By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – A 3-month-old hedgehog is luring people of all ages to the Bacon Memorial Library, sometimes causing them to make a line outside the door.
“He’s a popular little guy,” said Nicole Lesperance, Youth Librarian. “People go crazy to see him.
“I thought the kids would be the most excited, but the adults are just as excited.”
Lesperance, who joined the library staff in August, heard the library had pets in the past. Adding a hedgehog seemed a fitting way to help lead children to the library.
When Lesperance brought Casper to the library in January, weeks after his mid-December birth, she thought it would help attract children to books. But she found it has been just as luring to the adults.
Casper is on display only from 7 to 11 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Patrons can pet Casper, but they can’t hold him.
“He sleeps while the sun is out and he runs on his wheel all night,” Lesperance said.
“He is just the cutest,” resident Amanda Heffney said. “The drawback is that my son now wants one.”
Heffney said for now, her 7-year-old son is so content when visiting Casper and she is excited that he will visit the library more during summer break. She thinks the addition will better her son’s reading skills.
Lesperance said the library offers children a chance to learn in a safe environment.
“Children start coming in early and using for the rest of their lives,” Lesperance said of the goal. “They come here and we can help them get the right information and help them better themselves.”
She said the schools do an amazing job of promoting reading, with reports and various assignments.
“The schools make sure that books are a good part of their lives,” Lesperance said. “Books allow you to step outside yourself.”
The library hosts a summer reading program for all ages. The signup is June 15 to 21, with the program beginning June 22. There are programs for adults, teens, children and even babies. The public is welcome. There are people who come from other cities and states to take part in the program.
Lesperance said there are many people who didn’t care for books when they were young, who now love to read.
“Learning to love books can happen at anytime in your life,” ,” she said.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)