Critters in your yard…critters at your library!

Already Mr. and Mrs. Robin have set up housekeeping on a downspout at our back door. Unfortunately, their new digs are just above our water hose, and they are annoyed when we try to draw water, swooping and scolding when we get near. But the eggs will hatch, the babies will take flight, and their infringement on our space will be short-lived.

However, Japanese beetles have become a problem, attacking our kiwi plants, and deer have become frequent visitors, leading us to research ways to control these pests. Luckily Washington County Library has an arsenal of books and a selection of magazine articles loaded with gardening tips.

Just a couple book titles specific to the topic:
“Rodale’s vegetable garden problem solver: the best and latest advice for beating pests, diseases, and weeds and staying a step ahead of trouble in the garden” by Fern Marshall Bradley and “Deer-proofing your yard & garden” by Rhonda Massingham.

There will be critter infestations at many of our Washington County Library locations this summer, as well, but of the light-hearted variety. Kids are invited to drop off stuffed-animal “critters” at their library for a week of Critter Camp. Librarians treat the critters to a week of library adventures — reading to them, recommending titles, and giving them free reign to explore all of the nooks and crannies in the library. The critters, of course, get left alone at night when library staff members go home, and sometimes they get into a little mischief. But by the end of the week, the critters have made friends and learned a lot about the library. When kids pick up their critters, they find out what they did at camp, courtesy of photos librarians have taken to document the camping experience. Yes, it’s a light-hearted view of library use, but fun for kids, their critters, and parents, too.

Libraries who have scheduled Critter Camps include:
Oakdale Library – June 22 to June 29, with camper drop off during library open hours on the 22nd
R.H. Stafford Library – June 24 to July 1, with camper drop off during library open hours on the 24th
Hardwood Creek Library – July 16 to July 23, with camper drop off during library open hours on the 16th
Park Grove Library— July 25 to August 1, with camper drop off on Thursday evening, July 25, 6:30 p.m.
Camp rules are not the same for all camps, so consult the Library’s Events Calendar at for details.

Wishing everyone good reading and a positive critter experience this summer. Staff members are always at hand to help you research a solution to your critter dilemma.

Library Woman is Joey Halbach, Community Relations Librarian for Washington County Library. Contact her at: