Recently, I visited the Baldwin Borough Public library, to pick up some books for school. As I was using the computer to look up some things, I realized that I had forgotten to bring anything to take notes with! Like all the best libraries, Baldwin had placed a basket with paper and pencils right beside the computers, and I helped myself to these. Yet, there was something surprising about this scratch paper: it was old catalog cards! One side was of course blank, but the other had a book listed on it. It is great to see the library recycling some of the old card catalog paper, which we all thought would go to waste but which the Baldwin librarians, and I found out, many others, have ingeniously decided to offer to patrons as scratch paper.
Some other libraries across the country are also using older things to recycle old catalog cards. The University of South Carolina Libraries has even created a series of events surrounding fun and innovative uses of library catalog cards! Check out their website for the listing of events, and maybe get some ideas for programs in your libraries! The article "Librarians commemorate now-obsolete catalog system" lists some games they did with the cards. The youth of today are so used to finding books on the internet, it might be fun to introduce them to this "archaic" form of library organization, and teach them a little history about library services in a fun way using some ideas from these sources.
Are you using old resources for new projects in your library? How about sharing them with your area librarians! Place some comments here, and hopefully we can have a blog post of all of the great tips we can share with one another!