A dog has been hired as a staff member at Westport’s library.
Quaker, a three-year-old German Shepherd, will spend most of her time listening to children read.
The dog is part of a national literacy development service that involves children reading to dogs.
Research has shown that reading to dogs improve children’s reading. A University of California study by the School of Veterinary Medicine found that children who read to a dog once a week for 10 weeks, showed a 12 per cent increase in reading fluency.
Dogs were great teachers because they listen carefully and let children go at their own pace which increases relaxation in the reader.
Quaker had to pass a set of tests before being allowed the job. This including being assessed by the dog control officer who watched her interact with the children and adults. He also had to pass a police check.
Quaker has been a regular at the library since she was a pup. He called it his second home.