8 Great Reptiles For The Children's Librarian

Posted on: 11 June 2018

Libraries are changing with the times. No longer are they quiet places full of dusty books and lots of shushing. Today's libraries are vibrant places where people talk, interact, and learn. They go far beyond books. In fact, libraries loan tools, build with robotics, teach coding, and serve as a place of learning for their entire community. Children's librarians have even been adding reptile displays to help patrons experience the creatures first hand. While you can't check out a reptile, adults and children alike can observe them up close and personal, which is not an opportunity that some may have otherwise.

The selection of small reptiles that will both thrive in a library setting and be exciting for patrons is extensive, but this list -- and a book or two from 597.9 -- will give librarians a good place to start.  

1. Bearded Dragon: This extremely popular reptile is easy to care for and eats both insects and plant material. Beardies like it hot so a sun lamp is essential to make things comfortable and more enjoyable for the library pet. Unlike the kimodo dragon or monitor lizard, this dragon is perfectly safe. 

2. Turtle: Turtles are a classic pet for the classroom and the library. Preschoolers will especially like this reptile if you name it Turtle Tuck, like the cartoon super hero of Wonder Pets! Who can resist a tiny turtle that saves the day? 

3. Iguana: This friendly lizard can grow up to six feet long. From the rain forests of Central and South America, iguanas eat leaves, flowers, and fruit. Unfortunately, many iguanas are not well cared for and are often wrongly released back into the wild. Take care of yours and he will serve your library well for ten years or more.  

4. Blue-Tongue Skink: If you have never heard of a skink before, don't worry. You are not alone. Growing in popularity, there are many varieties of skink available for sale. The blue-tongue skink is unique in that its tongue is -- you guessed it -- blue. Used as a defense mechanism, the skink flashes its vibrant blue tongue to startle predators and make a clean getaway. 

5. Snakes: For whatever reason, snakes both frighten and enchant us. Let children satisfy their curiosity about snakes by keeping one in your library. If you stick with smaller versions, you'll feed them crickets. Larger snakes eat frozen mice, and that may not be appetizing for your staff.

6. Anole: Native to the desert Southwest, the anole is a light green lizard with an impressive pink throat fan. While the throat fan is used to in both courting a mate and in protecting its territory, patrons will just think it is pretty cool to look at. 

7. Leopard Gecko: One of the most widely-chosen reptiles is the leopard gecko. This small gecko is known for its leopard-patterned skin that is fascinating to children and adults alike. Hailing from Asia, India, and Afghanistan, these little friends can open eyes to the wonders of the East and can enrich many story-telling sessions.

8. Chameleon: While this reptile may not change colors as spectacularly as depicted in cartoons, having a chameleon in the library would certainly enrich story-telling time and the plethora of books that include stories of chameleons. Interestingly enough, chameleons do not change color to match their surroundings on purpose, but rather they adjust to temperature changes or their emotions, like fear.

Choosing a pet for the library that suits your reptile care skill level and the curiosity of your patrons will ensure many years of enriched learning for all. Visit businesses like Snakes at Sunset to learn more.