The McKinley Memorial Library has a new mascot for children, Pozy the Parrot.
Pozy is based on a real parrot who was one of the pets of the 25th president William McKinley. McKinley was born in Niles and is remembered here through the National McKinley Memorial Library and Museum and the McKinley Birthplace Home.
According the children's librarian, Kim Garrett, McKinley had two pets, a parrot and a cat.
''The parrot's name was Washington Post so we shortened it to Pozy and made him our mascot,'' Garrett said.
Pozy, a costumed parrot portrayed by a teen volunteer, was revealed to children during a debut party held Jan. 3 at the library. Each week during the Wednesday story times, Pozy makes an appearance, Garrett said. He also shows up once a month during Practice with Pozy, a new literacy program for children ages 5 to 12. The program, Garrett said, encourages children to develop a lifetime love of reading. During the regular monthly event, children also are able to read to Pozy.
No registration is needed to attend the children's programs, which include: Baby Bookworms and Reader Totters, which are held at 10 and 10:30 a.m. every other Friday; Pozy's Pals, for children 3 to 5, meets at 10 a.m. every Tuesday; Cozy with Pozy, a literacy program for children of all ages and their families at 6 p.m. each Wednesday; and Practice with Pozy, a literacy program for children 5 to 12 that meets from 2 to 4 p.m. the fourth Saturday of each month.
''We are ordering new materials too,'' Garrett said.
Included in the new materials are the award winning children's books determined last week by the American Library Association at its annual mid-winter conference.
In addition to the many programs for children, the library also sponsors a Youth Advisory Committee, which gives teens the opportunity to help select materials that they want to see in the library.
''The program is based on three concepts that enable teens to plan, participate and organize their section in the library,'' Garrett said. ''It is a way for the teens to meet and have fun in the library.''
The teen program also includes working on three community service projects during the year, she said.