In 1983, two librarians at the then-newly built Douglas County Public Library in Minden, Nev. had the idea to adopt two cats to work in the library keeping rodents away. Their working role, however, evolved into much more as the pair of Scottish Folds stole the hearts of the small town and eventually became Baker & Taylor’s very own mascots, appropriately named Baker and Taylor.
Jan Louch and Yvonne Saddler were librarians at Douglas County Public Library upon its opening in 1982. Bookcases were stocked with all the classics—Dickens, Whitman, Fitzgerald—and they were ecstatic to offer the small community a much larger space dedicated to reading.
This new and improved library was built on an alfalfa field, which is notorious for attracting mice. This coupled with the undeniable lure of book binding and glue for mice in general helped Louch and Saddler to decide it was time to bring in help—in the form of cats. Libraries dating back to possibly ancient Egypt have a history of keeping cats to protect books, and Douglas County Public Library was no different.
Baker, the first to be adopted, was named as such because his favorite place to sleep was tucked inside a Baker & Taylor box. Two months later, Taylor came along thanks to a grant from Baker & Taylor after Louch and Saddler shared the story of Baker with a sales director at the company.
Over the years, the two cats spent their time socializing with library patrons and lounging at the checkout counter. While both have since passed away, their legacy lives on as Baker & Taylor’s beloved mascots.
This year, to commemorate Baker’s 35th birthday, Baker & Taylor did something new with their highly-anticipated tote bags for trade shows and released a commemorative cat bag featuring an image of the original cats taken by Douglas County librarians.
You can get your own commemorative cat bag at ALA and BEA in the librarian lounge.