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A 4-foot-tall bluebird “flew” into Richmond in 1976. It stayed for years, but then it disappeared. And now it’s back.
The bird arrived at the Ray County Library when the building was located on College Street near the post office. That January, librarians installed a new book return, patterning it after the bluebird, the official Missouri state bird.
Patrons may remember that the book return was called the “Book Eating Bird.” The bluebird sat at the front of the library’s entrance as a convenience to library users who wished to return their materials during the library’s closed hours. After dropping each item into the large metal beak, users could hear a quick “thud,” indicating that the item was deep inside the bird’s belly.
Then each morning, library staff members would open a secured padlock to release the returns from within bird’s belly. They placed the items large book totes to carry inside the library.
The complete story is in the Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 Richmond News.