Cats have been residents of libraries for centuries. Whether in monasteries or your local public branch, cats make able mousers, companions, and ambassadors of literacy. In 1987, Phyllis Lahti, librarian and cat-enthusiast, established the Library Cat Society (initially titled "The Library Cat Club of America"). For $6 a month, members received a newsletter detailing the lives of library cats throughout the United States.

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Library cats caught the attention of filmmaker and comedian, Gary Roma, who in 1997 released the short documentary, Puss in Books: The Adventures of the Library Cat. In this endearing film, Roma deftly explores the culture and controversies surrounding cats in the modern day library. He also created the original library cat map, an interactive web map linked to tables of cats, libraries, years of residency, and, if available, links to photos or other online content. By the time Roma stopped actively maintaining the map over 10 years ago, total documented cats numbered 802 (current residents, 302).

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