Earlier this month a woman came into Central Library Peterborough with a parrot perched on her shoulder. This ruffled a few feathers (amongst staff, not the aforementioned bird) about the appropriateness of it all but as the visit was brief no firm action was taken. Anyway, apart from the occasional shreeeeeeek the parrot was well behaved and no violations of the customer code of conduct were seen or heard. That is, if you’ll excuse the fowl language.
Some animals are quite capable of making their own way in. Sparrows are particularly adept at doing this. I can recall a number of times when staff (and customers!) have tried to set sparrows free. Surprisingly their efforts are often rewarded with success.
Back in February, New Brighton Library played host to a very crabby visitor.
However a more unusual type of visitor was mentioned in The Press back in 1915. It was reported that a nanny goat had completely lost the plot and wandered into the Canterbury Public Library. The goat was later taken into custody to the Police Station. Sadly there are no police mug shots.
I checked with some library colleagues from overseas and Linda Barnard, Library Manager of the Table View Library in Cape Town recalled a couple of incidents:
Shortly after the Table View library opened for the first time in January 1991, we received some book donations from a member of the public, all neatly packed in boxes. One of my staff was assigned to unpack the boxes and sort the books into those we could take into stock, and those we would pass on to other institutions. Suddenly, I heard a loud shriek from the storage area, and she came running out, crying “Spider! There’s a huge spider in the box!”
When I went to investigate, armed with a large container to catch the spider, I found that it was actually a large dune crab, which had found its way into the box of books while stored in the owner’s garage. The crab was taken down to the dunes and released.
On another occasion, a chicken wandered into the library one morning (remember, this is an urban environment). We managed to shoo the chicken out of the library, only to find several chickens wandering about on the lawn outside. A patron then informed us that the chickens belong to the local police station, where they are normally kept in a garden behind the building, along with a large tortoise and and some ducks. When school groups visit the police station they love to “visit” with these animals. The chickens had managed to escape, because a palisade fence was being erected.
Maybe you have an “animal in the library” story. Please feel free to share.
Central Library Peterborough