Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

True Feline Literati

Anyone who knows anything about library cats surely must have heard about Baker and Taylor, who lived during the 1980s until the mid-1990s at the Douglas County Public Library branch in Minden, Nevada.  They became famous, of course, when they were named the official mascots of Baker & Taylor, the gigantic library resource supplier.

In the early 1980s, librarians Yvonne Saddler (1927-2014; DCPL director/county librarian, 1967-1989) and Jan Louch (born 1931); DCPL assistant county librarian/reference, 1978-1997), discovered that their brand new library building had a rattermeece problem (humans call them mice).  In 1983 they decided to hire a feline to control the unwelcome visitors, who were known to damage books by chewing paper and glue bindings.  (From the condition of some of the books that are returned to my library, I wonder if some of our human patrons are following suit.)  The rattermeeces quickly disappeared, but the kitty (called Baker) was kept on the staff to serve the public in different ways (e.g., official greeter, bossing colleagues, assisting patrons, supervising acquisitions and cataloging, etc.) Louch and Saddler intended to have two cats on staff (to keep one another company), and they planned to call the second Taylor, to go with Baker, after the huge library resource supplier, Baker & Taylor.  Thanks to B & T, Taylor soon joined Baker and the crew.  Subsequently, the kitties became the official spokescritters of B & T.  That's when they became world famous.

Jan Louch and Lisa Rogak have written a biography of Baker and Taylor that is now available in our Evergreen Indiana catalog to checkout. Naturally, we have a book trailer.

MPL Book Trailer #277
The True Tails of Baker & Taylor:  The Library Cats
Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town ... And the World,
by Jan Louch (with Lisa Rogak)

Taylor and Baker with Jan Louch
(photo courtesy of Jan Louch)

 Baker and Taylor gracing their namesakes' book bag
(photo courtesy of Baker & Taylor, LLC)

 Baker & Taylor mascots at a library conference (2005)
(photo courtesy of Genie Alisa)

The second Baker & Taylor poster
(photo courtesy of Baker & Taylor, LLC)

One of the nice features of Louch's book is that it includes vignettes featuring modern library cats, including the late Tober, former boss kitty (2008-2015) at Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library; and Elsie (of St. Helena [California] Public Library fame).  (Since I don't actually live inside my library, I wasn't mentioned, but that's okay.)  These stories demonstrate that library cats continue to serve as invaluable resources, just as Baker and Taylor did so long ago.

I've enjoyed reading the book (or, rather, having my minions read it aloud to moi).  It's one of the aspects of my retirement that is most pleasant.  I think you'll like the book, too.  Check it out from your local library (or buy a copy from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or some other bookseller).




Your (Retired) Roving Reporter On The Go,


Cauli Le Chat

1 comment:

  1. I've always admired Baker & Taylor, the kitties! How awesome that there is a book about them.

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