KFPL unveils limited edition card designs, recognizes mural artists
The Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) is showing some love to their rural branches over March Break, with an opportunity for new and current library users to get their hands on limited edition library cards.
With three new card options to choose from, rural library patrons will have first pick of the two limited editions — one featuring the library’s t-rex mascot who will be visiting the rural branches in March, and the other displaying a piece of the mural created for and unveiled at CBC’s My Kingston day, which took place last summer.
“As you can imagine, we give out thousands of library cards each year,” shared Kimberly Sutherland-Mills, Director of Service Design and Delivery at KFPL. “When supplies start to run low, we have an opportunity to revisit the card design to meet current needs. We had heard from patrons that a larger barcode number would make it easier to read, so we worked that into the design.”
In 2019, when the Central Branch celebrated its reopening after extensive renovations, the library offered limited edition library cards, which Sutherland-Mills said were “such a great hit that we decided to offer another limited run for 2023.”
When asked how the library decided which images they would place on these limited edition cards, Sutherland-Mills said that they wanted something “fresh and vibrant” that would be fun for patrons to see every time they use the library.
“We knew that we wanted to incorporate the beautiful art piece by Fran and Constance that was gifted to the library through CBC’s My Kingston Day. Our graphic designer pulled together a few options, and the dog with the binoculars captured an element of curiosity that we loved,” she explained. “We have also had a lot of enthusiasm on social media for our T-Rex who makes occasional appearances. The photo of the dinosaur exploring the children’s department at our Central Branch brought that whimsical feel to a card that will be ideal for kids – but has turned out to be a popular option for our staff too.”
The library cards will be offered first to new patrons in Frontenac County at both the Plevna and Sharbot Lake Branches during March Break.
“Accompanied by some of our staff, our friendly T-Rex will be visiting those branches to enjoy dinosaur stories with the kids,” Sutherland-Mills continued. “Patrons of all ages are invited to be community models — posing for photos that will be used in future library marketing will get them one of the special cards. And patrons who aren’t comfortable in front of a camera can bring a friend or family member to sign up for the first time and they’ll both be offered one of the limited edition cards!”
Ahead of the library’s rural March Break visits, Francisco Corbett and Constance Intounas, the two artists who collaborated on the mural for the library, were gifted a limited edition card at a short ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.
Both Corbett and Intounas stopped by the library’s Central Branch — where their mural is on display for all to see and enjoy — for the presentation of the cards.
“I grew up going to the library,” Corbett told Kingstonist. “I have fond memories of going there as a kid before the renovations, where all the toys were beside the big window. I am really lucky to come back and visit the newly renovated library with my own son.”
Sutherland Mills added that she remembers Corbett attending her children’s storytime as a boy. “He has always made the library part of his life,” she said. “He told me how excited he is to get his child their first library card – and of course, having his painting on it will make it that much more special.”
While Intounas is not from Kingston originally, she was just as excited to receive a card with her artwork on it.
“I feel honoured to have the mural on the cards. It really is something that I never thought I would say or would do, but is something really special. I see myself in the future, if I have kids, taking them to the library and showing them my artwork on the wall, reminiscing on what a time that was creating it, but also getting them a library card of their own.”
A student at Queen’s University, Intounas said that she wished she had discovered the library space earlier in her university career.
“When I did discover the KFPL in my fourth year, I recognized its beauty and potential to inspire the community to come together,” she expressed “Now that my artwork is a permanent installation in the KFPL, I have a strong attachment to the building and often like to visit to study, read books, or even just admire the space. It truly is a welcoming space, and staff are always so friendly. You see people of all ages sharing a space to learn, write, read, and be at peace, and that to me is something that I really admire.”
Intounas and Corbett had known each other for about a year before working together on this mural project. “She had applied to be part of our collective studio, FORWORLD Studios,” Corbett said. “We had collaborated on a piece privately leading up this mural titled ‘I’ve Never Been Happier,’ which we made into prints and sold out of. Constance is an incredibly talented artist and we share the same theories of art, art should be exciting.”
Luckily, since the two artists also shared a similar vision of what the piece would look like, Corbett said it was the “smoothest project” he has ever done.
“We got right to work on conceptualizing and picking a range of colours to work with. We completed the piece in five days, carrying it down to the library on foot,” he said.
“Collaborating on the CBC x KFPL mural with Fran was incredibly fluid and exciting,” added Intounas. “Although our artworks independently are incredibly different in nature, we were able to embrace our differences and use them as a strength to make our mural unique — showing who I am as an artist, who Fran is as an artist, who we are as artists together, and what Kingston is to us.”
Both artists also expressed their thanks to KFPL and CBC for providing them with this experience.
“We are both proud to have contributed a piece of our art to the library,” Intounas expressed. “Our art has a fantastic home that was created about the community for the community.”
Later this spring, all new patrons to the library will be able to choose one of the new designs for their card. With just over 9,000 of both of the limited edition cards, there will be plenty of each at all 16 KFPL branches.