People aren’t visiting libraries like they used to, which is why these cultural institutions are trying to come up with ways to attract readers. Some go the usual route and offer promotions or even free membership, while others, like Centre County Library, a public library located in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, use more creative methods.
In order to promote their services and acquire new members, Centre County Library decided to turn to an adorable cat named Horatio for help. Horatio dresses up as characters from book and pop culture and uses his charm to help his local library get more people through the door.
This idea was conceived by bibliographic services assistant and Horatio’s owner Lisa Shaffer after she realized that the Centre County Library doesn’t have a strong social media presence. She believed that this contributed to the decline in membership, so she embarked on a mission to correct this mistake.
Shaffer’s plan worked like a charm, as internet users quickly fell in love with Horatio and flocked to the library. The Centre County Library’s membership increased as a result, and the endearing feline gained fans all over the world.
“I just started taking books, random books that would be interesting to highlight,” Shaffer revealed in a recent interview. “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.”
Horatio’s dress-ups now turned into a weekly thing. Shaffer picks a different subject each week and creates a fitting costume while Horatio brings it to life like a true model.
Check out Horatio’s takes on book and pop culture characters below.