Meet the Spaniel named after Daniel, thanks to one local Library Assistant's story-time sessions

Robots, aliens and a dog called Dan. How a Senior Library Assistant in Lancing inspired one West Sussex boy...


Spot the Dog, Marley and even Timmy from the Famous Five, you’ll read about plenty of dogs in books found at your local library.

At Lancing Library, though, one West Sussex dog is more popular than any of them.

A five-year-old boy was so inspired by Senior Library Assistant Dan Belton’s story-time sessions; he named his new puppy after him.

‘Dan’, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was then allowed special VIP access into the library for a photo with the original Dan himself.

Dan, who has worked in libraries across West Sussex for almost 22 years, said: “The dog belongs to a member of staff who works at Steyning Library, but who often comes into Lancing.

“Her sons, Michael and William, had joined us for a story-time session. We did ‘Aliens and Robots,’ with the children designing their own robots. We always try to get into it too, so I was ‘wearing’ a very large brain on my head!

“I think Michael, especially, must have enjoyed it and it was fresh in his mind.”

Michael’s mum, Christina, said: “My children go to a lot of children’s activities in all our local libraries and my youngest really likes the ones Dan does.

“My husband and I were thinking about getting the boys a puppy. We asked them if we got a boy puppy what would they call it. Michael said 'Dan' and when I asked him why he said 'Dan is funny and kind'.

“So I asked who Dan was, thinking he'd say a boy at school, but he said 'Man at library'.”

Dan wasn’t expecting such a compliment, but admits it’s wonderful to be able make a positive impact on the children who attend the various activities run by the library.

“We all take turns leading story-time and when you first start it’s a bit daunting but actually, it’s the best part of the job,” he said.

“Once Dan the dog was three weeks old, they brought him in. We don’t usually let dogs in the library but he was allowed in especially for a photo opportunity.

“I’m more of a cat person actually, but it is a lovely little dog!”

After the picture was shared on Facebook, it was liked over 500 times. So is Dan feeling like a local celebrity thanks to man’s best friend?

“I wouldn’t go that far!” he said.

“I’ve had a few people make comments in the library and I have been recognised from the picture.

“I think most people want to see the puppy!”

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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