Simpson Secrets:The library fish pond

by Hannah PickettStaff Writer

If you’ve ever walked into Dunn Library, you’ve seen it. It’s next to impossible to miss. But have you ever wondered why Simpson has a pond in the library?

What students refer to as the fish pond wasn’t actually intended to be a pond when the library opened in 1964. Rather, it was a decorative pool. “It provides wonderful white noise,” librarian Cyd Dyer said.

Shortly after it was installed, the decorative pool became known as a pond and began to house fish.

In 1999, Professor of English Nancy St. Clair asked to bring in her large goldfish from her pond. Since then, the library has been gifted with a variety of Koi and goldfish, some even coming from dorm rooms.

Dyer says to contact a librarian if you are interested in donating a fish.

As with any pond or aquarium, some fish die, especially when there get to be too many in the pond.

The fish eat cheerios and, on occasion, watermelon or oranges.

“Coins in the fountain are not good for the fish due to the metal leeching,” Dyer said.? Dyer is in charge of maintenance on the biofilter unit, also referred to as the mushroom fountain, which provides oxygen for the fish.

John Eilers from Campus Services ensures the water has proper chemicals.

The pond is currently home to three Koi fish, two large and one smaller, a dozen goldfish of various sizes, and a few small, plecostomus bottom-feeding catfish.

The plecostomus fish are not as visible as the others because they typically stay under the rocks, a gift from former professor, Steve Emerman.

The book, “Beneath the Whispering Maples: the History of Simpson College” by Joseph W. Walt delves more into the history of the pond. Walt described one incident that occurred at the library’s open house in October of 1964.

“Then it happened. A woman marched in through the entrance, looked up, awed by the dimensions of the magnificent structure, and strode directly into the pool.”