When I assumed the portfolios of Library and Culture and Animal Protection last January on Côte Saint-Luc City Council, I knew there was a way to marry the two. For starters, our Director of Library Services Janine West is an animal lover and so are many of her staff. This includes Manager of Children’s Services Valerie Medzalabanleth and Children’s Outreach and School Services Coordinator Bronwen Cathey from the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.
I was very excited to be part of a new program they launched on May 5 aimed at raising awareness with young Côte Saint-Lucers about cats. Also implicated in the initiative are members of the library’s Teen Advisory Group.
More than 20 adorable children, aged two to seven, came to the library with their parents for a cat-themed storytime, interspersed with interesting cat facts (including cat health and safety information), given by Valerie and Bronwen. This was followed by a cat craft and ended with the children decorating and signing a pledge to be kind to cats. I told the kids about our Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, asked which one of them owned a cat at home (several hands went up) and how many wanted to adopt (several hands went up).
See my small video:
“By having a storytime activity, we combine the library’s mission with the CSLCC’s mission, hopefully ensuring that the future cat owners of Côte Saint-Luc will be responsible and caring friends to felines,” says Bronwen.
Valerie read three books about cats and the kids were glued to her every word. Bronwen asked a question. “What is the biggest cat in the world?” Several youngsters shouted out “a tiger.” They were correct, as in a Siberian tiger.
There were photos of cats taped to the walls on both sides of the room. The kids had to pick a type of cat out of a hat and then go find it on the wall. They liked this.Browwen even sang a song about animals.
Bravo to Valerie and Bronwen for taking such a fabulous initiative. We will be discussing a future such event on dogs and more on cats.