SNEAK PEEK of Cleveland Public Library’s Newest Library Cards

By Sarah Valek

First there was the Harvey Pekar library card. Now, the Cleveland Public Library is set to release the next of their Landmark Series Library Cards — featuring images from illustrator Julia Kuo.

You may have seen her work adorning the pages of the book New to Cleveland, written by Justin Glanville. Soon her work can adorn your library card.

Says Kuo, “The Cleveland Public Library first got in touch with me because they had seen and liked an image that I created for Literary Lots. Literary Lots is a new program that hosts writing and arts programming inspired by storybooks in vacant or underutilized urban spaces. We ran our first pilot lot in Novak Park this past August right next to the Carnegie West Library branch.

“Kauser Razvi of Strategic Urban Solutions, Frank Lewis of Ohio City Writers, and Stephanie Kluk of Art House had been working with Tracy Martin of the Cleveland Public Library for months to make this happen. I had also simultaneously been working on promotional materials for this lot, including a series of images that illustrated ‘bringing books to life.’

“CPL’s Anastasia and Tracy thought that the city version of this series would make a great library card, so they asked if it was possible to turn it into a Cleveland city scene. I lived in Cleveland from 2007-2012, so it wasn’t hard to pick out some highlights!

“The library specifically asked to include people along with these landmarks, because it’s the people here that make this city what it is. This was especially fun for me because I drew my friends and favorite activities into the card. One of my friends is walking her dog Lucy, who loves to chase squirrels, and other friends are jogging and biking along the Emerald Necklace. I’m the girl with purple hair kayaking in the river. I don’t actually have purple hair, but that’s the magical thing about drawing, isn’t it?”

The library card will be available soon. We’ll keep you updated on a specific release date.  Watch video of Harvey’s widow Joyce Brabner picking up her Harvey Pekar card here.

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