user herzogbr * Yikes and yikes! Looks like we’ve got another Jayson Blair […]

  13. Carolyn C. Says:

    I am so proud to see Tallahassee, FL and Gainesville, FL represented on that table- I have an active card for both in my purse right now! What a wonderful project!!

  14. Kieran Says:

    Hey, there’s the Vigo County Public Library card! I work there, and we say, THANK YOU!

  15. Library Card Coffee Table | Law, Library, Privacy, Technology, and Other News Says:

    […] cool! There’s a coffee table at a library in Massachusetts that’s covered in library cards from around the country. via Reddit Share […]

  16. Jessica Says:

    I always read your posts, but I was excited to see my local library (Duluth, Minnesota) had sent a card to Tom! I’m going to thank them the next time I’m in one of the branches.

    Awesome idea, and I love how it turned out!

  17. Havilah Lyon Says:

    I was the one who sent in the card for the Twin Falls Public Library, so it was fun to see it pictured on your table. Great stuff. :) Thanks for including us in your project!