Meet Reader, the library cat

Clark Fork Library welcomes feline addition to its staff

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

The Clark Fork Library has a new employee, but he’s more likely to “meow” his greeting than offer book suggestions.

That new addition is Reader, a black-furred, yellow-eyed kitten with an affinity for feline shenanigans and naps among the stacks.

Reader the cat greets visitors at his new “job” at the Clark Fork Library. Courtesy photo.

Library Manager Melissa Mankongvanichkul said Reader is fitting in “wonderfully.”

“He’s not scared of people — he’s very social,” she said. “He is very comfortable here.”

Library staff adopted Reader in August after he and his littermates were found abandoned on the side of the road. His natural friendliness sealed his fate as the perfect candidate for a library kitty. He can often be found watching patrons with a keen eye, playing with toys or lounging in nooks and crannies perfectly suited to a curious cat — like the dropbox at the front desk where items are returned. 

Reader’s modest expenses — like litter and food — are covered by Friends of the Library, a nonprofit group dedicated to supporting the East Bonner County Library District. Pets for Life, a Humane Society-funded program through the Better Together Animal Alliance in Ponderay, will take care of his medical needs, such as vaccinations and check-ups.

There’s a broad community effort behind helping Reader thrive in his new home, and he will do his part by adding a new element of fun and comfort to the Clark Fork Library.

“Being a smaller library, people say we’re homey here, and cozy, so it’s fitting to have a cat,” Mankongvanichkul said. “He’s our official public greeter, and mascot. Part of his job is to make people feel welcome.”

Of course, Reader is only a kitten, so he’s liable to cause a little mischief here and there. Still, Mankongvanichkul said patrons have been very accepting of the new addition to the staff, and local children can often be found with Reader curled up in their laps or tucked under their arms.

“He has a naughty side to him,” Mankongvanichkul said with a laugh, “but that’s part of his charm.”

To learn more about Friends of the Library or become involved with the group’s volunteer efforts, head to To learn more about Pets for Life and their free animal care services, visit or call 208-265-7297.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.