May 24, 2022

Minnesota Public Radio on a Library Catalog Card Artist

From MPR:

Vickie Moore grew up flipping through catalog cards in search of what to read next. Using a computer is certainly more convenient, she admitted, “but it’s not the same as browsing through the card catalog, which was a bit like wandering through a bookstore.”


An artist by training, she was accustomed to working on large canvases, but something about the small cards appealed to her. She took each title as inspiration and began to paint miniature illustrations.

Moore’s tiny odes to classic titles found an instant following online. Book lovers from around the world have ordered her painted cards and prints. Holding the long-gone cards brings back a flood of memories for her customers.


Moore has continued to expand her card collection: She has another 1,000 waiting for her in storage. Each one is a record not just of a book, but of how people felt about that book as they meandered through the catalog. The shabby, well-thumbed corners of “The Black Stallion” card or the one for a book on Babe Ruth show how popular those books were for decades — how many sets of eager hands flipped through the others to find them.

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See Also:  Community College Librarian Turns Catalog Cards Into Art (June 8, 2013)
A profile of Hope Schneider.

See Also:  Book Traces: A Crowdsourced Project Collecting Marginalia and Inserts in 19th and Early 20th Century Books (May 1, 2o14)

See Also: Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins (Feb. 20, 2011; via NY Times)

See Also: The Marginal Obsession With Marginalia (January 26, 2012 via The New Yorker)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.