Geraldine, Halifax library mascot, off to new home in East Chezzetcook
Woman takes home 2.5-metre tall stuffed giraffe mascot in U-Haul
The mascot for the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library — a 2.5-metre tall stuffed giraffe — has found a new home in East Chezzetcook.
In mid-July, the library announced Geraldine the giraffe was retiring after 20 years of service greeting visitors to the youth section of the library's first floor. They said they would not be bringing the mascot to the library's new location at the corner of Spring Garden Road and Queen Street.
The library held a draw to decide who would keep Geraldine — and Jillian Shields is the lucky winner.
"She's always been a part of my life, really. I grew up in libraries so I've known her since I was three years old," Shields said Thursday.
"I was pretty disappointed my kids wouldn't get to know her but now they will."
Shields, 23, showed up to the library Thursday afternoon with a U-Haul to take home her prize. She said she never told her partner she had entered the draw.
"I just entered on a whim and forgot about it really so it was a pretty big surprise," she said.
Shields said Geraldine will be in her living room where her seven-month old twins can enjoy her.
Cynthia Gatto, in charge of the children's department at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library, said it was difficult for staff to part with Geraldine.
"The funny thing is, I think the kids will adjust to it quite readily but it's the adults who grew up with her in the neighbourhood who were especially sad and the staff were very attached to her," she said.
According to the library's website, Geraldine is a Steiff Studio showpiece circa the early 1990s, and was originally owned by The Dollhouse toy store on the Halifax waterfront.
Geraldine's 'health' concerns
According to the library's website, Geraldine was not in the best "health."
After 20 years of children petting her, the fur on her front shoulder and a few other spots were worn off. There is burn damage on the top of her head from a run-in with a light bulb.
"Luckily they got it put out but after that point we've kept her in hats," said Gatto. "She's been quite the styling lady for some time."
Geraldine is also a little unstable and the new library doesn't have a secure place for her to stand.
"She is a toy, they don't last forever," said Gatto. "We just thought it was time for her to move on to another place where she won't get so much handling."
In the spring, more than 120 fans gathered at the library to wish Geraldine a happy retirement. The draw to find her new home had more than 130 entries.
Shields said she feels lucky to have Geraldine retire with her.
"I think she'll be well loved by the entire family," she said.