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Jobs They Love: Squirrel Mascot

Updated: May 7

Lucky are they who look forward to Mondays with joy in their hearts! Meet the folks whose talents and passions are happily matched to the jobs they have.


JOE MURRAY


Colorado’s Anythink Libraries are known worldwide as innovative and well-loved places of unlimited imagination, “where play inspires creativity and lifelong learning.” These are public libraries that don’t force their readers to learn the Dewey Decimal System. Instead, the branch locations are set up like beautiful bookstores, complete with wood shelving, comfy seating, and fireplaces. Participatory “learning experience” stations are located here and there to pique the visitors’ curiosity. At Anythink, there’s no fine for overdue books, and the librarians are friendly -- they don’t “shush” you.


Anythink even has a mascot, a hip squirrel named Dood, He’s a voracious reader who travels around the world at supersonic speeds by way of his rocket-powered backpack. Kids love him and he inspires them to read and explore new worlds.


Dood stars in his own animated cartoon, but staffer Joe Murray is the human who brings Dood to life by donning a big-head character costume and amping up the crowds at library events with his nutty exuberance. Fans can keep in touch with Dood by watching his videos on the library’s YouTube channel and sending questions to his advice column in the library’s quarterly magazine.




Q&A


Dood the Squirrel is a funny, loveable creature. Do kids go crazy when they finally get to meet you, “in-person”?

Absolutely! I think kids love how bright and joyful he is. They especially love when he tries to do the latest TikTok dance.


How often do you get to be the Dood? Does he have regularly scheduled appearances or does he just show up unexpectedly in various places like a real squirrel?

A little bit of both. In the summers, you can find Dood out and about at a lot of community events.


Assuming that it was not always a life dream of yours to be a big-head character mascot, how did you get this gig?

Funny enough, being a mascot was a childhood dream of mine. I attended Marquette University and was hired as our mascot, The Golden Eagle, so I of course have mascot experience listed on my resumé. Dood has been Anythink’s mascot for over 10 years, though only as an illustration. I made a joke about getting a library mascot suit and two weeks later I was put in charge of bringing Dood to life.


Your job title is Creative Lead for the library, which seems very appropriate, but what else do you do when you’re not being the Dood?

When I’m not being Dood, my focus is community outreach and raising money for the Anythink Foundation. I get to plan a lot of great events and work with tons of creative members of our staff and other local organizations. I also spend time outside the library doing freelance artwork.


Do you answer Dood’s mail for the magazine?

I do help Dood write his column, though I can’t say I condone all of the advice he gives out!


What was your favorite Halloween costume when you were a kid?

While I don’t actually remember this, I was a cow for Halloween when I was 3, so I have a long history of dressing up as animals.



Photos: (From top) Dood the Squirrel; and the real (sort of) Joe Murray, courtesy of Joe Murray.

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