What Can You Do With Old Catalog Cards?

Bookmark? Origami? Grocery list? The librarians at U. of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library are working to hold a series of events to honor the card catalog, its use in the transformation of knowledge and the people who created and used it.

The Daily Gamecock reports “We want to commemorate it and raise awareness about what it did and all the generations of library staff that made it what it is,” said Jeffrey Makala, the assistant special collections librarian. “Commemorate and celebrate.”

During Welcome Week there was a game night and a boat race featuring cards from the catalog. The latest event is a competition challenging students to get creative and see what they can make with catalog cards.

“We are looking for different way to get many different types of people involved in the events,” said Marilee Birchfield, a reference librarian at the Thomas Cooper Library.

The competition has four categories: functional (serves a purpose), fashionable (wearable), foundational (building models) and free form. Students are allowed as many cards at they would like and there are no specified rules for the competition.