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Coco the Reading Dog

April 23, 2020

The saying goes that a dog is a man’s (and a woman’s!) best friend. That could not be more true than it is here at Peninsula Community Library.

PCL was the first library in the District to have a Reading Therapy Dog. Furry staff members have been a part of our library family consistently since 2006. They have listened to countless children read, have been petted and adored by adults young and old, and have acted as hosts at more programs than I can count.

It is with much sadness that I tell you that one of our dear Reading Dogs, Coco Gardner, passed away suddenly on March 20. Coco was a delightful librarian dog – energetic, intelligent and loving. Only four years old, she had just received her advanced therapy dog certification. Coco’s favorite day of the week was Reading Dog Day with the kids.

Our hearts go out to Coco’s sister, Lani, also a Reading Dog here at PCL, as well as her human parents, Candy and Lee Gardner. The Gardners have asked that Coco be remembered with smiles and hugs.

Candy will be donating framed photos of all our Reading Dogs over the years for our Children’s Area and will include our first Reading Dog, Bear. Coco joins her brothers Ralph and Zeb, also once PCL Reading Dogs, who passed on before her. I am sure that she is wherever they are, listening to the angel dogs read!

Some of you have been taking advantage of the Little Free Library outside of PCL.  I am very pleased to say that people have been following the rules. Continue to remember to put on gloves before you open the box or touch any books. Wear a mask or bandana! If you don’t have gloves, put a new plastic bag over your hand. Be sure to take those protective things away with you when you leave. Only one person at a time is allowed at the Little Free Library. Wait in your car if someone is already there.

Last, but most importantly, while these little libraries are usually “take one leave one,” I temporarily declare ours “take” only! Do not return the book! Save it for our book sale way down the road, share it with other members of your immediate household, recycle it if you must!

However, DO NOT RETURN IT TO THE BOX! I will continue to fill the box from our book sale shelves for as long as it seems the rules are being followed and for as long as the books hold out. Thanks to the Traverse Area District Library, our WiFi is also up and running 24/7. Feel free to pull into our parking lot and enjoy the internet connection from the comfort of your car! From settings and WiFi connection on your device, choose tadl-patron-wireless.

I cannot yet give you an open date. While we are glad you miss us – as we do YOU – the Board and I will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the public and the staff. Please know that when the time comes, we will let you know what plans we have in place.

In all likelihood, we will open in phases, with no large gatherings or outside use of our meeting space taking place until after Labor Day. This means that no book sale will take place this summer. I am looking at virtual programming for Summer Reading Club, as well as a “drive-in” possibility for a program or two. Be patient with us – we will get back to normal when we are relatively sure that we can keep you safe!

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