Dewey the Cat or otherwise titled Library Pets

25 Mar

IMG_1234Let me start off by saying, my library does not have a library cat (although that would be kind of cool).  We actually have a turtle and for all of you thinking a turtle doesn’t seem very interactive, well then, you’ve never experienced a turtle in the library before!  When I first started working in the library here, there were no pets and I petitioned strongly for one (knowing full well that it would be my responsibility).  And conveniently enough, my dad was looking at offloading his pet turtle and he was very willing to donate her to the library.  So one weekend I drove home and drove back spending 5 hours in the car with a turtle not very happy with the situation and as they say, the rest is history!

Tera, is around 12 years old, and very sociable!  She loves the kids who visit her (some of who I think only come to the library to see the turtle) and she entertains our staff as well.  She literally begs for food in the morning, will follow fingers along her tank and loves being the center of attention.  For some kids and families, this is the closest to a pet they’ll have and its a great conversation starter for kids who are hesitant in the library, a quick, “Have you seen our turtle?” Usually makes them much more comfortable and willing to talk to the librarians.  It’s also a great learning tool for kids interested in animals – we have a sign with a few key points about turtles, but we’ve also made sure to have a couple books on the shelf that talk about turtles as well.

You may not be able to have a cat in your library, but think about fish, a turtle, a hamster – something small, but something that kids can connect with!  And it’s a great way to create programs too – I’m thinking about doing a birthday party for her this year and when we had to have the library sprayed for pests Tera came home with me for a week and the kids wrote postcards to her.  She really is a great addition to our library family!

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One Response to “Dewey the Cat or otherwise titled Library Pets”

  1. LibraryElfDesigns March 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    We have turtles too and kids have to go through most of the section to get to them. They love the turtles, so I agree, libraries should consider pets, because it gives kids something to remember and to look forward to. I’ve been at a library with a beta fish and a gecko (he left because he hid all the time). Another had a hamster and it was funny to be at the board meeting and he ran in, in his little hamster ball to check it out. Another library I was with did have a library cat. She lasted a year before she decided to retire. She went home with us every night and decided one day she was done. Now, 15-16 years later, people STILL ask how she’s doing (fine. She lives with me now). Actually, that same library wound up trying a guinea pig out recently and she somehow wound up with me (long story).

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