Cats and libraries – a legendary duo! CMLE has even included a book about a library cat in one of our monthly book groups. But Dewey the Library Cat was adopted by the Spencer Public Library back in 1988, and today, the attitude towards resident library cats is changing.
This article from American Libraries Magazine discusses the large decline in the number of library cats of the past several years. The main reason for this seems to be the problem of allergies among patrons.
However, many library cats remain in their libraries, and the library workers have taken steps to accommodate visitors that suffer from allergies. Some libraries offer to walk books out to patrons’ cars if their allergies are too bad to allow them into the library, or they wipe down each book with a Clorox wipe. Good air circulation and regular vacuuming help too.
But if having a cat in the library is just not going to be possible, there are other ways to incorporate them into library PR. The article talks about one library worker in PA who features her own cats on the library social media on weekends – often in costumes.
Does your library have a real cat, or even stuffed cat, as a mascot? Maybe you incorporate animals in a different way? We’d love to hear about it!