I was recently playing around on Etsy and came across a listing for some old library checkout card pockets. Remember those? The little manila slots that the library checkout cards were tucked in to? Those were the days prior to scanning bar codes, when searches were done by card catalog and book checkout consisted of the librarian stamping a date next to your name on one of the cards inserted into a pocket inside the cover. I have a soft spot for this type of nostalgia. It is odd to think that my kids aren’t going to know anything other than a computer search and a zap with a scanner on the way out the door.
I wanted to come up with a way to bring these into the 21st Century in a creative way. Here are a couple of ideas that may find their way into your own reading routines.
1.) BOOK BORROWING
If you are one to loan out books with the hope of getting them back, try creating your own “check out system” where you can track the date you loaned the book out, and to whom. It also creates a nice history of who in your life has read the same books as you. If you are like me, and you struggle with remembering parts of books after some time has passed, it gives you a list of names to reference when you are struggling to recall certain characters, plot points and so on.
If you are part of a more established book club or book loan program, you can make it a bit more formal with due dates and any other critical info before loaning out.
I came across some new old stock of a couple different types of vintage checkout cards through Etsy and eBay. There are also several vendors out there that make reproductions.
That sparked an additional thought, that you could use regular index cards to write down notes, key plot points, favorite characters etc…and keep the cards in the pocket for future reference.
2.) CHILDREN’S BOOKS
So many of us have special books that are part of our kids collections. First birthday gifts, presents from Santa, old copies of classics from our own childhood, and so on. Why not create a way to record when and why we received these special keepsakes? I would take it a step further and keep track of dates and special memories from all those times sat cuddling with the kids reading books. Maybe a special conversation that was sparked by something in the story, a milestone in their journey to learn to read, or a good giggle session. Regular ruled index cards can be used for this.
I hope that you are inspired to create your own way to use these little pieces of history from our old library days :o)
NOTE: I purchased my pockets from a vendor on eBay. You can find several options and colors through both eBay and Etsy.
Photo Credits – Featured Image at the top of the post
Top Row: Card Catalog, Eric Spiegel via Flickr. Man searching card catalog, Ed Uthman via Flickr. Old library check out card, Chris Blakeley via Flickr.
Bottom Row: Library aisle, Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr. Card catalog drawer, embot via Flickr. Books in aisle, Steven Harris via Flickr.
All other photos by Adrienne Schell