The West Jeff Middle Library is home to a few aquatic creatures and a few terrestrial creatures. We currently have a community fish tank and two red-eared slider turtles; a bearded dragon and a box turtle live in Mrs. Buffington's room. Stop by to say hi and check out a book!


At the start of the 2016-17 school year, a 50-gallon fish tank was moved from a classroom to the library. A student with an interest in marine biology arranged with the library to set their annual ALP goal as caring for several freshwater crayfish during the school year. For the 2017-18 school year, the tank transitioned to a community fish tank with sunburst wagtail platys, transparent zebrafish, a Chinese algae eater, and a plecostomous. We received donations of platys, guppies, and another plecostomous from community members. Students voted on an addition of neon tetras.

Red-Eared Slider

Red-Eared Slider Turtles

A community member donated an 18-year-old female red-eared slider to the library in September 2016. Students suggested names and then voted on them; Pistachio had 40.2% of the votes with Tortuga in second place with 27.8% of the votes. We improved her habitat by acquiring a larger 90-gallon tank, a canister filter, an LED light bar with daytime and nighttime light settings, a dual-bulb fixture with heat/UVA and UVB bulbs for the basking area, and a custom-built basking platform. A smaller approximately 7-year-old red-eared slider that had been surrendered to the Dumb Friends League joined the tank in November 2016 and was promptly named Peanut. Pistachio likes dried anchovies, tangerines, and the Dzihan & Kamien song "Stiff Jazz". Peanut likes grapes, crawling under things, and maintaining a resting judgmental expression.

Bearded dragon

Bearded Dragon

A community member re-homed their approximately 7-year-old male bearded dragon to stay with the library in January 2018. Sherman Rex lives in a tank in Mrs. Buffington's room. The background of his tank is a landscape of Tattooine done in pastel. He likes diced bell peppers and basking on his hammock under the heat lamp.

Russian TortoiseRussian Tortoise

Yertle, a Russian tortoise that had lived at Elk Creek Elementary for several years, lived with a family for a few years before coming to our school with the new name Boris in May 2018. After spending the COVID-19 closure with one of our teachers, he joined them in retirement in 2023. His theme song is still "The Distance" by Cake.

Box Turtlebox turtle

A community member brought their box turtle to come live at our school in early 2019. Bento lives in a tank in Mrs. Buffington's room. We are thankful to our neighbors at Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital for helping us get our newest friend to be their best self with beak, nail, and shell help. They like hard-boiled eggs, their daily spa routine, and enjoying the sun outside (with supervision, of course).

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