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Librarian of the Month: Lisa Rowell

A library in Alabama has gone to the dogs...literally! When Albertville Public Library director Lisa Rowell heard about Mutt-i-grees in the Library last summer, she knew right away that she had to get her library involved. Since July 2013, the library has implemented a variety of Mutt-i-grees activities in their preschool storytime and also offered special activities for older children, including crafts, a visit from a certified therapy dog, and a variety of service learning activities. And, of course, librarians have read books to children about shelter pets. Some of the library's most popular programs include baking dog biscuits and and creating fleece blankets to donate to the local shelter. Lisa says the parents and families of the children who have participated in these activities are very supportive of the library's efforts to educate using Mutt-i-grees programming.

Both Lisa and children's librarian Terri Barnard work very closely with 2nd Chance Shelter in Boaz, AL, which is a non-profit no-kill shelter for dogs run by former police officer Doug McGee and his wife, Wanda. The shelter is gracious for the community support and the directors praise the library's efforts to encourage awareness of Mutt-i-grees: "We think the Mutt-i-gree program is great! The younger you can educate children about shelter animals, the better. Lisa and her library kids made blankets and homemade dog snacks for the shelter. She said kids as young as five years old were making blankets. How awesome is that? The kids really enjoyed the project and are anxious to do it again."

Lisa has big plans for the new year. She's invited 2nd Chance Shelter to visit the library and bring some puppies for the children to see, play with, and hold. She's also hoping to collaborate with the shelter and host an adoption day in the spring to find home for some of the Mutt-i-grees in her community. Lisa suggests everyone do what they can to spread the Mutt-i-grees love!