The Valley Library is now goated


Sailor Tungkawachara

A plush goat photographed near the front of the entrance of Oregon State University’s Valley Library on Jan. 19th. Students are encouraged to hunt for a similar goat hidden elsewhere in the library in order to claim a button prize that changes every week.

Nino Paoli, News Contributor

Frankie Claassen entered The Valley Library to do what she usually does there – quiet, individual studying, free from the dorm noise – when she happened upon a goat. 

A stuffed goat, of course; but a goat nonetheless.

Claassen, a first-year accounting student, didn’t know what to think of the white goat perched on a table to the right of the second floor entrance to the library, but it interested her anyway.

“I thought it was kind of cool, but I just don’t know what it was there for,” Claassen said.

Turns out, this goat — named Finley after wildlife conservationists and photographers William and Irene Finley — is the starting point for a scavenger hunt for students to participate in and find Kidder, another stuffed goat named after Oregon State University’s first librarian, Ida A. Kidder, said representatives from the Goat campaign team.

Rachel Lilley, Public Services unit supervisor for the Special Collections and Archives Research Center at OSU, and other representatives from the Goat campaign team hope that this scavenger hunt will help students learn more about the physical library resources available to them. 

“We recognize that the pandemic made it difficult for students to learn about campus resources like the library,” representatives from the Goat campaign said. “We’re hoping to highlight just a small fraction of the services the library has to offer, and to inspire students to discover for themselves that the library is so much more than an awesome study space.”

The scavenger hunt will continue for the rest of winter term 2023, with Kidder changing hiding spots each week. 

“Each week, people who find the hidden goat… can claim a limited-edition button from the Info Desk,” library representatives from the campaign said. “Everyone who takes a picture of the hidden goat and posts their photo to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the #ValleyLibGOAT hashtag will be entered in a drawing for goat and human friendly snacks.” 

But, why not stuffed beavers?

The idea of goats in the library started out as a staff joke, but has an intention behind it, the Goat campaign team said.

“As amazing and fascinating as beavers are, we chose goats because on the surface they aren’t necessarily something you connect with OSU or with libraries,” representatives from the campaign said. “But sometimes when you introduce something unexpected, it makes you take a second look, helps spark your curiosity, and might give some new perspectives.”

Claassen said that she might participate in the scavenger hunt for “funsies,” and that if she would have to guess, Kidder resides on a shelf on the third floor, in between books about agriculture and goats. 

“It turns out we have several collections of historical papers, including the William L. Finley Papers and the Robert W. Henderson Photographic Slides that feature goats in a range of situations from the humorous — William L. Finley donning a goat costume to track goats in the mountains — to the everyday,” representatives from the campaign said. “Because goats sparked our curiosity — and because, let’s face it, the Valley Library is the Greatest of All Time — we hoped it would do the same for others.”

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