Library adopts hedgehog mascot
This past December, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System acquired a mascot: an African pygmy hedgehog.
The hedgehog, dubbed “Quilliam” by customer vote, lives in the teen room at the Lee Road branch, in a large habitat that includes an exercise wheel, blankets for burrowing and sleeping, and a small plastic shelter to hide in.
“He’s incredibly popular,” said his handler, Youth Services Librarian Sarah Rosenberger. “We have whole families coming in to see him, and when I take him out I am surrounded by people asking questions and eager to take a peek at him.”
Library staff has also provided a fact sheet about Quilliam for curious customers, and Rosenberger takes him out periodically to allow people to get a close look at him, and to ask questions.
“Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so we let him sleep most of the day,” explained Rosenberger. “He is usually awake and active around 9 a.m., once in the afternoon, and in the evening.”
To ensure Quilliam is visible to the public during his active nighttime hours, the library installed a camera in his habitat, dubbed “Quillcam,” that takes a photo of him once a minute and automatically uploads the photo to Quilliam’s webpage, www.heightslibrary.org/quillcam.
More facts about Quilliam:
- Hedgehogs are covered with quills, so only trained handlers should hold them. At Heights Libraries, Rosenberger is currently Quilliam’s only handler.
- When hedgehogs get nervous or grumpy, they roll into a ball and make a “huffing” noise while puffing out their quills. This is totally normal.
- In the wild, hedgehogs are insectivores that mainly eat bugs. Pet hedgehogs, however, eat cat food with occasional bug snacks.
To learn more about Quilliam, visit the Lee Road branch during regular library hours or visit www.heightslibrary.org/quillcam.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.