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Raccoon books short stay in Baisley Park Library

Mr. Rocky Books, the raccoon, is visible through the window glass at the Baisley Park of Queens Library. Photo courtesy Queens Library
TimesLedger Newspapers

After hurricane Sandy’s devastating effects, volunteers at the Queens Library in Baisley Park got a furry and uplifting surprise.

As volunteers cleaned up last Thursday after the storm, they discovered a raccoon taking shelter in the library’s atrium.

The children who frequently visit the library affectionately named the raccoon “Mr. Rocky Books.” They also made him a temporary home, fed him and read to him through the glass window of the atrium. The atrium is a glass “donut hole,” with a small garden in the middle of the library building. Only staff had access to the raccoon to feed him and refill his water.

The staff was happy to house him, but by the following week Mr. Rocky Books had left his temporary crash pad for the wild environs of southeast Queens.

“After Sandy’s effects, Mr. Rocky Books was a pleasant sight for everyone, especially the kids,” said Joanne King, director of communications for Queens Library.

Baisley Park Library did not sustain any damage from Sandy’s strong winds or water, but there are seven branches still without power. They will reopen as soon as power is restored. The Arverne and Peninsula branches both experienced about 4 feet of floodwater and require major construction that will begin as soon as possible. The Seaside, Broad Channel and Howard Beach branches had some flooding and need repairs to their floors and replacement of some damaged material.

Mobile libraries are operating in the Rockaways, offering services such as health care, Federal Emergency Management Agency information and Red Cross training to those in need.

For more information on services, visit queenslibrary.org/sandy.

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