This Librarian's Idea To Dress Up Her Cat As Literary Icons Is Purr-fect
She started the project to build up her library's social media presence. Now, her cat is an internet sensation.
When I was little, I loved going to the library. The smell of the books, the seemingly endless selection of things to read, along with the peace and quiet that I rarely got at home with an older brother, made for hours of enjoyment.
These days, with decreases in public funding, along with the fact that most titles are now available digitally, libraries don't always get the attention they deserve.
That's why librarian Lisa Shaffer wanted to come up with a way to grow her library's social media presence while also getting people excited about reading.
Shaffer works for the Centre County Library in Bellefonte, PA. When she started working there, the library didn't have much of a following on social media. So, she asked her co-workers if she could take photos of her cats dressed as different literary icons and artists to post to the library's social media pages to drum up interest.
Lisa Shaffer started taking photos of her cats dressed as different authors and artists to grow the library's social media following. WPSU
When her supervisor agreed to the project, Shaffer got to work designing costumes and setting up photo shoots for her kitties. She posted the photos to the library's social media pages every Saturday, or "Caturday" as Shaffer called it.
Each post is focused around a different book, album or movie, and the costumes range from Shakespearean collars made out of coffee filters to more elaborate sets like the Iron Throne replica that Shaffer created for a 'Game of Thrones' shoot.
Shaffer says she's most proud of the set she built for Horatio's 'Game of Thrones' shoot. Centre County Library/Facebook
"I just started taking books, random books that would be interesting to highlight," Shaffer told WPSU. "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."
The posts drew thousands of likes and followers, with people tuning in every week just to see Horatio's new outfits.
Even though the 11-year-old tabby is incredibly shy, Shaffer says he's more than willing to be the center of attention in the photo shoots.
"He's just such a gentle soul," Shaffer said. "I think he's also a bit of a ham, too. When we do our 'photo shoots,' as I like to call it, for Caturday, he really does seem to know what's going on."
Some of Horatio's costumes are simple, others are more elaborate. Centre County Library/Facebook
Shaffer has been posting the photos for months, and while she definitely accomplished her goal of growing the library's social media following, she feels the project has had a much greater impact.
"I mean, it's like 'Oh, this is a cat dressed up, this is great,'" Shaffer said 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."
Check out even more photos of Horatio the Cat dressed as different cultural icons and literary heroes...