Rubber snakes. Rubber cockroaches. Soap Suds.
According to librarian Cyd Dyer, all these things wound up in the library pond before fish began living there in 1990.
“Everyone has been very respectful since we got the fish,” Dyer said. “Stuff gets dropped in there by accident, but no one has intentionally put anything in the pond.”
Dyer did say that people have had a tendency to throw in money on purpose.
“I find a lot of time people throw money in the pond and they should not,” Dyer said. “The metal content in the water from the coins is harmful to the fish.”
Dyer said the pond wasn’t originally designed to hold fish.
“When the library first opened, the pond was meant to provide white noise, something soothing for the students to listen to,” Dyer said. “But in 1990, Professor [Nancy] St. Clair donated seven large gold fish, and that was the beginning of the fish.”
According to Dyer, fish have come and gone over the years, and currently the library pond holds 23 fish.
“Every once in a while fish will just show up,” Dyer said. “Some students have contacted me about putting their fish in there and that is totally O.K. But sometimes I also think students will just put their fish in there. It doesn’t bother me at all, it’s just fun to count them and have one extra than you had before.”
Dyer said the fish are fed each night.
Freshman Britney Hospelhorn works the night shift at the library, but she doesn’t mind the extra responsibility of feeding Simpson’s fish.
“Feeding the fish is not a big deal at all,” Hospelhorn said. “I just fill a cup with their food and dump it in. The food does make the library smell kind of funny for a little bit though.”
Hospelhorn hasn’t seen anyone intentionally do harm to the library fish, but she has seen someone drop a water bottle in their pond.
“The girl I saw was walking down the stairs and just dropped the water bottle,” Hospelhorn said. “It was actually pretty funny.”
Simpson students seem to enjoy the fish also.
Freshman Calie Hohneke thinks the fish add an interesting element to the library.
“I think the fish are really cute,” Hohneke said. “Plus, the running water in the background is really soothing.”
Dyer said that she thinks the fish are here to stay and would like to add to the pond.
“I find that the fish like to hide under the rocks,” Dyer said. “I haven’t been able to find any that are nice so if anyone has any nice, smooth rocks that they don’t want anymore, we are interested in adding them to the pond.”