Forbes Library’s new fish named ‘Moondust’

  • Moondust, Forbes Library’s newest piscine occupant. SCREENSHOT/FORBES LIBRARY

Staff Writer
Published: 12/27/2018 10:27:43 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Frequent visitors to the children’s and young adults’ section of Forbes Library may have met the department’s newest tenant — a stark white giant gourami fish, often found hiding behind his tank’s vegetation.

Now, the library has chosen a name for the fish from among 292 suggestions that library patrons submitted: Moondust, or Dusty for short.

“We like how ‘Dusty’ is like a library,” Sarah Johnson, the head of children’s and young adult services at Forbes, said in an interview Thursday. The name Moondust also fit well with the color of the fish, Johnson added.

Ewan Hill, a library assistant, said that giant gourami fish like Moondust can breathe in air, so library visitors may see Moondust rise to the water’s surface for a gulp of fresh air.

When approached for an interview Thursday, Moondust declined to comment. So, too, did Paco, the legendary Forbes fish who has lived in the tank next to Moondust’s new home for decades.

Moondust has some big fins to fill living next to Paco, who over the years has inspired haikus, song lyrics and a mural. Johnson said that Moondust is a “complete counterpoint” to Paco, who races around her tank.

“Moondusty is slow, and graceful and meditative,” Johnson said.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at

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