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Dinosaur sculptures memorialize frequent LPL patron

These dinosaur sculptures, created by John Kennedy, sit outside the Liverpool Public Library. They're the product of a gift from benefactor Ann Alger, longtime LPL patron, who left a bequest to the library when she passed away in 2011.

These dinosaur sculptures, created by John Kennedy, sit outside the Liverpool Public Library. They're the product of a gift from benefactor Ann Alger, longtime LPL patron, who left a bequest to the library when she passed away in 2011. Jill Romano

— Millions of years ago, herds of pig-sized herbivores known for their large skulls and neck frills roamed the deserts of Mongolia with a variety of other brawny beasts. That’s right, they were the Protoceratops, and as of Monday, Aug. 13, they have begun to inhabit the village of Liverpool. Three of them are making their home just outside the Liverpool Public Library. Unlike the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous age, these Protoceratops are made of metal and concrete, created by local sculptor John Kennedy.

Though the dinosaurs are new to the area, some community members are already familiar with the species.

“One adult and one kid walked by yesterday, and they said, ‘Oh! Protoceratops!’” Jean Armour Polly, executive director of the library, said. “The little girl was just 7 and she knew what it was!”

The prehistoric pals were made possible by a bequest from the estate of Ann Alger who was a frequent visitor to the Library.

“I didn’t know her at all, but once I saw the picture of her, I knew her,” said Polly. “She was in the library a lot; she lived right down the street.”

Polly talked with Alger’s friends to see how they would want the memorial spent, and rather than requesting a book collection or furniture, they decided that Ann would have wanted something that was a little unusual or “outside the box.” She was a retired teacher and a lover of children and animals, so the idea for an animal sculpture that children could sit on was a perfect fit.

The library brought in Kennedy, who is known for his awe-inspiring animal sculptures throughout Central New York, including the tiger at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. After hearing stories about Alger’s unique personality, Kennedy came up with the idea of dinosaurs. Alger’s friends gave their hearty approval, saying, “Everybody loves dinosaurs!”

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