Evanston families and their dogs attended the K-9 Valentine’s Day event on Saturday, February 12 at the Robert Crown Community Center branch library. Children could choose one from a selection of free books – topics included dogs, other animals and Valentine’s Day – while their dogs received milk bone treats in decorative bags.
Lilliana Lule and Robin Sindelar, branch assistants at the library, helped organize this unique event. Lule said it seemed library patrons wanted more canine events. Therapy dogs were welcomed during the height of the pandemic, but since then friendly K-9 events have been rare.
Sindelar said a few weeks ago someone in the Reading Garden was throwing a ball at her dog and that’s when she got the idea for the event – a mix books, dogs and upcoming vacations.
There were different books based on age groups, but “Pig the Pug” stood out as an instant favorite with guests.
Cindy Al-Jassar and her two grandchildren Amara and Max Warren were the first guests at 10 a.m. They also brought their dog, Brownie, who endured the cold shivering in Max’s arms.
“We love the library and all the activities they do,” Al-Jassar said, “and including our dog is really special.”
Amara decided to “Pinkalicious, happy birthday!” as her choice, and with her mask, hat, and pink shoes, she reassured this reporter that her favorite color, of course, was pink.
Allison Lavey dated her son Zach and her dog Cody.
“We’re avid library fans,” she said. “I’m a teacher, so I use the library all the time. We come every Friday to pick up new books, it’s a tradition. We were so excited to see an opportunity to combine books and dogs, probably Zach and my two main interests.
Lavey sat down and read part of “Pig the Pug” to Zach before leaving while Cody enjoyed his treats.
Jenny Hayes and her daughter Eleanor came bundled up with their dog Francis. Hayes lives in the neighborhood and says she likes the proximity to the Robert Crown branch.
“I love going out in the winter, especially for walks,” she said.
Just one year old, Eleanor posed for photos like a pro before heading home with Hayes with their pick, “Tummy Time Friends.”