Shelly is the Forest Park Public Library’s pet turtle. She joined the staff in December 2013. Shelly lives in the Youth Services Department on the lower level, but can sometimes be seen around town on special occasions.
Shelly is an aquatic turtle called a red-eared slider. Red-eared sliders are omnivores and spend most of their time in the water, although they do enjoy basking in between swim sessions to dry out their shell. This type of turtle can be skittish in the wild. But visitors may have noticed that Shelly, like many red-eared sliders in captivity, will often swim up to visitors. Although she is friendly, red-eared sliders like Shelly do not generally prefer to be handled or petted like some pets. Shelly’s favorite way to spend time with guests is when they say hello or read to her on the other side of the tank.
Shelly’s Origin Story
Our quest for a library pet began with the Operation: Library Turtle program series in September 2013. During the series, kids researched different types of turtles and tortoises, the type of habitats they would need, and the kind of upkeep required. Each week focused on a different part of the pet selection process. Kids were involved in the process and learned about the responsibilities involved with taking care of a pet responsibly. Patrons voted on everything from the type of turtle to the name.