"Value is what people are willing to pay for it." -John Naisbitt
Our elementary principal broke up a crime ring last week.
She happened upon some 2nd and 3rd grade students, participants in an after school activity, who were "stealing" from the library. The object of their villainy? Not books, but the old sign-out cards still found in some of the volumes.
A few years ago, we automated our library. Each book now has a barcode. Consequently, new books don't have pockets with cards to record borrowers. The now-obsolete orange and blue cards have been gradually discarded. But some remain, in the Books That Should Be Weeded, which haven't been checked out in years. These artifacts have somehow become an Object of Desire.
Administrative questioning revealed that the little darlings were not only pulling books off the shelves to search for remaining cards [no wonder our shelves have been such a mess lately!] but they have been trading and SELLING these bits of cardboard!
After delivering a stern lecture (while managing to somehow keep a straight face), the principal took the booty to her office. She shared the story with us the next morning.
The cards do hold a certain fascination. They retain the shaky signatures of students, some of whom graduated years ago, and bear dates ranging from the early '90s to the beginning of the millennium. Occasionally a child will spot an older sibling's name, or, more rarely, that of a parent.
I am now in possession of a few hundred of these relics. They have no extrinsic value, but they were something of value to the children who laboriously searched for them. Perhaps I'll distribute them for bookmarks or as rewards for good behavior. Our little society of students has found these cards to be desirable. I will deal with them in their own coin.
"Final Exam Flash Cards" by atlguitfiddle