You Can't Buy It In A Store: The Library Card Project at the American Craft Council

Library as Incubator posted a great interview with Elizabeth Ryan and Jessica Shaykett from the American Craft Council, about their Library Card Project:

Capitalizing on the discovery of boxes of their old library cards hidden in their research library, the ACC decided to put them to new use. They posted a call for submissions of proposals to repurpose the library cards into works of art and craft. The response was eclectic and wide.

This project is inspiring for a few reasons. It’s a different take on cultural heritage: preserving its history while using it as a medium for interpreting the present. Ryan and Shaykett also touch on an interesting component of cultural heritage – nostalgia:

“There’s a certain nostalgia for items such as library cards – especially if you grew up using a card catalog, and we think that was reflected in the enthusiasm of the participants. You can’t readily buy library ephemera like this at a store. It’s infused with a great sense of history, and that’s really appealing – especially to makers.”

As a member of both the maker and library communities, I am always looking for new connections between these worlds, and am constantly amazed at the ways in which they find each other.

Vanessa Walilko, drum farthingale and corset (detail).