The Victor Farmington Library's new fish tank is a hit with patrons.
VICTOR — You could call him Steve. And many wanted to call him Jeffie, for some reason.
But most people wanted the tiny guppy swimming about a new fish tank in the Victor Farmington Library to be called Blue Devil.
And after the ballots were tallied following a weeklong vote, Blue Devil it is. Blue Devil, as in Victor Blue Devils.
This piscine idea of having a fish in the library comes from Dori Eisenstat, who has been a clerk there for about 18 months. Yes, her name is Dori, although spelled differently than the fish named Dory in the Disney animated film classic “Finding Nemo.”
“Sometimes, the kids will comment about that. I’ve been around longer than Dory the fish,” Eisenstat said. “But I love Dory.”
Eisenstat and her husband used to keep fish at home, but got away from it after their kids were born. Their unused 10-gallon fish tank in the basement needed a new home, and so she donated it to the library. (She said her husband was happy with that, by the way.)
“It seems like it would be a fun thing the library can do for kids,” she said.
Thanks to the Friends of the Victor Farmington Library, a volunteer nonprofit group that helps fund and provide extras for the library, the tank found a home.
Jane Gerace, president of the Friends of the Victor Farmington Library, said the group has committed to the tank’s upkeep and fish food so library funds can be used elsewhere.
Since the end of January, the tank has sat up near the front desk, although it is considered an addition to the library’s children’s area. And because the equipment was donated, the project became doable.
“I think it’s very cheerful,” Gerace said.
Life in Blue Devil’s watery world hasn’t been all hunky-dory. As many may know, another guppy was supposed to be sharing space with Blue Devil.
But that one didn’t make it, which can happen, as a new surrounding can be stressful on fish, Eisenstat said. So adding a companion may be on the horizon, but not right away.
“I want to take it slowly,” Eisenstat said.
What Blue Devil lacks in companionship he does make up for with some fancy digs. Eisenstat opted to decorate the tank in an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme.
Yeah, the grinning Cheshire Cat atop a giant mushroom ordinarily might be something a fish may want to avoid, but it’s pretend. As are the mushrooms of pink and green and Alice herself.
“It’s colorful and literary,” Eisenstat said.
And Blue Devil has more fans than you can shake a fin at, which is sort of the idea behind the project.
The tank may end up with other literary-themed decors, as well as displays of books, down the road. The library also plans to put materials geared toward responsible pet ownership on display as well.
“We want to be a good role model in that way,” Eisenstat said.
As Blue Devil swims around its tank, Andrew Rine, 8, said the fish is pretty cool.
And this fish tale has a happy ending, because Blue Devil may have inspired a reader, just as planned.
“I stare at it and I think about books about fish,” Andrew said.
Have you ever seen or heard of something around here that made you stop and wonder, "What's up with that?" We have, too — and now we're hoping to provide some answers to these long-lingering questions with this column, which appears Sundays. If you have questions you need answered, either email or call Local Editor Mike Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-337-4229.