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The Card Catalogue
About the catalogue
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a librarian tasked with redesigning a library card must be in want of examples. After watching librarians put out calls for pictures of library cards on various social networks, I thought to myself: "Surely, there's got to be some kind of online catalogue of library card design and art, right?" After some searching, I really couldn't find one. Not what I wanted to see, anyhow, which was a website that offered images of cards tagged with colours and locations. It'd also be nice if there were descriptions and the whole thing was searchable. That way someone could come flip through the cards like one does a design book, or they could look up colour schemes. In the end, maybe they'd find inspiration in the dynamic design that defines the world of library cards.
How can I help?
Send me a good image of your library card! Check the database to see if we already have it and, if not, send it in! Or, if you can send in a better picture of an existing card, that's great too! Just make sure you send only the front of the card with the art and design. We don't want to see your barcode, name, signature, or anything that ties the card to you. You can send your card to:
I do not and will not ever spam your email. Indeed, the most likely response to your submission will be a jolly, and personalised "Thank you!" and then I'll archive the email for a while in case I screw something up and lose your image. Your email address and information is not shared with anyone nor will it ever be shared with anyone.
The Card Catalogue runs on an open source stack consisting of Linux, MariaDB/MySQL, PHP, and open source software. The website is powered by Piwigo. All images and descriptions on this site exist under a Creative Commons By-NC-SA license. You can watch for new images via an RSS feed. The website also maintains a list of tags for easy referencing.
A big shout out to the folks who answered my own initial call for cards and helped with ideas! Without them, this website would've started out with a single card, which doesn't make for a broad collections of examples, you know?
Thanks to Alex, Amy, Antonio, Carl, Carol, Coreen, Gretchen, Jens, Jeremy, Joseph, Karrie, Liam, Mark, Michelle, Monica, Nikki, Robin, Shy Bunny, Sierra, Sophie, Stephanie, Thomas, Todd, Tracey, and Tracie!