By Kaitlyn Seastead
February is known for being the month of love and many of us here at Haymarket Gainesville Community Library have a strong love for our pets. Not just our branch, but all branches of the Prince William Public Library System are here to help you celebrate your love for animals big and small. We have so many physical and digital books and resources to help you find your dream pet, care for a pet, or even just to appreciate the pets of other people! If you have a library card, you have access to so many resources in our county.
If you search for the word “pet” on our online catalog, you will get 1,882 results. Just think, if you start looking for other key words like “dog,” “cat,” or… well, let’s just say we have a huge number of books available about pets. These items can range from stories like Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell for our youngest readers, or a new, fun graphic novel series like Cassandra, Animal Psychic by Isabelle Bottier, or an Adult nonfiction title The Animal’s Companion: People & Their Pets, a 26,000-Year Love Story by Jacky Colliss Harvey. We have a collection of pet care titles for all ages as well as several books about animals that are perfect to help you find the type of pet that’s perfect for you and your family. If you’re having trouble searching our catalog, please be sure to ask a library staff member. We are here to help you find what you are looking for and we would love to help you. Some of us may even have some personal experience with the kind of pet you are interested in and can give you some insight!
Plus, we’ve got digital resources galore:
Use Gale PowerSearch on our Digital Library at pwcgov.org/library to research dog breeds and their histories.
Try NoveList Plus to search for book titles or recommended titles or anything you might not be able to find in your local branch.
Scholastic GO! and Kids InfoBits are designed for young patrons and can help them find out more about the types of animals they can keep as pets and even hear what sounds they make.
Check out Lynda.com to learn how to fix the odd effect on your pet’s eyes in photographs, or hit Creativebug and discover how to knit a custom-fit sweater for your dog.
But one of my favorite ways to celebrate pets is to attend any of the monthly Reading to Dogs programs that can be found at your local branch. Bull Run, Chinn Park, Dale City, Haymarket Gainesville, Nokesville, and Potomac are all branches that will be hosting loving, adorable therapy dogs for your little ones to read to throughout the month of February (and the months that follow). Make sure to check on pwcgov.org/library to find the dates and times that work for you.
Here at Haymarket Gainesville, we love seeing our elementary schoolers reading while petting even the largest of our system’s volunteer therapy dogs, and look forward to sharing many pet-based programs and story times with you at all our branches in the coming year!