Oak Park Library's gerbil nibbles the dust

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Submitted by Oak Park Public Library

The Oak Park Library's gerbil, which served as mascot for the children's section died "peacefully" on Sunday while curled up in her nest. She was 2 years old.

Ramona Nibbles (patrons affectionately referred to her as "Nibblesmith"), first joined the library staff in January 2010, and "quickly became a superstar," according to a library press release. She was situated at the Children's Services desk, and kids would often approach to ask questions about her.

"She brought all ages together in a really sweet way and she will be missed," Heather McCammond-Watts, manager of Children's Services, said in a statement. "We will have a writing station/remembrance area in the children's area for people to write notes of condolence if they wish."

They're telling the younger kids that Ramona went off to Australia, leaving it up to parents to explain what happened, and they have been telling older kids that Ms. Nibblesmith lived a "long and happy life for a gerbil."

She has no listed survivors. The library expects to begin a search for a new furry friend soon, according to the press release.

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