When you think of health programs in public libraries, you probably think of people. But public health includes the environments in which we live, which includes the animals around us. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire website devoted to Healthy Pets, Healthy People, and this is the topic we will explore in this month’s blog.
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Pawject Runway is a pet-centric maker program held annually with a virtual “runway” show to highlight participants and additional submissions. Each participating team for the in-person maker event consists of a dog model and at least two human assistants. Teams are often families or friend groups. For the virtual runway, submissions of photos or short videos from all types of pets are accepted.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many academic libraries were faced with the challenge of supporting academic success while most students were off-campus and taking online classes. Many outreach librarians turned to virtual programming.
Pet Grams were developed as a way to reach out and connect virtually with patrons, no matter their location. The main outcome for Pet Grams is to share kindness and motivation during a stressful time in the semester, especially for students but also for other community members who may also need support.
Every year on Pi Day, March 14, local animal shelter Pet Rescue by Judy brings puppies to our library, and we set up an area in our larger meeting room where teens and adults can play with them. Because it’s Pi Day, we also buy seven or eight pies from the local grocery store.
So we eat pie and play with puppies for a couple of hours. This year, the event lasted from 3:30 to 5 p.m.