Thursday, April 20, 2017

“Harper Lee” visits the Post Road Library

Yesterday an out-of-the-ordinary patron visited the Post Road Library. A mockingbird wandered in accidentally – at least, we assume it was an accident. Perhaps our feathered friend was actually interested in attending our Storytime en Español program and learn to sing in Spanish.

No matter the linguistic aspirations of our avian acquaintance, it was clear the poor bird was a little distressed by being trapped indoors.

Ms. Mary happened upon a bit of birdseed leftover from a children’s program and thoughtfully set it out alongside a dish of water. And, much like any stray animal taken in by a kind soul, our staff named the mockingbird…you guessed it! Harper Lee!

Much as we’d love to have a library mascot, alas, keeping a pet that can relieve itself anywhere, from the high clerestory windows to the topmost books in the stacks, would be unwise. So, Mr. Dave and Mr. Robin from our facilities team, tried to gently persuade Harper Lee to leave the building. Harper Lee was quite stubborn and instead of heading for the door, our fluttering friend settled into a corner near the Children’s Section for the rest of the day.

From that perch Harper Lee met a new friend. As a little boy and his mom were walking by, the mom pointed out the bird. The little boy looked up and said, “Hello, bird! It’s nice to meet you!” Then we heard him tell his mom, “Did you see how happy that bird was to meet me? It really liked me!” If only Harper Lee had liked the boy enough to follow him out the doors and into to the open air!

As evening fell, Harper Lee sought out the quieter spaces in the library. Ms. Vikki carefully propped open the back door, and when Harper Lee landed on the floor, Ms. Vikki gently ushered the exhausted bird outside.

While we still have no idea why Harper Lee decided to visit, we know her appearance brought our patrons and staff together in care and concern for our feathered friend’s welfare. It also prompted a small spike in checkouts of To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. We like to think the spirit of the real Harper Lee would be pleased.