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Every day, libraries around the world lend their patrons millions of items. Millions of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos, games. Millions of megabytes of free internet access.
A librarian is the ultimate search engine, and no Google web search algorithm will ever beat it. Most importantly, opposite to any artificial intelligence, the librarian will be thankful for appreciating her or his work.
The list below includes library gift ideas for your librarian if you think saying “thank you” is not enough. Just keep in mind that maybe instead of gifting an item that says “library,” it’s good to search for more subtle and sophisticated ideas.
Some of the gifts are an excellent way to support your local library. The posters, badges, stationery, or treats would be a great addition to community meetings organized by the library.
And finally, these library-themed gifts will share your love for libraries, just like book-themed gifts share the love for books and reading.
But there is one difference. Wearing a library t-shirt is, in fact, a way to promote libraries. It doesn’t only say you love books. It also says you care about them. Because the library is the most advanced way of caring for books the man has ever developed.
Library gifts – recommended sites
Before the list, let us share the best online stores that offer a wide range of library gifts of all kinds.
Etsy – this is the biggest online store with handmade goods. The selection of library-themed gifts is impressive, so Etsy is a must-see destination, especially if you want to gift something unique in style. As all items are made to order, there are several ways to add a personal message – also for the bookish items listed below.
Zazzle – if you want a specific product with a unique design or message, you should check out this site. It offers items from hundreds of categories, and hundreds of thousands of designs. Plus you can customize the product to suit your taste.
Redbubble – opposite to Zazzle or CafePress, where you’ll see a casual artwork, Redbubble offers well-designed goods, although not in such a variety.
Not on the High Street – unlike other stores, the site offers beautiful things – showcased beautifully. The team is hunting for the best items on the net to include them in the growing catalog of curated products.
Amazon Handmade – if you are an Amazon customer, you should check out this quickly growing category. You’ll find here jewelry, home decor, kitchen & dining, furniture, stationery, among other categories.
If we missed any great library gifts, please make sure to share them with our readers.
25 stylish library gifts
Library Book Lover’s Brooch. A cute little badge for a library lover. “Our libraries are disappearing all too quickly, and this little thing is a brilliant way to declare your love for all things bookish.”
Hand-crafted from metal and plastic the brooch measures 5.8 cm in diameter. ⇢ Not on the High Street – $4.
A Set of Library Cards. The look of the library card is the proven way to evoke positive emotions for books. Don’t just dream about it, use it. The stationery that resembles library cards is widely available. It’s perfect for crafting, scrapbooking, invitations, or educational games for children.
Out of many designs, we picked the library cards hand-crafted by Thatch & Thistle. They have that unforgettable vintage look and are sold in a stylish packaging. ⇢ Etsy – $5.
Library Card Pillows. “These library card pillows with have you waxing nostalgic for the days when the librarian would flip to the back of the book and hand stamp the due date.”
The front and back of each of these nostalgic pillows are printed with the design of library due date card. You can choose from eight available colors, from Orange Yellow to Span Pink. ⇢ Etsy – $30.
Library Card Coffee Mug. A lovely gift for a librarian or a library lover. This ceramic coffee mug is available in either 11 oz. or 15 oz, and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Most importantly, the features the design of the library due date card, both on the front and back. ⇢ Etsy – $14.95.
Notecards from the Library of Congress. You can use blank library cards, or you can go one step forward and evoke memories by using the reproductions of original cards from the Library of Congress.
A set contains 30 notecards. Imagine writing a note to your friend on a library card for Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, or Frankenstein. ⇢ Amazon – $17.
“I Still Believe in 398.2” Library Necklace. Library gifts don’t have to say “library” to be meaningful. In Dewey Decimal System, number 398.2 marks the section of the library that shelves folktales, fairytales, and fables.
With age, our memories fade but the view of the library we visited in our childhood times, and these particular shelves full of dreams and adventure – unforgettable. ⇢ Etsy – $38.
A Truly Great Library Tile Pendant. What is truly great about this pendant is the statement: “A truly great library has something to offend everyone.”
The pendant is handmade from a Scrabble tile game piece. The image is adhered to the wood and sealed with a non-yellowing shiny dome finish. There are other catchy texts to explore. We show a few of them in the gallery above. ⇢ Etsy – $5.90.
Librarian Bracelet. From a popular Etsy shop, A Likely Story, comes a wonderful bracelet with a word “librarian” on replicas of old-fashioned typewriter keys.
The bracelet features also nine book- and library-themed charms: open and closed book, a librarian, a library building, a library lion, a fashion magazine, and newspaper. ⇢ Etsy – $39.95.
Sexy Librarian Pillow. A pillow for a sexy librarian or a person who is in love with her. It’s individually cut and sewn by hand. It features the typography design on both sides.
The pillow is available in three sizes: 16 x 16, 18 x 18, and 20 x 20 inches. ⇢ Etsy – $30.
Personalized Story Library Card Print. Why don’t you tell your story with a beautiful print that’s inspired by aesthetics of the library card? Here’s how it works: when making an order, type up to 15 events from your life, your relationship, or your family. They will look like hand-written, together with the dates looking like being stamped.
The print comes in four sizes, from A4 to A1. You can order it framed or unframed. ⇢ Not on the High Street – $32.90.
