Aww, library gerbils!

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By Oak Park Public Library

We were surprised in late-April with the arrival of three new gerbils! They're already quite at home in the children's area of the Main Library where they receive visitors daily.

The "big brother" is the large gray gerbil, and he's Henry. The "little brothers" are Ralph, with the white fur and the ruby-colored eyes, and Mudge, with the "smudgy" gray fur.

The day our new gerbil-friends arrived, we started collecting a lot of great ideas from kids for naming them (McFuzz, Mr. Furry, and Furrball, anyone?). Literary names were particularly encouraged. Staff made the final determination and in the end the Beverly Cleary names won.

We were expecting just two baby gerbils to fill the void left by the passing of our first library gerbil, Ramona Nibble(smith). Ramona made her library debut in January 2010 and quickly became a superstar. Kids of all ages had lots of questions and affection for Ramona and she made the service desk even more approachable. Ramona was a wonderful part of the library until her passing this March. We're pleased to have three new cuties, donated to us by an Oak Park family.

Once again kids are clamoring around the service desk to look, ask questions, and read aloud. Stop by to say hello to Henry, Ralph, and Mudge and enjoy their antics!

Can you spot all three of them in this photo? Hint: one is SQUOOSHED. See more photos of our new gerbils.

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