Regular readers of this blog know how much I like the vintage posters from the Be Kind to Books Club. Created by Arlington Gregg in the 1930s, these Works Progress
Administration (WPA) posters taught young patrons about proper book care.
Lucy Jakub, a college student and Library of Congress Junior Fellow, recently updated the series with literary characters from the public domain. She selected characters that would help teach children how to care for their books. For example, “Dracula cautions against exposing paper to the sun. Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West demonstrate water damage.”
While trying to make the posters more contemporary, she decided to pursue licenses for characters still under copyright. This proved to be quite a challenge, especially with Marvel’s Spider-man character, but Tarzan came to the rescue.
Lucy Jakub’s wonderful “Be Kind to Books Club” posters, bookplates, and bookmarks are downloadable from the Library of Congress. The final designs feature characters, including Dorothy, Dracula, and Tarzan, whose stories can be read online at Read.gov.