The Force was strong with two young Padawan readers who were the first in line on Tuesday to receive new cards from the Longview Public Library with a “Star Wars” theme.
Along with “Star Wars Day” – an informal day to celebrate the series which takes place every May 4th – the library unveiled new library cards featuring Grogu, also known as The Child and affectionately referred to as ” Baby Yoda âby fans of Disney + TV series,â The Mandalorian â.
The Longview Public Library is the first in the country to partner with the American Library Association and Lucas Color for limited edition library cards. The library has 14,000 cards representing the character to be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
“We are excited to bring this to the community and are delighted that you receive your library cards,” said Jennifer Eldridge, director of the library, revealing the new card design with the help of Tripp Bowie, 4 years. and Ace Smith, 5.
Tripp, who attends the Wee Learn Center at First Baptist Church, and Ace, who attends the Presbyterian Children’s Center (PCC) at First Presbyterian Church, were the first two recipients of the new library cards.
âWe brought them in today to show them that reading is fun and interesting,â said Mitzi Bowie, Tripp’s mom.
The new cards were made possible by a $ 7,500 grant the library received from Humanities Texas to help recover funds lost to COVID-19, Eldridge said. The library has split the grant funds among office supplies, which include purchasing new library cards and purchasing new books to replenish its collection, she said.
Every few years the library changes the design of its maps, and Eldridge said when staff started brainstorming ideas this year, they learned that some libraries use graphics created by the American Library Association on their cards. cards. This year, the association created a âReadâ poster featuring Grogu from âThe Mandalorianâ.
âWe contacted the American Library Association and asked if they would consider letting us use their image and getting permission from Lucas Color to do so as well. They said absolutely, and they told us we were the first library to do something like this, âEldridge said. âThey said they would really like to see how well that goes and see if it helps promote and get the community to get more library cards, which we are certainly hoping for. They will also promote it to other libraries as an opportunity for them. “
Additionally, the Longview Public Library was able to purchase more cards than usual as the cost ended up being cheaper, she said. While the library usually has separate cards for children and adults, because Star Wars is universally popular, the library plans to use these cards for both sets of readers.
Library cards are free to new customers with a valid Texas ID card. The Longview Public Library serves residents statewide, including all of East Texas. Existing customers can upgrade to the new card for a fee of $ 5, and Eldridge said the money will also help the library recover some funds lost during the pandemic. Customers can view up to 15 books at a time with a library card.
Those who do not have a state address or identity can receive an access card to use library computers and internal documents, but cannot remove items from the library.
Eldridge said if these maps are popular, the Longview Library will consider partnering with the American Library Association on more graphics in the future. When Tripp said he loved Spider-Man, Eldridge said that a superhero-themed card could be in the library’s future.
âWe’ve had a great time designing library cards in the past, but I don’t think you can beat Baby Yoda,â Eldridge said. “It was quite fun.”