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Character Connections: A Mutt-i-grees Story

Public libraries provide many benefits for their patrons: access to computers and materials, free children’s programs, a safe environment for learning, and quiet places to read, among others. But one library in Kansas offered a young patron something truly special: a new-found sense of confidence and pride. Thanks to the support of Kansas State Librarian, Jo Budler, libraries in Kansas are able to apply for LSTA funding to support Mutt-i-grees in the Library. The grants are used to build the libraries’ Mutt-i-grees collections. Last year, Libby Ahlers, Library Director at Hesston Public Library in Hesston, KS, purchased Poppie the One-Eyed Pug, a book from the Mutt-i-grees recommended reading list, for her library through the Kansas State Library’s Mutt-i-grees grant. A young patron named Betsy immediately connected with the book’s main character, a one-eyed pug named Poppie, as they share a similar physical characteristic. “He’s just like me!” Betsy said. Betsy’s family checked out the book serval times and then contacted the author, Sharron Hopcus, to convey the impact the book had on Betsy. The author was thrilled and send an entire set of Poppie books to Betsy’s family and to the Hesston Public Library. What an amazing example of the impact reading can have on children! For a complete list of Mutt-i-grees book recommendations for readers of all ages, please visit

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