An Otterbein University librarian has taken an obsolete portion of the library and turned it into a hobby through art.

Allen Reichert, who in addition to being a librarian serves as a liaison to the university's art department, said he started the hobby of trading art made with unused catalog cards with others in 2014, using the university's unused catalog cards. The creation of small-scale conceptual art pieces on card stock the size of baseball cards began once the catalog cards became obsolete in the mid- 2000s.

He said he's inspired by the description on the card.

"You come across cards that have really neat descriptions," he said.

In addition to creating his own, he also collects and trades cards with artists from all over the world in a "swap."

Reichert sent cards to about 100 artists and an estimated 120 to 130 cards were returned, with many artists having created multiple designs. Most of the swaps were made with artists within the United States, but a few were made with artists from Finland, Australia and the United Kingdom.

He said he was able to connect with other artists on the site ATCsforall.com, as well as complete the swaps there.

He said most people try to match the subject matter on the card but "painting, drawing and collage are most of what you see."

He said his favorite part is trying to convert the cards and seeing what other people want to do with them.

"I'm always amazed about how people might manipulate or use a card or what they might do," he said.

He said he's used 700 to 800 cards out of the card catalog so far.

"I think it'll be awhile before I run out," he said.

He said he tries to limit the swaps to every few years, so he doesn't run out as quickly.

Jenny Hill, an Otterbein spokeswoman, said Reichert's collection will be on display inside the Courtright Memorial Library, 138 W. Main St., Westerville, during normal hours. There is no cost to see the display.

Courtright Memorial Library is open from 7:45 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday during fall term, 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 2 a.m. Sundays.

For more information about the Courtright Memorial Library visit otterbein.edu/library/collections/.

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