Janet told me that there was once a snake on the Library mezzanine; she found it while shelving.  I like snakes, but I’m glad we haven’t seen one on the mezzanine in a good long time.  Yesterday, though, a gray squirrel was hanging out in theology (211) and was heading toward the existential philosophers, especially Jean-Paul Sartre (194).   Our cataloger thought she might need some guidance.  In hopes of guiding her right out the door, we got help from a veterinarian patron who grabbed a library shopping basket and headed for the stacks.  Moments later, a gray blur was streaking across the floor downstairs and patrons were on their feet.  Happily, with a library full of readers to cheer her on, the squirrel found her way into the office, sprinted through the doughnut box, and exited out the window.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, accessible online through the Library’s website, tells us that “There are about 55 species of tree squirrels in the genus Sciurus that occur in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.”  Our squirrel did not “utter a loud barking chatter when alarmed,” but we did note the “long, bushy tail, used as a rudder when…airborne while leaping from branch to branch” (or shelf to shelf).  We hope that, after her anxiety-provoking adventure, she did use her tail as “a comfy wrap-around when… sleeping.”

For more information about the gray squirrel and her cousins the chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs, click on the Resources button at the Library’s website and choose Reference > Gale Virtual Reference Library.  If you’re searching from home, the system will prompt you for your library card number.  Or download the Gale public library app for your iPhone.  It works whenever you’re in range of a public library with Gale online reference products.