Hundreds if not thousands of libraries around the country shelter animals as well as books—often a library cat, sometimes gerbils or other small, caged pets. But the Queens, NY, Library at Baisley Park is the only library we know of to have a resident raccoon.
The raccoon, now dubbed Mr. Rocky Books, found his way into the branch’s atrium, a glass “donut hole” with a small garden in the middle of the building, during Hurricane Sandy. He was found under a shrub when neighborhood volunteers came to clean up after the storm. Children who visit the library named him, made him a house, feed him, and read to him through the window glass. (Staff can access the atrium to refill his food and water.)
“He is a wild animal, after all. The assumption is that he will shuffle off the way he came as soon as the weather is conducive. For now, though, everyone is happy to have him as a guest,” said Joanne King, director of communications for the Queens Library.