Save me from my own big mouth and help me make this little passport
April 10, 2015 7:52 AM   Subscribe

So I agreed to help with a "Library Passport" project which is going to be GREAT except I'm in a bit over my head, could use template help or item sourcing.

The general idea is "Visit all these libraries, get stickers and/or prizes." I'm doing the little booklets that we give to people to track their visits. We have 183 libraries in the state (maybe more if we count academic/school libraries) and the idea is to have a little passport thing so people can get "stamps" in them. Original plan was to have the names/addresses of all the libraries in it, but I think that may be unreasonable. So.... just some sort of blank passport booklet with some pages (8-12?). I can't seem to find them cheaper than a few bucks each. We'd need at least five hundred and if I can't get the cost below about $1 each I'd probably just make them myself.

Which is the follow-up question: Is there a good template (for Word or Pages or something similar) where I could copy/paste/excel names addresses of the libraries into something that would be printed into a little book? And advice for rounding off corners? I've seen little corner cutters but not sure what they are called. Buying bulk mini "state of Vermont" stickers? Have you pulled off a project like this? How did it go? Willing to invest a lot of time or money but would prefer one or the other and not both.

Any advice short of "Don't do this." would be appreciated. The library lovers of Vermont thank you in advance.
posted by jessamyn to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The 2012 HOPE had passports, maybe find out from the organizers how they did it.
posted by Sophont at 8:00 AM on April 10, 2015

Side stapled memo books for $1 each. However, their minimum order is 1000.

The key search terms seem to be "pocket notebook", "memo notebook", or "memo book."
posted by ocherdraco at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2015

"Corner rounder" is the search term you want for dealing with corners. The heavy-duty ones used by bookbinders aren't cheap, but you probably don't need something of that caliber. Too flimsy, though, and it won't get through the whole booklet.
posted by cellar door at 8:17 AM on April 10, 2015

The US National Parks system does this as well -- Looks like they outsourced the printing into a double coil type spiral books.

Whatever template you come up with for Word (easiest probably to start with an AVERY template) you can then set up to Mail Merge in the address information.

Another thought might be to just also set up a PDF so kids can print and color their own, like Mary Pope Osborne did. But I didn't like that it was only designed for color printers and we had a black and white laser jet.
posted by tilde at 8:28 AM on April 10, 2015

What about emailing Field Notes and seeing if they could help you out? They already have an existing product that might be workable (see here), and maybe they might want to do this as some kind of custom one-off promo something something? Their wholesale coordinator's info is on the side of the homepage.
posted by at 11:44 AM on April 10, 2015

Best answer: I'm going to be excessively surprised if you can get anything from Field Notes for less than a zillion dollars.

Here are passport notebooks at less than $1 each. Get stickers made that look like generic passport stamps (like these), tear off 20 or whatever for each library and have them write in their town name when they affix a sticker to a visitor's passport?

(These are 6.75 per dozen and possibly you can work with those.)
posted by DarlingBri at 12:06 PM on April 10, 2015

If you decide to DIY, this guide for making a booklet from one sheet of paper is great. You could even pre-print the paper to include library addresses. Then patrons can fold, cut, and decorate their own booklets. Pluses include teaching people how to make a little booklet, and being able to email .pdfs to patrons who want to DIY at home. Possible drawbacks include that it looks homemade and not super fancy.

Ordering a non-custom booklet is possible through school supply vendors who make these passport booklets for classroom use. They're already the correct size and come in a few varieties.
posted by quince at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks so much to everyone for all the feedback so far. Field Notes are my favorite people but their minimum order amount of 1000 and their generally high prices (and high quality) mean they're a non-starter for us with a budget of as close to zero as possible though I'll email them anyhow because what the heck. It looks like for the quality we'd be getting from the lower cost items we'd be better off cutting/stapling/assembling ourselves which probably fits our budget better to begin with. People printing their own isn't going to work for a distributed state-wide program like this one, though it's an option for future programs. I like those little passport stickers and I'll be following down some leads. Thanks. Anyone with template suggestions for printing passport pages, I am all ears.
posted by jessamyn at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2015

Have you looked at the vast selection of unlined composition notebooks on Alibaba? Lots of them are minimum orders of 1000, but in generally they seem to be $1 or less each and some have custom printing for the covers.
posted by jabes at 12:42 PM on April 10, 2015

FYI, the VT Brewers Association has you print your own.
posted by maryr at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2015

Best answer: Here's a free complete booklet that looks suitable for your needs. You can print it yourself or outsource the printing and assembly to a place like Office Depot or Staples since it's already in .pdf format. If you do go that route, I'd check retailmenot for coupons/codes since they often have deals on their printing services like these.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:09 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

183 libraries seems like not many for a whole state*, but it seems like VERY many if you imagine parents being nagged to visit all of them.

I assume there will be prizes or whatever for some number before 183. In addition, how about having some theme-based prizes: Collect all the Carnegie libraries get a (steel something?)...Collect all the libraries over 100 years old...Collect all the libraries built in the last ten years...Collect libraries from 5 different towns...Collect 5 local history libraries etc. You could put the list of possible combos on a web site or have a flyer that goes with the passport.

* Well I just looked up the population of Vermont, so I guess that's plenty. I just didn't know Vermont was so tiny.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:19 PM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

You should be able to find a corner rounder at a craft store in the scrap booking section. Creative Memories has a decent one for $18.
posted by Sukey Says at 3:08 AM on April 11, 2015

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