Ersatz Library Card

The rather battered library card on the bottom has been rattling around on Mary’s keyring since late in the last millennium:

Library card tags - front
Library card tags – front

I made the one on the top as a replacement, because Mary wanted one, but the library no longer issues keyring cards these days.

The front surface was laid out in The GIMP, inkjet-printed on good paper, cold laminated, laser-cut with LightBurn’s Print-and-Cut process, then affixed to the acrylic tag with really good double-sided tape:

Adriance Card - LightBurn PnC layout
Adriance Card – LightBurn PnC layout

I cut and applied the tape after cutting the tag, but the next time around I’ll apply the tape to the stock and cut both together to improve the edge alignment.

The rear surface data is engraved directly into the same Trolase laminated acrylic I used for the plant tags:

Library card tags - rear
Library card tags – rear

The smaller text uses dot mode and the bars & number are engraved:

Library card tag - detail
Library card tag – detail

In retrospect, it’s painfully obvious the engraving passes should run parallel to the bars, rather than perpendicular to them.

The barcode uses Codabar encoding generated with a Codabar font. I scaled the graphic block slightly larger than the original in the hope of making it more readable.

I determined the start and stop characters by trial and error; for this card, they’re A and B. Which could, perhaps, stand for Arlington Branch, but might equally well be coincidence.

It worked perfectly on the first scan at the library counter and apparently went entirely unnoticed. I trust duplicating a library card does not constitute a federal offense.

For what should be obvious reasons, however, I’m not posting the LightBurn layout.

7 thoughts on “Ersatz Library Card

    1. You’d think after all these years it’d be impossible for me to misspell Poughkeepsie, but …

      Good catch: thanks!

  1. Most of the libraries in my midwest suburban location use self-service checkout facilities, so I just read the codabar barcode, printed a larger one, and laminated it. No problem, even at the manned checkout places.

Spam comments get trashed, so don't bother. Comment moderation may cause a delay.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s