A Quick Guide to Library Cats

There are currently over 300 living resident library cats throughout the world today, 200+ of which reside in the US according to the Library Cat Map.  Library cats have been welcomed as rodent-killers since the early 19th century in Europe and even dating back to ancient times in Egypt in the libraries of temples. Here are 6 famous library cats, as well as resources to find out about many more!

Dewey Readmore Books

dewey

Resident Library: Iowa’s Spencer Public Library
Years: March 1988 – 2006
Official Position: Library Mascot

Dewey is likely the most famous and widely recognized library cat in the world. After being left in the book return bin, this orange, long-haired feline was embraced by the library staff and community at large. He even inspired a book!  He spent 19 years promoting reading and endearing himself to library patrons before passing away in 2006.

Kuzya

kuzya

Resident Library: Novorossiysk Library, Russia
Years: Oct 2012 – Present
Official Position: Assistant Librarian

Kuzya was a stray cat that showed up on the doorstep of the Novorossiysk Library in the Fall of 2012. The library staff and patrons alike were taken with him and he was soon adopted. But in order to be kept in such a public space in Russia, Kuzya had to acquire a cat passport and other documentation. Once the paperwork was done, he earned his first title of “pet” and began his tenure as library greeter and napper. Due to his success increasing library patronage, he was soon promoted to “assistant librarian”, resulting in a substantial raise in salary to 30 packs of cat food a month, bonuses of cat treats, and a bonus bow tie.

Pages

pages
Resident Library: Valley Center Public Library, Kansas
Years: 2010 – Present
Official Position: Mascot and Blogger

A former stray, Pages was adopted by the library staff and soon found her way into the hearts of patrons. She serves as the library greeter as well as blogs at Posts from the Paw.

Emma (aka Queen Emma, Her Royal Highness, and The Boss)

emma
Resident Library: Lyme Public Library, Connecticut
Years: 2003 – Present
Official Position: Mascot, Resident Diva, and Twitterer

This Main Coon was adopted from the local animal shelter in 2003 after which library patrons dubbed her Emma, although she is often referred to as the Queen. She has a reserved stool that no one dares sit on and posts regularly on her own Twitter feed.

Baker and Taylor

Resident Library: Nevada Douglas County Public Library
Years: March 1983 – mid ’90′s
Official Position: Working Library Cats via grant from Baker & Taylor

This pair of Scottish Folds joined the staff of the Nevada Douglas County Public Library in the early ’80′s, continuing the tradition of working library cats established in 19th century England.

Library Cat Job Description

If you are thinking of recruiting for a library cat position, here’s a typical job description, based on Dewey’s:

  1. Reducing stress for all humans who pay attention to him.
  2.  Sitting by the front door every morning at 9:00 am to greet the public as they enter the library.
  3. Sampling all boxes that enter the library for security problems and comfort level.
  4. Attending all meetings in the Round Room as official library ambassador.
  5. Providing comic relief for staff and visitors whenever possible.
  6. Climbing in book bags and briefcases while patrons are studying or trying to retrieve needed papers underneath him.
  7. Generating free national and worldwide publicity for Library. (This entails sitting still for photographs, smiling for the camera, and generally being cute.)
  8. Working toward status as world’s most finicky cat by refusing all but the most expensive, delectable foods — and even turning up his nose at those most of the time.

Library Cat Resources