Getting Rid of Old Card Catalogs?

Julia Fickes and winning dress

Julia Fickes stands next to her Empire style dress created using catalog cards and Jane Austen check-out cards for the bodice.

Peacham Library completed the move from the card catalog to a new automated library system. With this transition came the need to dispose of thousands of 3 x 5 catalog cards. Rather than just throw them out, library Director Becky Jensen decided to offer a contest. The “Celebrate Automation with a Creation” program allowed library patrons to take as many catalog cards as they wanted in order to create a project.  Projects could be artistic, literary, funky or  just plain fun!  Patrons took on the challenge and created jewelry, a poem, clothing, a bulletin board, masks, a game, 3D scenes, a fishing pole, and a cat puppet. 

Sixteen entries were received from patrons ranging in age from 4 to 93.  Awards were given for all entries, including: “Best Miniature Work” for an origami crane on a ring; “Best Use of Title Cards” for a cat that was created using cards with such titles as The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (the tail) and the Cat in the Hat (leg);and “Best Literary Piece” for an Ogden Nash-inspired poem.  What won “Best in Show”? Library patrons selected a dress made with catalog cards by thirteen-year-old Julia Fickes. The dress was designed in a style popular in Jane Austin books, with Jane Austen check-out cards used for the bodice.  All entries were on display at Peacham Library in November 2010.

(Article recycled from December 2010 edition of Vermont Department of Libraries Newsletter)

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