Here's a few ways to find out more. Use sudo on these, and I won't bother typing it.
lspci -v |less
lsusb -v |less
lspcmcia -v |less
Will show you what's on the buses. We'd like to see all the bit about your card reader Post if you find something.
If you find what the thing is called, try these. Let's call it reader for these examples
Then dmesg | grep -i reader
cat /var/log/messages |grep -i reader
Here is where the kernel wakes it up, decides to use it, complains, or tells it to go back to sleep. Post what you find of relevance