The Seattle Public Library and Woodland Park Zoo have joined together to let our imaginations take flight! This lively partnership is part of the Wild at Heart series to celebrate local cultural organizations.

Whooooo doesn’t love a good book? For our March photo celebration, Woodland Park Zoo’s Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl made a special visit to the Central Library in downtown Seattle to visit with the Chief Librarian. Buddy is an ambassador animal at Woodland Park Zoo who is featured in the zoo’s educational programs that help build empathy for animals and promote ways to take action for wildlife.

Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner and Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl

Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner and Buddy the pharaoh eagle owl.

The Seattle Public Library is a place where people, information, ideas – and, now, zoo animals! – come together to enrich lives and support a community where opportunity and imagination thrive. The Library supports the educational and informational needs of the community with free access to a large and diverse collection of physical and digital books, streaming services, virtual programs and more.

Buddy the owl spent some time in the stacks before having a hoot with Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. Then Buddy’s fellow ambassador animal, Clyde the opossum, made a surprise appearance to take in a story in the Library’s Level 10 reading room.

Oba the spectacled owl inspects the Central Library book shelves

Coba the spectacled owl inspects the Central Library stacks.

 “Owls are such awe-inspiring creatures, and the more we learn about them the more we love them,” said Animal Care Manager Janelle Lundin. “When we looked at the children’s books at the Library, we could see how animals inspire imagination and creativity. And we can see how that’s true with Buddy because he always sparks curiosity and joy. Buddy is a great teacher, and he reminds us why it’s important to care for and protect wildlife.”

While owls can be elusive to witness in nature, you can learn so much about these beautiful animals with the help of The Seattle Public Library.

Children's Librarian Betsy Kluck-Keil reads to Clyde the opossum

Children’s Librarian Betsy Kluck-Keil reads to Clyde the opossum.

“Reading and learning are some of the best ways to build empathy and connection, and we have many ways for families to share that experience together,” said Turner. “You can watch an animated version of the story ‘Owl Moon’ on our Kanopy Kids streaming service; read one of our many e-books about owls from our online catalog or our Hoopla Digital Collection; rent an educational or entertaining owl DVD from our physical media collection; listen to a captivating e-audiobook about owls via our OverDrive collection. And don’t forget our opossum friends, too, in support of our friend Clyde!”

As a special bonus to the photos of Buddy and Clyde, Lead Animal Keeper Regina Smith and Coba the spectacled owl joined librarian Betsy Kluck-Keil to record a virtual story time for Seattle’s readers and animal lovers of all ages!  You can tune into the Library’s weekly virtual story time beginning tomorrow, March 17 at 11 a.m., and any time after, on the Library’s YouTube channel for kids, to watch Betsy with Regina and Coba read “Tanna’s Owl” by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley.


Arts, science and heritage are the heart of Seattle. We are a vibrant and rich community of cultural partners - from artists to actors to animal lovers, museums to musicians, and singers to scientists. We are all Wild at Heart, and we celebrate our unique and collective contributions that bring life to this city. To learn more about Wild at Heart, visit

The Seattle Public Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. Although the Library’s buildings are currently closed to the public, we offer Curbside Pickup Service at 15 locations, as well as many free online services, resources and programs. Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at