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Furry artist in finals of San Francisco Public Library card design contest

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Library card designWalter Ringtail's comic strip Paw Valley features a gang of cartoon animal friends who often end up in ticklish situations.

Now, patrons of San Francisco's Public Library may be tickled to have his art work in their pockets.

According to this cartoon illustrated tour, seven million people a year pass through SFPL's main branch alone (one of 27 branches in the city). Library membership is over 350,000, with over nine million loans circulated per year. That's a lot of patrons who could become card-carrying appreciators of furry art!

3,000 submissions were received for the SFPL card design contest. Judges selected ten finalists in each of five age-based categories. The top vote-winners will be printed on SFPL library cards in 2013.

Walter Ringtail's submission "The Bedtime Story" was chosen for the adult level finals. Now, it's up to the public to vote for the winner.

Library director calls for fursuit-related policy review

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Library director Janet Nocek of Portland, Connecticut had her work cut out explaining furries to board members tonight after calling a meeting to review the library's behaviour policy, reportedly after fursuited visits to other local libraries raised fears of child enticement.

The piece in the Hartford Courant highlighted concerns about those visiting in disguise, and in particular non-religious use of hoods or masks (forbidden by the library's rules of conduct), which in this case might cause families to mistake fursuiters as official mascot characters.

Update (14 Sep): The issue was raised in a discussion thread started late last month by Henry Dutcher of Enfield. Initial replies were humorous, but the talk got more serious when he mentioned a child took a fursuiter's paw and was "led away by them" (within the library).

Update 2 (17 Sep): Television stations WFSB and NECN have also covered this story.

Ursula Vernon makes waves, ruffles feathers at NJ libraries

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Ursula Vernon's 'Capricorn'Ursula Vernon's mythological representation of Capricorn as a sea-goat was commissioned as the poster-beast of the New Jersey Summer Reading Program, and featured in libraries and promotional material across the state.

Her work was packed with symbolism, but turned out to be controversial in a way she had not anticipated. [snow pigeon]