Would You Read to an Alligator?

Image by Bogeskov. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Common's licensing.
Image by Bogeskov. Retrieved from Flickr. Used under Creative Common’s licensing.

A few weeks ago, we had a spirited conversation after a fire drill about  risk, and how far  an employee should be expected to go when a college student will not vacate the university library during a fire drill. And what about if there had been a real fire? Should library staff be expected to risk their lives for patrons who will not comply with announcements to vacate the building? Needless to say, there were feelings expressed, and some with passion too! Let me tell you a story about risk and passion…..

I read a story about a children’s librarian in Queens (Miss Susan) who made a promise for her summer reading program. If at least 300 children registered and read at least 4,000 books over the summer, she would read a story to a live alligator! In past years she has made other outrageous promises too, made good on all of them, but this one topped the previous ones! Well, you guessed it, Miss Susan read “There’s an Alligator Under My Bed” by Mercer Mayer to Wally, a female alligator. Read the full story and please be aware that after hearing the story, Wally had no comment!