What will become of library cards in the future?
With so many functions moving online, my cards are slowly turning into a handy way to store the member number for when I log in. Unfortunately, I still have to remember my PIN for each of them the usual way.
I need my library cards when I'm checking out a physical resource, of course. I have eight cards of my own at the moment, and carry a couple for my children too. They were very pleased when they were finally allowed to get their own cards. I was less pleased as each has been lost and replaced at least once, and now all the library cards reside with me. My TAFE student card doubles as my library card, and is the only one with my photo (not shown - no one likes their own photo ID). This card can act as ID when I want to visit another library, such as UTS, so it has a double duty. My Rockdale library card is duplicated on my phone through the Card Star app, so I can present that to the desk when borrowing, and never get caught short. The Hurstville City Library card stores credit to use the printers etc at the library, as does my student card.
My various customer loyalty cards are bright colours, and have slick branding. Looking over the images on my library cards, I have to say, they are mixed. To me their function is more important than their form, but we all recognise the power of branding. In Library Week many public libraries have events for young children and encourage their parents to get a library card for the child. The card is a prompt for parents to borrow and share books with children, and is a tangible link to the issuing library.
I love my big fat roll of library cards, and plan on adding a couple of new ones to it in the near future, as I identify libraries that hold different items or collections I am interested in. I'm intrigued by their design and how they fit with the branding strategy of each institution. Maybe I can find a purple one.....