Stories from the stacks: A snake in the library

A brown snake spotted in Oakey Library

A brown snake spotted in Oakey Library

Today’s post comes to us from Jo Beazley a Librarian in Library and Cultural Services at Oakey Library:

Oakey library, part of Toowoomba Regional Council, is located approximately 30 kilometres west of Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia. It serves a population of approximately 5000, and is one of 12 libraries across the council region. As part of capital works, the library is currently undergoing extensive renovations, bringing much needed physical and operational changes to the space.

Last week, as the painters were prepping the walls in the computer area, a metre long brown snake slithered out. Most unexpected I can assure you! After making sure there was no patrons near this area, we rang Council’s property services team who told us to evacuate all the patrons and shut down the library until a snake catcher could be found. Staff watched (in horror) as the snake poked its head out from under the wall panel, and slid in and out.

The snake catcher and his two daughters arrived, and after pulling apart data cable panels and walls, were unable to find the snake. They did find a massive snake hole and filled it in, effectively blocking the snake out of the library. I can remember thinking, ‘I didn’t learn about this in library school’.

Sharing is caring, and as staff shared images and thoughts across various social media platforms, it was encouraging receiving messages of disbelief, horror and support from across the globe.

Lets just say a stop off on the way home to purchase an alcoholic beverage (or two) bought much needed stress relief.

The brave amongst us can check out Jo’s video of the snake online. A note for our ILN community from outside of Australia –  Eastern Brown Snakes are considered the second most venomous terrestrial snakes in the world and are notable for their speed and, when disturbed, aggression. 

Seeing the photo on twitter inspired us to ask Jo to share her story. Thanks for the post Jo!

If you have questions for Jo you can find her on twitter as @jobeaz. 

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