One Book, One Siouxland picked Dewey for their One Community program. Since the program is just winding up, we asked how it went. The answer, of course, was that it was gangbusters, because the library developed some creative programming around the book. Since Dewey, is not only about a library cat, but also how both libraries and animals help create a community, the library involved several local animal organizations in the program.
Vicky Myron, the librarian who wrote Dewey, has written a children’s picture book about her furry friend, to be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in September, which gives other One Community programs the opportunity to expand the age range for a Dewey program.
Below is a description of the Siouxland program from Kathy Kelly, Graphics & Communications Specialist, Sioux City Public Library. These ideas may kick-start your own One Community plans.
The Dewey book worked especially well for us as it was a local author, a local setting, and a popular book in the first place. The two author signings that launched the program were heavily attended. The topic allowed us to create new partnerships with the local humane society and area veterinarians. In addition, event posters went to retirement communities and pet shops. We invited several organizations to bring therapy dogs to the Library and talk about the healing role animals have. Organizations included STARS (therapy horses) and K-9 STARS (therapy dogs); individuals spoke about certified dogs that visit nursing homes and hospitals, and the use of therapy dogs with troubled juveniles.
The Library’s “Read-to-me Story Dogs” program is always popular with the media. (Children of all ages come to the library and read to specially-trained canine listeners). Perhaps a weekly series of these could be planned during a city-wide reading program. How about a “read with your pet” photo display? Or a “pets on parade” day if the season allows outdoor activities? Or a”share your pet-bonding story” blog?
We held a few team booktalks, in which a facilitator led the book discussion and a representative from the Humane Society talked about adoption program and other activities. Humane society cats and kittens were passed around from lap to lap at several programs. Be prepared for many ‘favorite pet’stories from participants.
Websites that may be helpful:
One Book One Siouxland — Dewey read-alikes, discussion questions and a list of events
K-9 STARS — meet the local therapy dogs who frequent the library
Therapeutic Riding — information about the local horse therapy program