Book to Action program features book about lost cat, homeless man
“Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man and Their Journey Across America,” a true story by Britt Collins, is the centerpiece for the second annual Book to Action program that continues through Aug. 21 at Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries.
“ ‘Strays’ describes the incredible journey of Michael King, a homeless man living in Portland, Ore., who befriends a lost cat he names Tabor,” said Allison Gray, director of the Goleta Valley Library. “As the two travel across several states and overcome many challenges together, they form a healing bond that speaks to the special connection that we share with our animal companions and the impact that rescuing an animal can have in a person’s life.”
In celebration of the theme, the libraries are offering a variety of virtual programs for all ages throughout July and August.
To kick off the program, patrons who participate in the libraries’ Sidewalk Service receive a color-your-own-cat bookmark in their paper bags at pick-up with a link to the website to view the full schedule of events.
“Weekly programming includes pet-themed craft workshops, book discussions, adoption-themed storytimes in English and Spanish, presentations by expert community panelists and even an author spotlight visit from Britt Collins herself,” said Ms. Gray. “Ms. Collins lives in London, but is planning to be in Los Angeles in August so we’ll be very lucky to have an event with her.”
All of the Book to Action programs will be accessible virtually through GoToMeeting, Facebook and YouTube. Goleta, Buellton and Solvang patrons can borrow the book, and everyone in the Black Gold System can borrow the e-book and e-audiobooks from Overdrive.
On Friday at 2 p.m., people can watch a program on “Pet Preparedness,” presented by the staff from Santa Barbara County Animal Services and the Office of Emergency Management. This program will help participants learn everything from A to Z on keeping pets safe in all kinds of situations.
Topics will include packing emergency preparedness kits for pets, options for pets during an evacuation and how to keep pets safe during natural disasters.
Discussions about the book are scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Aug. 11 at Goleta Valley Library and 1 p.m. Aug. 21 at Buellton Library.
“Participants will be able to share their responses to the story and about the themes and issues that are conveyed through the main character’s journey,” said Ms. Gray.
Designed for all age groups, a variety of pet-themed craft programs will offer hands-on participation experiences for patrons to celebrate the pets in their lives and those who would like to adopt one day.
“Cat Toy Craft” will meet at 3 p.m. today at Goleta Valley Library, “Pet Crafternoon” at 3 p.m. Thursday at Solvang Library and “Dog Craft” at 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at Buellton Library.
Virtual storytimes are planned at 11 a.m. July 31 at Buellton Library and 10:15 a.m. Aug. 4 and 2 p.m. Aug. 18 at Goleta Valley Library.
“Rescued: Bonds Between Humans and Animals” at 2 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Solvang Library will feature a panel of speakers from three organizations — Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding, Happy Endings Animal Sanctuary and the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.
Many of the children’s programs in July and August are based on the theme of pets and adopting animals from shelters, emphasizing the myriad ways that animals improve human lives.
“During the month of August, we will be holding a donation drive for our local shelters. We will be accepting food for dogs, cats, bunnies and guinea pigs along with new pet toys and supplies,” Ms. Gray said.
At a date and time to be announced, Ms. Collins, the author of “Strays,” will present a live streamed presentation on the true story behind her book and the important messages that she hopes readers will take away from the story. An interactive question and answer session will follow.
“I’m so glad to have selected this book for this year,” said Ms. Gray. “With COVID-19 changing our lives so dramatically, it has helped to read such a positive and uplifting book.”