Meet Library Mascot, Booker Bear

booker-web-header2

booker-standing-shadow-waving

Our new library mascot, Booker Bear, made his first appearance at the dedication of the new Canfield Library on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Why does the Library have a mascot?

Heidi Daniel, Library Executive Director, says, “Mascots draw positive attention to the library. Adults and teens, and even older children, are familiar with libraries and come for the services and materials. But very young children are just beginning their relationship with the library. A friendly character can make their experience fun and make the library a place where a child wants to go.”

Josephine Nolfi, Director of Programming and Youth Services, says, “Our new library mascot will be the face of the Library in the community, and will create an engaging presence that will communicate the welcoming spirit of the Library at events in and outside of our libraries. Who can resist a loveable mascot? Teddy bears evoke happy reading memories that last through adulthood. And kids, especially young kids, who experience positive feelings about the Library, are the kids who become Library users and lifelong readers.”

Janet Loew, Director of Communications and Public Relations, says, “The Library is always looking for ways to bring children into our buildings and make them excited about reading and books. A cute, cuddly mascot who loves the library is a great way to give a friendly face to the library. Characters are the main reason many people become engaged in a story and a mascot can represent a character come to life.”

“Teddy Bears are cuddly and the heroes of some of the most popular children’s books, such as “Corduroy” and “Winnie the Pooh,” said Ms. Loew.

Special thanks to Library staff members who submitted names for our new mascot. The most submitted entry was Booker! We loved the name, Book-er, with it’s tie-in to books!

Booker grew out of an idea from the Library’s Programming/Youth Services Department and Communications/Public Relations. He was built by Sugar’s Mascot Costumes in Toronto.

Loew says, “Sugar’s Mascot Costumes has a wonderful reputation and has created mascots for many prominent organizations. The Library has had only limited experience with mascot costumes, but we learned that construction, choice of materials and options for cooling are extremely important. We wanted to work with a company with experience to get the best product possible.”

The Library said goodbye to our previous mascot, Ready-to-Read-Raccoon. Ready served the library well for over a decade. But sadly, at some point, costumes wear out and need to be retired. We are very grateful for Ready, which was a well-made costume which the kids loved. Because of Ready’s popularity, we learned that our audience of children loves mascots. We expect the Booker Bear costume to last for the next 10 years – and beyond! Booker Bear will make appearances at various library programs and around the county!

Booker Bear greeting Canfield Library customers.

Booker Bear greeting Canfield Library customers.

Booker Bear gives a high five.

Booker Bear gives a high five.

Booker-Bear-Big-Hug_6522

Booker bear gets a big hug.