By Lissa Capobianco
The library has a new mascot: Mr. Bear—better known as “Flat Bear,” to the children who are members of the annual summer reading program.
Dressed as a cowboy with a fanny pack, “Flat Bear” is a laminated library tool that children can check out for two weeks. Cindy Wall, head of the Children’s Services, said “Flat Bear” actually originated from some art work that was created for the library years ago for another program called “A Thousand Books Before Kindergarten.” Then she photo-shopped the cartoon character to resemble “Flat Stanley,” the character that has been implemented to a literacy project in schools nationwide.
“The artist gave us a rendering of a bunch of different animals, and one of them happened to be Mr. Bear, a cartoon of him,” Wall said.
Although the goal of “Flat Bear” is to make children interested in coming to the library, Wall said he is a small part of the summer reading program that also gives kids an opportunity to enjoy themselves in an intellectual environment.
“We’re trying to have children realize the library is not just a place for books,” Wall said. “It’s a place to have fun.”