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If you are a pet lover, you know what it is to have a special bond with an animal. So, how would you feel if someone accused your beloved pet of spreading disease, attracting vermin, and stinking up the neighborhood?
There are many people in this community, and beyond, who keep chickens. Some enjoy having regular access to eggs, while others simply like them as pets.
When a zoning debate made chickens the talk of the town, leadership at the Monongahela Area Library decided a program about chicken care would be a great way to correct misinformation that had been circulating about these birds.
"My grandfather was a coal miner and a farmer who always kept chickens, so I knew that the claims being made were false," stated Library Director Tiffany Fleet. "The library is so much more than a place to check out books . . . it's a community center and education center. We saw this as an opportunity to highlight the many services we provide as well as to help our patrons better understand what is involved with keeping poultry."
With help from the Uniontown Poultry Association, the library planned a special event called "Backyard Chicken Keeping Basics."
It was a full house on the afternoon of the program. While many usual patrons were in attendance, more than a few individuals who hadn't set foot in the library in ages were also spotted. Admittedly, they came because the topic sparked their interest.
"Programs like this will only expand our outreach," commented Library Board Member Michelle Parnell. She herself keeps five chickens.
Thanks to the success of "Backyard Chicken Keeping Basics," the library is hoping to plan more hands-on, sustainable living-based programs like beekeeping and raised bed or container gardening.
In the meantime, books on all of these subjects, and many more, are available at the library.
Pictured at the left: Library Board Member Michelle Parnell with her son, Levi