Here’s a post from the Chicago Tribune that draws attention to a tradition that is sadly fading away. The library cat, that traces its history to ancient Egypt, is passing from the scene. There are still a few left like Newbey, at the Nippersink Public Library in Richmond, IL. Named after the Newbery Medal for children’s literature, his “favorite hobbies are sitting on the fax machine and playing fetch.” Or Stacks, who greets patrons at the Litchfield Public Library and “stretches out luxuriously and falls into her signature near-snooze” on the circulation desk.
However, with concerns about “allergies, the digital age pressure to seem “modern” and “relevant,”” and the fact that a small minority of people don’t like cats, the library cat is passing from view. As Lisa Rogak, co-author of the new book The True Tails of Baker and Taylor, The Library Cats Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town … And the World notes “the odds are, unfortunately, against them.”
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.