The Chicago Tribune reports that "Stacks" is believed to be the last full-time, free-ranging library cat in Illinois.
As noted, library cats face an uncertain future. Their ranks are down considerably from 2010, when there were at least five library cats statewide. A Tribune search, based on an old master list and a query published in the Illinois Library Association's electronic newsletter, turned up just two full-time feline residents: Stacks, of course, and Newby, a handsome black cat with a dash of white on his chest who resides in the staff offices of the Nippersink Public Library in Richmond.
Librarians point to several factors working against the pint-size literary lions, including concerns about allergies, the digital age pressure to seem "modern" and "relevant," a highly litigious society, even social media, which can amplify the concerns of a small but passionate anti-cat minority.
This will likely end a long-standing tradition, as the post of library cat is often traced to ancient Egypt, where cats protected precious papyrus scrolls from the ravages of hungry rodents.
A photo of my "library cats."
They both have honorary JDs & MLIS degrees after
sitting on my papers and laptop through all of those years.