Millicent Library in Fairhaven has a new resident that is turning some heads (and tails). A 2-year-old bearded dragon named Atlas now lives in the children’s room of the library, proving that any animal can bring joy to a child, even the scaly kind. But don’t worry, it has its own little apartment.

Allie Thiel, the youth services librarian, introduced the newest member of the library in April, and on April 25, their new friend was finally given a name. Over 350 people voted on six different names, but Atlas was the big winner.

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Atlas, the tiniest librarian in the building, was donated to the library by a friend of Thiel’s.

“They were looking to give him a bigger home and provide better care, and we can certainly do that here at the library,” said Thiel.

Thiel was familiar with “read-to-animal” programs and how they help young children practice their reading, so she was thrilled to bring him Atlas to his new forever home.

“Animals are so engaging and it’s fun to visit an animal in the library,” she said. “And it’s only fitting to have a dragon in a library that looks like a castle.”

The feedback from kids has been positive and Thiel hopes to incorporate Atlas into more activities in the future.

“(Atlas) is a great ambassador animal,” said Thiel. “He’s calm and friendly and he’s been handled a lot so he’s really friendly."

Shelby Hamilton, a Fairhaven resident and mother of two, said her 3-year-old. Milo, loved meeting Atlas for the first time.

“We thought it was very cool. The librarian had no trouble taking it out of the cage and having Milo touch it gently, which he loved," she said. "They had a brochure with all information about bearded dragons. The librarian knew a lot, too. It’s something fun for the kids to look forward to when visiting the library.”

Melissa’s Pet Depot in Fairhaven happily supplies Atlas with bugs to eat, and Mattapoisett Animal Hospital provides top-notch vet care for the newest librarian in the building.

Atlas loves kids and cannot wait to make reading even more enjoyable for kids that visit Millicent Library.

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