You've heard of Goose Watch, now watch out for Goose Week

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

You've seen our friendly mascot, Scholar the Goose, online and around campus...but do you know the whole story?

The Library's Student Engagement Committee is bringing you a full five days of fowl fun with Goose Week!

Why Goose Week?

The idea sprung from the mind of Mary Lynne Bartlett, Student Engagement Coordinator and co-chair of the Library's Student Engagement Committee. "I was eating a sandwich...I can't remember what kind, but it made me think of Shark Week, and doing something like that here at the Library." We may never know what kind of sandwich it was, but its legacy will certainly live on.

Why are we celebrating something that many consider to be a campus plague? Well, you can't avoid geese at Waterloo, so Mary Lynne decided it's best to lean into it and make geese a positive thing. The Library's mascot is a goose, and has recently gained Twitter fame as Waterloo's most unofficial mascot. Still not convinced? Check out these five reasons to love the geese at Waterloo.

The week of July 16 to 20 will be filled with goose-themed displays, events and activities! Learn more about geese and their legacy at Waterloo, relieve some stress with games and stretches, or put your creativity to work with our social art event and green screen.

Origin story: Scholar the Goose

goose in chair in front of library

The year was 2016, and the campus was warming up after a long winter and students were starting spring term when the most extraordinary thing happened… Jimmy and Jane, resident Waterloo geese, fell in love and decided to spread their wings and start a nest together. After getting a bird’s-eye view of the campus, they came across a square building that looked like a sugar cube. With a sweet tooth and a quest for knowledge, this seemed like the perfect spot to Jane, so they flew up to the landing on the fourth floor of Dana Porter Library and made their nest just outside the window of the University Librarian’s office.

While Jane diligently sat on her eggs, Jimmy would venture off to look for food. Jane loved hearing the students talk about their studies and all the different resources they found in the Library; it gave her goose bumps. One fateful day in June, Jane and Jimmy welcomed ten little goslings to the University of Waterloo goose community. Jane had her wings full with her flock, teaching them to fly, honk, and balance on one leg.


Each gosling had their own personalities and interests, and gosling #3 was the most inquisitive, and would frequently try to get off the ledge to see the students below. Every day, gosling #3 would look around at all the studious and hard-working students on the Waterloo campus, and dream of a day that it could take part in all that the university has to offer. Gosling #3's siblings were more into protecting their ledge on top of Dana Porter than pursuing academic excellence, but this would not stop gosling #3, who didn't feel fit for a life of merely patrolling the vast wonder that is the LIBRARY!!!

When the coast was clear, gosling #3 crept down the east side of the building and along the edge of the moat, and hatched a plan to get through the sliding glass doors, by closely following behind a human. After hiding out behind the plants while the morning muffin crowd cleared out of Browser’s Café, the little goose waddled past Research and Assignment Help Desk towards Waterloo Reads collection and, with its favourite book under its wing, pulled up a chair in the lounge area.

Later that day, Library staff were shelving books and were shocked to find gosling #3 having a snooze.  Library staff found gosling #3 to be very friendly and obviously academically inclined, as it had made its own nest of books. This little goose needed a name and a home, and they pondered "hmm what should we name our new friend? We can't release it back into the wild!" Weeks went by, and gosling #3 was getting bigger and bigger. Every day, gosling #3 would walk around the main floor of Dana Porter greeting the students and picking out new books to read. Library staff had been trying to come up with a name for a few weeks, but nothing seemed quite right. Gosling #3 was different; they were interested in academics and interacting with the students.

One day, as the University Librarian was in a meeting, they had an epiphany! They thought, “what if we called the little goose Scholar? It’s such a scholarly little creature.” The University Librarian went down to Gosling #3 and said “Hello Scholar, you are home now!” Scholar jumped up and flapped its wings in delight. Scholar loved its new home and has been assisting Library staff ever since with student engagement activities!

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