Community & Environment

Get your new-look library card

Hamilton City Libraries Director Stephen Pennruscoe with the four new library card designs.

Hamilton City Libraries’ new card designs feature colourful images from two picture book illustrators with local connections.

New library members will get a free card in a design of their choice when they sign up, while current cardholders can update their cards for just $3.80 per card. The cards are available at all branches.

Hamilton-based author/illustrator Kat Quin (formerly Merewether) contributed an illustration from her book Kiwicorn, described as a ridiculously cute and funny story about being unique. The book features a colourful little kiwi.

Quin, who works closely with the libraries team on book readings, exhibitions and events, says Hamilton’s libraries were a big part of her life growing up.

“We would come in from our farm on a Friday night and could pick a book each. I would pick the most elaborately illustrated book that I could find! When Hamilton City Libraries approached me to create a library card using my artwork, I was honoured.

“I love the initiative, and I hope when people look in their wallets and see the new cards, it inspires them and reminds them to take a trip to their local library.”

Ross Kinnaird, a Hamilton-born illustrator, provided an illustration from the book Sir Singlet, written by Thames author Dawn McMillan. Sir Singlet is a rhyming book about a knight who is more interested in designing comfortable undies than riding into battle.

The new designs also include a much-loved image of the Fairfield Bridge from the Hamilton City Libraries heritage collection and a detail from the mural decorating the Central Library. The mural was painted by Napier-based artist Christie Wright during the 2019 Boon Street Art Festival.

Libraries Director Stephen Pennruscoe says featuring illustrations from books on the cards was a way of reminding people how much fun they could have reading and of celebrating local talent.

“Using the 1936 photo of the Fairfield Bridge on one of the cards also allows us to promote our fantastic heritage collection,” he says. “We want to make sure people are aware of the wealth of heritage information they have access to through the library, including the almost 10,000 photographs we’ve put online.”

The heritage collection also includes copies of the Waikato Times from 1872 onwards, maps, old records and documents, Council archives and recordings of people telling their stories.

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