On Library Cards

Maggie’s Library Card Collection

Do you remember getting your first library card? I’m not sure I do, but I do remember the library I went to in third grade that was within walking distance. It was a cozy little library with lots of dark wood. I also remember the city library that I used to go to by bus. That one had great stacks. I found almost all of the colored fairy tale books by Andrew Lang in that library.

Of course, back then you had to have a library card for each library you went to. There were no computers and no consortia. We are so lucky now that we can borrow from the whole state: first at the SAILS level of 50+ libraries, and then, through ComCat, for the rest of the state. I’m doubly lucky since I live in RI and have access to all of the RI libraries. Since I work in MA, I also have an electronic card to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the Boston Public Library. (It’s free for residents and workers of MA.)

On my vacation in Virginia, I signed up for a card for the Library of Congress. It’s only for research, but next time I go I can actually use it to look something up!

Sometimes someone will come in to pick up a hold and have forgotten his/her library card. If the person has a smartphone, we suggest he/she download either the Key Card or Card Star app and keep a digitized copy on the phone. People may be without keys, a purse or wallet, but are rarely without a phone.

Think about sharing your memories of libraries of your childhood with your kids or grandkids.