This post was originally published on May 24, 2013.

Today’s feature is a real treat– re-purposed library catalog cards turned into topical works of art! Artist Vickie Moore lets each card’s topic inform her illustration, and she’s always looking for more. Check the links below to find out how to send her your cast-off cards & give them new life! ~Erinn


Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.  What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

Vickie Moore (VM): I use obsolete library card catalogue cards as canvases for miniature pieces of art.  The subjects, authors and titles on the cards help suggest imagery for me to use.  I’ve been working on some new paintings that celebrate summer, like one about gardening, as well as some on cards for classic children’s and adult literature, like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Macbeth.

LAIP: Libraries have obviously contributed materials to your projects– can you  tell us about the first library you remember playing a part in your artistic development?

VM: As a girl, I lived one block from a library and could walk to it whenever I wanted a new batch of books.  I was horse-obsessed and literally read every horse book in the children’s section, which in turn fueled my childhood penchant for drawing horses.  I think that helped create a link in my mind early on between literature and art.  In college I majored in art and loved checking out books on my favorite artists, including Alice Neel and Mark Rothko.

LAIP: Tell us more about  the Catalog Card Project– how did it get started?  Where do you hope it will go?

VM:  My project to give new life to obsolete library card catalog cards started when I was in a local library and noticed cards being used as scratch paper next to computer stations.  They had wonderful titles, such as “Musical Insects,” that instantly suggested imagery.  I began asking librarians if I could have some of the old cards, and they cheerfully let me choose some.  After painting a few cards and posting them in my online art shop, sales took off.  I’ve since shipped cards to almost every state in America as well as to Canada, Europe and Australia.  I’m hoping to get my cards into library gift shops so they can help generate money for libraries.

LAIP: As an artist, what would your ideal library be like?  What would it look like? What kinds of stuff would you be able to check out, and what could you do there?

VM: My fantasy library would have walls decorated with the art of local artists, an incredible selection of children’s picture books and shelves full of artist biographies and big coffee table-sized books on art.  Children and adults would come in for after-hours art sessions and listen to people reading stories and poetry to them while they painted.

LAIP: Create a book list for us– what 5 titles do you wish you could find on the shelf at every library?


  • Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty
  • John Steinbeck’s East of Eden
  • Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding
  • Wallace Stegner’s Big Rock Candy Mountain
  • Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs

Want More?

Want to send Vickie your library’s old catalog cards?  She’d love to turn them into works of art!
Get in touch: Email:



Photo by Travis Moore

Vickie Moore is the owner of the WingedWorld online art shop.  She rescues obsolete library card catalog cards and uses them as canvases for miniature works of art so that they can be enjoyed far into the future.  In addition to hunting down and painting library cards, she works as a professional writer and is the mother of two small children.

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