LORAIN — The Lorain Public Library got a visit from a feathered friend Tuesday in honor of National Library Week — Green Bean, the African penguin.
Green Bean’s stop at the system’s main library was facilitated by the WAVE Foundation at the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky, an organization dedicated to educating about aquatic life and conservation.
“At WAVE, we believe that in order to save something you have to love it,” foundation education curator Dan Dunlap said.
“Green Bean is really an animal ambassador. She’s not an exhibit. She’s there to help encourage people to live and learn about this endangered species.”
The main library was Green Bean and Dunlap’s first stop Tuesday afternoon before they moved on to the Domonkas branch in Sheffield Lake and the South Lorain branch later in the day.
The presentation at the main library had an audience of about 150, including members of the community and students from Lorain Community School.
“I’ve always thought that education doesn’t have to be a room with four walls at a school,” Dunlap said. “Libraries are a perfect way to get learning outside of the classroom because they’re community education resources.”
Main branch children’s Librarian Anne Godek said the Lorain Public Library system decided to host the events after hearing and seeing other libraries doing similar ones across the country and in Ohio.
“With it being National Library Week, we just really wanted to have a lot of people here today and tomorrow,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to acknowledge that libraries are about learning. They’re more than just books.”
“People don’t know how cool something like this is until they come out but when they do it’s a win-win,” Dunlap said. “The more people that can come to something like this, the better.”
Dunlap said Green Bean and penguins like her visit more than 200 libraries a year through the program.
“Many people leave here falling in love with these animals, and they feel a call to action for conservation,” he said. “And even if they don’t, then they learned a few new things that they didn’t know before.”
The library will host similar penguin encounter events today:
- 1 to 2 p.m. at the Avon branch, 37485 Harvest Drive, Avon;
- 3 to 4 p.m. at the Columbia branch, 13824 West River Road N., Columbia Station;
- 5 to 6 p.m. at the North Ridgeville branch, 35700 Bainbridge Road, North Ridgeville.
Preregistration is required and can be completed at lorainpubliclibrary.org.