From the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District in Nevada, to the Multnomah County Library in Oregon, library card collector Leah Chaya Gluck of Queens, New York is proud of her extensive collection of library cards. Most recently, Gluck acquired several card designs from the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) to add to her growing collection.
The 17-year-old avid reader was inspired to collect inactive library cards due to her passion for literature and a recent visit to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, which was her first time in a library since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I love reading and learning, and libraries are institutions that contribute greatly to helping with both of those,” said Gluck. “I realized that library cards are things that can’t simply be purchased online and decided to email some libraries [to obtain library cards].”
When Brian Auger, SCLSNJ’s county library administrator, heard from Gluck about her request for a library card from the Library System, he was determined to help.
“After hearing from Leah with a request for a card sample, I reached out to library directors in New Jersey and my other library contacts across the country,” said Auger. “Collectively, they shared 42 different cards and card sets from states as far away as Hawaii, which were often accompanied by notes of encouragement for the collector.”
Gluck, whose favorite novels include “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee – among many others, began collecting library cards in January 2021. In just four months the teen has accumulated cards from over 75 libraries across the country.
“I love going [to the library] and being surrounded by books,” Gluck said. “The environment in libraries is very conducive to reading.”
Her expanding collection currently consists of 107 standard size library cards and 96 keychain cards, as many libraries and library systems offer multiple styles and designs.
“I think that this teen is amazing and I’m glad we can help,” said Scott Chianese, director at the Hamilton Free Public Library, in response to sending a library card to Gluck.
“I’ve been getting such positive feedback about this collection from everyone, including the librarians who respond, which makes me want to keep growing my collection,” she concluded.
If you would like more information about getting your SCLSNJ Library card visit: SCLSNJ.org/using-our-libraries/getting-library-card.