New ‘edgy’ cards ‘flying out’ of Guilderland library

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair

Conceived in-house: The 12 new designs available for Guilderland Public Library cards were created by four librarians in the circulation department.

GUILDERLAND — “A book a day keeps reality away.”

“Read like a Boss.”

“Don’t judge a book by its movie.”

These are just a few of the slogans emblazoned on the front of each of 12 new library card designs launched on June 25 by the Guilderland Public Library. The idea, choice of slogans, and design came from four librarians who work in the library’s circulation department.

“We are trying to encourage creativity on the part of our staff,” said library Director Timothy Wiles.


Youth card: This Guilderland Public Library card was new in September 2015. It featured a drawing by Shuying “Melody” Gau, which was chosen in a contest that brought in more than 30 submissions from local children, according to library Director Timothy Wiles.


The project was conceived, Wiles said, by librarians Donna Raffaele, Khushbu Vyas, SeungYeon Lee, and Liubov Matvienko.

“We all love what we do,” Wiles said, “and we’re all looking for any ever-so-slightly edgy way to make other people feel that the library is as cool as we think it is.”

After showing the slogans to Phil Berardi, head of the circulation department, Wiles said, the four librarians worked up the designs, he said.

The designs are colorful but stark.

The staff then presented the proposed designs to Berardi and Wiles.

Wiles said his only question was, “Will it cost any more?” When he heard “no,” he said, the project was off and running.

Some libraries charge to issue replacement cards, but Guilderland is giving the designs out as new or replacement cards at no cost, Wiles said. They can go only to users from Guilderland or Altamont and not from other parts of the Upper Hudson Library System, he said.

The Enterprise on Friday saw a young woman of about 20 choose a card with the slogan “Put your face in a book.”

Wiles said there is no clear frontrunner among the designs, in terms of popularity.

“So far, they are flying out of here,” he said, noting that the start of the library’s summer reading program was June 28.

That day, the library handed out over 100, Wiles said, of the new library cards.

The Guilderland Public Library offered an eye-catching new design in September 2015, with the launch of a card featuring a drawing by Shuying “Melody” Gau. Her design was chosen in a contest that drew more than 30 submissions from local children, according to Wiles.

The library still has some youth cards left, but will likely phase the design out when those are gone, Wiles said, adding, “We like to keep it fresh.”

People wanting a first-time card must live within the Guilderland School District. They should bring in a form of photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport, as well as a bill showing their home address; the bill may be stored on a phone. If the user has no bill, the library will mail out a postcard that may be brought in later to get a card.


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