Library Card Prints with Book Details. Here is another artwork that uses the library card design. Each print from a series presents the details of a great classic book – with a relevant Dewey Decimal System classification number. Besides the title and author, you will find on the layout the date of publication, as well as the first and last sentence.
The Library Card series from Folio Creations includes the variants for Pride and Prejudice, Olivier Twist, Treasure Island, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, among others. ⇢ Etsy – $19.
“I Love the Library” Table Lamp. Putting a quote on every single home decor is not necessarily a good idea, but the library love can still be there without too many words.
The minimalist design is all about the three stylish icons. You can place it not only on a table lamp shown above, but also a tripod lamp, table shade, and a pendant lamp. ⇢ Zazzle – $57.
Librarian Bathroom Set. This ceramic bathroom set includes a toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. Each one features a design by Graphix Vixon saying “Librarian Who Loves Cats and Dogs,” accompanied by cute profiles of pets.
As any other item on Zazzle, you can customize the set by changing the background color, the font colors, or resizing the artwork. ⇢ Zazzle – $25.
Library Dute Date iPhone 6S Case. Putting a library due date card on a smartphone case is one of the smartest ideas in times of social media. It’s a book you have to hurry up reading, not a Facebook status.
On Redbubble, you can get the library card design for iPhone 6S/6 and 6S/6 Plus. There are also cases that fit other phones, including Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S5. ⇢ Redbubble – $28.
Library Tote Book Bag. Tote bags are perfect for carrying the books to the library and from a library, or any other items as long as they are books;-)
This graceful tote bag design is printed on a 12 x 12 canvas tote. You can order a different color of the artwork, just leave a message to shop owner while adding the item to cart. ⇢ Etsy – $12.
“Where Shhh Happens” Women’s T-Shirt. Most probably, you’ve come across this catchy phrase already. The “shh” happens only in libraries, opposite to the outside world, where sh*t happens.
This particular t-shirt, from Papely Pastel, is extremely well-designed. You can get it in either White or Black. The sizes are from S to XL. ⇢ Etsy – $20.
Library Card Pouch. From a Library Collection by Out of Print Clothing comes an everyday pouch that mimics a library card. It measures 6 by 9 inches and is made of 100% cotton.
Besides the natural colors, the pouch is also offered in attention-grabbing yellow. The purchase you’ll make will send a book to a community in need. Don’t be overdue in checking this out. ⇢ Amazon – $12.
Library Date Due Necktie. A perfect librarian gift. The library due date card pattern is printed on a silky-soft microfiber with non-toxic, water-based ink. You can choose from several colors and two necktie sizes. ⇢ Etsy – $36.
Library “Quiet Please” Travel Mug. This mug speaks for itself. Take it to the library, but, even better, take it everywhere!
You can get the “Quiet Please” warning sign on posters, pillows, t-shirts, phone cases, and 20 more items. ⇢ Redbubble – $21.
Library Cake Pops. On Zazzle, you can select a design and use it on a large number of goods from different categories – even on chocolates & treats! For instance, you can buy a dozen bite-sized desserts from Veronica’s Treats. Each cake pop consists of moist, baked cake mixed with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting.
You can choose from three filling flavors, three chocolate icing flavors, and 10 drizzle colors. ⇢ Zazzle – $46.95.
“When in Doubt Go to the Library” Clock. This wall clock will remind you what to do every time you’ll be in doubt. And remember: going to the library nowadays also means visiting its website.
The clock is 10 inches in diameter. It’s available in the natural wood frame and features a high-impact plexiglass crystal face. ⇢ Society6 – $30.
Librarian Chalkboard Style Poster. From Princess Snap comes a stylish printable that looks like a text drawn with a chalk on a blackboard.
You can order the poster as a digital file (pdf or jpg format), and print it out for yourself. What’s important, you can add the name of your favorite librarian to it! Just write down in a message to seller when placing the order. ⇢ Etsy – $8.
Knock Knock Personal Library Kit. One of the classic library gifts. The kit will let use the old-fashioned library circulation techniques to keep track which books you lent and whom.
The kit includes twenty self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, date stamp with inkpad, and a pencil. It will be a perfect gift for a child, but the parents will have fun using it, too. ⇢ Amazon – $13.
Library Card Bookmark. The bookmark looks the paper library due date card, but it’s are actually made from maple wood. “A stylish and eco-friendly way to hold your place while enjoying a good book!”
Compared to the paper-making process, it takes less wood to make the bookmark. It is 2 × 6 in and has round corners. You can find other colors, too. ⇢ Etsy – $5.95.
Library Card Scented Candle. We’ve already listed amazing library scented candles and perfumes, but the collection from North Ave is different. The candles don’t smell like paper or library, but their scents are inspired by books.
The example above is the candle with a label resembling a library card for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It offers scents of pine, balsam, bergamot, and smokey birch blended with base notes of antique sandalwood and woodsy patchouli. ⇢ Etsy – $22.
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Keep exploring. Here are other posts about libraries and librarians:
- Beijing’s new surrealist bookstore inspired by classical Chinese gardens
- Privacy and personalization in the library (infographic)
- What were the most challenged books of 2019? (report and infographic)
- 10 reasons librarians are more important than ever
- 10 most creative bookmobiles from around the world (infographic)