Once upon a time, librarians had to stamp a book by hand to check it out.
Thanks to computers, that day is loooong gone - but the check out cards are not (at least in the books in my library anyway). Occasionally, I'll stumble across a timeless old book, usually about poetry or mythology - the kind of subject that never becomes outdated - and inside the back cover, is a yellowing paper pocket with a worn check out card tucked inside.
Each card lists the title, subject, and author all done by hand on a typewriter with stamped dates and signatures below. Can you imagine how much work went into tracking every single book? It's amazing. I have scanners, computers, and data bases to rely on and running this little school library can still be overwhelming at times.
Some the stamps go back to the 1970's - and these books are still checked out by tiny library patrons today. I've been collecting these little vintage treasures for something special. And, really, what is more special than a handwritten valentine?
For those of you that don't have access to dozens of vintage check out cards, I scanned a few for you to print on card stock (at the bottom of this post).
You will need:
- tan or white card stock
- tan or white paper
- pink card stock
- pink or red pens and markers
- glue stick
Print the card images on cardstock and cut out. The check out cards are about 5" x 3".
Cut the paper to 7.25" x 5" (this will be your card pocket) and cut the pink cardstock to 6" x 4".
Place the check out card in the upper center of your paper and fold up the bottom section.
Flip the pocket over and fold the sides in behind the card.
You will now have a tiny pocket.
Glue the pocket to the center of your pink card stock. It will look something like this:
Write a message on your check out card.
'This vintage check out card was scavenged from a children's library book just for you."
You may want to write a special valentines message, like -
'Are you a library book? Because you have 'fine' written all over you.'
You know, something romantic like that.
On the pocket, write,
'Valentine, I've been checking you out...'
Now, hand them out to people you love.