Advocates supporting a Capitol Hill library are looking to drum up excitement for its annual spring book sale on May 16 with a unique draw — kids will be able to name Northeast Library‘s two pet rats.
This will be the first time the library has had official pets, according to Vince Morris, president of Friends of the Northeast Library.
“They’re going to be the mascots for the library,” he said.
The rodents, one with a solid gray coat and the other with a white body and a gray head, are Dumbo rats, a breed of domesticated rats distinguished by their large ears.
Morris said the creatures — who live in a “very nice, very clean” terrarium on the second floor, in the children’s section of the library — are a big help with young people.
“Some kids are very shy about talking with the librarian, and the animals bring them out of their shells,” he said.
Kids have already started offering their name recommendations for the rats, with suggestions including a fair number of common women’s names (both rats are female). If Morris, a Congressional staffer who lives nearby — had the opportunity to name the rats himself, he said he would go with Licorice and Muffin.
The book sale and rodent name selection will occur at the library, located at 330 7th St. NE, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, with a smaller sale Sunday between 1 and 3 p.m.
Potential buyers will have an opportunity to choose from fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and DVDs. All the money raised will go toward supporting the staff and programs, including a recent investment in early childhood learning tools. “A few thousand” dollars are usually raised.
Photos courtesy of Vince Morris