The Public Library of New London began handing out redesigned library cards Thursday and the first one went to Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio.
During an informal ceremony at the circulation desk, Finizio received the new card and key ring tag, which was designed by Chelsea Cleveland, a library assistat and recent graduate of New London High School.
The mayor praised the library as "a fantastic resource" for city residents and pledged to forge a strong relationship between city government and the library" so that the library may not only "continue but hopefully expand its mission in the city."
The new design includes an updated logo, including graphic of the library's three arches on the exterior of the building and three blue squares which represent the city's waterfront.
It is the first redesign in 20 years.
For the next four weeks, patrons can trade in their old cards at no cost. After that, cards will be $1. New London residents can get a new card for free. A valid library card can use used at every public library in the state.
The debut of the redesigned card coincides with the library's "Check In @ the Public Library of New London,'' an online campaign to raise awareness about library services such as e-books, audio books, paperbacks and DVDs.
''The library is an anchor institution in our community and makes a difference every day in people's lives,'' said Director Suzanne Maryeski. "The library continues to bridge the digital divide and is no longer a warehouse of books, but is part of the American dream of offering access and opportunity for all.''
In January, attendance at the library was a record breaking 15, 243, she said.