It’s not your typical mild-mannered library card.
In fact, the new Union County Public Library card that was unveiled over the weekend is meant to seem “super.” It features two cartoon superheroes on it drawn by local artist Al Bigley, who has worked for DC Comics, Disney and Marvel Comics, among others.
Library director Nina Meadows said she was looking for a way to attract non-users to the library system. Until now, cards for adult patrons simply sported the library logo, while those for kids and teens had different images, such as paint splatter, but nothing too specific.
“I wanted to do something to get people excited about having a library card,” Meadows said, “and I knew we had a phenomenal local artist.”
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The card reflects the library’s expanded roles, she said. One masked hero holds up a laptop, and the other cowled crusader opens a book under the words, “Knowledge Is Our Super Power!”
The card was available free last Saturday, the day it debuted, and 131 people took advantage of that offer, Meadows said.
The card costs $3, and Meadows intends to use the proceeds to buy an early-literacy computer for children at the library.
With the new card, users can check out up to 40 items instead of 35, place five items on hold and have one extra day of grace before overdue charges are applied to late items.
Meadows hopes to roll out a different character card each year.