Cthulhu

Miskatonic Public Library Cards

Don't wanna read my drivel? Just go straight to the app.


Sometimes, a project just lands in my lap.

I'm a systems librarian, but I'm also an instructor. So part of my job means designing, teaching, and delivering classes and coursework on subjects ranging from using the integrated library system to running reports to software instruction and so on. When I'm making these videos, I occasionally need an image of a library card on-screen to call attention to using the card and stuff like that. Whenever possible, I like to use an image of a real library card, especially if the video happens to be targeted to a specific library. May as well show them their own card and besides, it makes the video look professional.

But I can't always get a proper image of a real card, usually because of time constraints or because no one has a readily available JPG. For those videos, I have a stand-in. It's a "card" I made in about ten minutes and figured I'd have a little fun with it.

The original Miskatonic Public Library card.
The original Miskatonic Public Library card.

With some public domain imagery and my own twisted sense of humour, I created a card for a Mad Magazine character to be used a public library set in the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft with a library card number based on a pop hit from the 1980s.

Look, I never claimed to be normal.

Miskatonic Public Library
A few days ago, a conversation transpired upon the scourge of humanity known to some as "Facebook." A few friends, former co-workers, and I were discussing library stuff and I mentioned my library card stand-in and the immediate response was I WANT A MISKATONIC PUBLIC LIBRARY CARD TOO!

As I was about to fire up Pixelmator Pro and deliver some presents in the form of JPGs and PNGs, it dawned on me, maybe other people would like a Miskatonic Public Library card too. So I closed Pixelmator and opened Visual Studio Code where I created a new PHP project.

And with a little PHP, some help from ImageMagick, and a few more public domain images - I wrote a web app that's not completely horrible. It bears the fantastically uncreative name of Library Card Generator and there's a reason for that. I could've written something that's just a Miskatonic Public Library card maker, but halfway into the first few minutes of coding I wondered if there might be any other fictional public libraries I could make cards for.

A new Miskatonic Public Library card.
I decided to do some minor redesign work.

So I've done some work here and there to make it fairly easy to add more cards into the mix. Right now it's only the one library, but I've got some ideas for others I'll likely fold into the mix. If you have an idea for a fictional library that you'd like a card for, let me know. And I put emphasis on fictional for a reason -- in that I'm not here to make counterfeit cards for real libraries. Something about that seems, I dunno, skeevy in my mind.

Right then. Hit up the app If you'd like to get a card at Miskatonic Public Library, where your mind is a terrible thing to waste. Browse the shelves and check out whatever you like.


Just don't read the books out loud, okay?

Got an idea for another library for the generator? Let me know. You can also send bug reports to the same email.

cyberpunklibrarian@protonmail.com