When Nancy Maxwell worked at the Ramona branch of SDCL in 1973, a hamster lived in a cozy cage on top of the juvenile fiction. The kids named him Harvey Templeton Smythe and would pet him after story time. One day when staff opened the branch they were shocked to see that Harvey had gotten out of his cage! They looked and looked but could not find him. But what about the kids?
An hour later a customer mentioned to Nancy that she heard a "squeaking" sound in the adult biography section. Nancy went to investigate and discovered hamster Smythe stuck under the bookshelf! When the volunteers with the Friends of the Library heard about this they went to work moving all of the books off of the shelf. One of the Friends got his tool box to remove the bottom shelf, and Harvey was saved! When news reached the town veterinarian, he gave Templeton Smythe a free examination and determined that the hamster was in excellent health. That afternoon at story time, the story was about the kids favorite hamster, Harvey Templeton Smythe!