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Breathe easier: Ashdown library cat checks out of public spaces

Breathe easier: Ashdown library cat checks out of public spaces

June 19th, 2017 by Jim Williamson in Texarkana News

Madeline struts down the aisle at Ashdown Community Library. Madeline, who sometimes liked to relax in patrons' laps while they read, has been banished from the public space because some library users have allergy issues.

Photo by Evan Lewis /Texarkana Gazette.

Madeline, the library cat at the Ashdown Community Library, will have to stay at home because some library patrons are allergic to cat hair.

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford recently told librarian Maureen Nations the cat could no longer stay in the library.

"This is like having a smoke-free environment. Patrons expect a smoke-free environment in public buildings, and we had some patrons who have cat allergies, and we wanted a cat-free environment. We have to provide a safe environment for all patrons who use the library. It was making a hardship for some patrons, and this was something that was fixable, and I asked the libararian to remove the cat from the library," Cranford said.

Madeline lived with the librarian after hours.

"She will continue to live with me. She just can't stay in the library," Nations said.

Madeline has been the library cat since mid-2016.

The idea was approved by the Little River County Library Board, which includes Ashdown Mayor James Sutton and the county judge.

Nations got the idea to adopt the cat from Dewey, a kitten abandoned at the Spencer, Iowa, public libary whose tale inspired her to adopt a library cat.

Madeline had a reputation for walking through the library like she owned the building. The rhythm of her tail swings left, then to the right and comes to a brief stop in the middle of her stroll as she checks things out.

After strutting during a regular patrol of the library, Madeline would nap near the library checkout desk or in a windowsil. Other times, she would disappear in another room, rest and return refreshed to the children's corner.

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