February 6th, 2011
On Hatteberg's People--a slight modification, let's make it Hatteberg's People....and a cat. It seems that last Summer a cat was found outside the door of the Valley Center Library. According to librarian Janice Sharp, when no one claimed it, well, it found a home. Since then, she says, a small controversey developed. Now the cat's name is 'Pages' and it's supporters are hoping that 'she' isn't in the doghouse.
"She makes lots of people happy, and it is a great stress reliever."
"This is a tale of 'Pages' the cat and that 'is' her tale."
"She greets us at the door every morning and whoever comes in first, she's always there to greet us."
She lives here, at the Valley Center Library. But this four-legged mascot's future is fuzzy, like her.
"We've only had several who are negative about it and the rest have been positive. Most of our patrons are just horrified to think that we may have to get rid of her. And we've had numerous patrons say that they would take her if we do need to get her out of the building."
A story last week in the Ark Valley News, put 'Pages' on the front page. While 'Pages' supporters are many -- there are legitimate concerns. One library patron quoted in the newspaper says - "Some of us have asthma, so it's not just itchy and watery eyes, we have to break out inhalers."
"We have found in our teen programs that we can spray our carpets with Fabreze and that does take care of some of the dander. We can also lock her up in her cage to make sure she is not roaming when they want to come in the building."
Now, with a litter box full of comments -- Pages herself is pretty nonchalant about her future. So, using a special 'Cat-Cam', I followed her one afternoon as she tried to avoid any cat-tastrophe.
"We just truly enjoy having her here."
You see her everywhere, guarding the top of the bookshelves and practicing her cat-like moves from shelf to shelf....one more in 'slo-mo' Pages...
"I never dreamed we'd have one. I always thought it would be a cute thing to have, but never dreamed we'd have one"
"I think we have a nice community library that has many diverse materials. Something for everybody!
"Including a cat!"
While librarians do what librarians do, the cat entertains the patrons.
'Pages' joins a long list of famous cats whose books are popular library fixtures.
Pages knows not everyone is 'purring' about her existence, but so far, the positive responses far outweigh the negative ones.
"The board members have been all favorable to having her here, that was the first criteria."
No one yet knows how this tail will end. But as libraries struggle for relevance against the Internet , 'Pages' is pretty much unconcerned. For her, it's just another purr-fect day.
"Well, I think it's just a fun thing to have her here."