When Ernie and I got in the car yesterday with my friends Lex Seifert and Debra Marshall, he had no idea where we were going.

I, on the other hand, had been looking forward to this day and this destination for a long while.

Lex and Debra live in the Dallas area and represent Perma-Bound Books, which helps libraries keep their shelves well-stocked. For years I’ve (increasingly emphatically) let Lex and Debra know that I’d love to see for myself what it looks like when a brand-new library receives its opening-day collection.

At last, they took me up on my expression of interest and let me help them as they got the library at Mayfield Elementary in Princeton Independent School District ready to welcome its first students next month.

And given Ernie’s prominent role in How to Make a Book (About My Dog) — and considering that this very real nonfiction book ends with an entirely theoretical book (about my dog) arriving on a shelf to await its readers — it seemed appropriate for him to join Debra, Lex, librarian Janice Reed (pictured below), and me on the job.