Ever wondered if the perfect job exists in any part of the world? For me, it might one where I’m always surrounded by books and all things literature, although, as I advance in age (even by days), I find myself wishing for a more cat-like life. Like Lisa Shaffer’s tabby, Horatio, who aside from being adorable and an internet sensation, also poses for pictures as literary icons. Speak of the good life and voila!
Digital reading is a boon as much as it might be a bane for some. While it is space-friendly and it’s far easier to carry a digital-reading device with you, the feel of a book – the texture, the smell of paper – is unmatched. But in times like these, when globally we’ve been getting used to the new normal, digital reading has also come to the rescue of many avid readers around the world. It’s probably a matter of time when a visit to the library will be a part of the weekend plans and then some!
Interestingly though, librarian Lisa Shaffer has kept the readers’ interests piqued for a while now by introducing her cat Horatio to the social media universe. As an effort to build the Centre County Library’s social media presence, Lisa, after consultation with her co-workers decided to take photos of her cats dressed as various literary icons and artists.
Shaffer designed costumes and set up photoshoots for her cats and began posting every Saturday, or “Caturday” as Shaffer referred to it.
Each post is focused around a different book, album or movie, and the cats’ costumes range from Shakespearean collars made out of coffee filters to elaborate sets like the Iron Throne replica (Games of Thrones).
Speaking to WPSU in a video, Shaffer says, “I just started taking books, random books that would be interesting to highlight. Or if it was an author’s birthday or anniversary of some event, I would get a picture of one of my cats, mostly Horatio, and it just kind of went from there.”
Horatio is an 11-year-old tabby who according to Lisa is incredibly shy, but more than willing to be the centre of attention in the photoshoots. “He’s just such a gentle soul,” Shaffer said. “I think he’s also a bit of a ham, too. When we do our ‘photoshoots,’ as I like to call it, for Caturday, he does seem to know what’s going on,” Shaffer adds in the video.
Lisa Shaffer has surely succeeded in growing the social media following for the library but at the same time, the library has built a mission to connect with literacy. She says about the library’s new fans, “It makes them think a little bit. You connect with the library, you connect with literacy, and that’s our mission.”