The nonprofit Dog Ears Bookstore & Café in South Buffalo was a popular destination this summer for students intent on improving their reading and writing skills through various camps and activities.

The mini library

“We have a lot of people to thank starting with our summer camp sponsors, South District Council Member Chris Scanlon and the Erie County Department of Youth Services,” said Thomas McDonnell, executive director of the community bookstore located at 688 Abbott Road. “We would also like to thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for his ongoing support of our bookstore and literacy programs.


Visiting Brick Oven Bistro

“Additionally, we would like to thank our guest speakers and local businesses that made our camp days much more interesting, including retired Buffalo Police Officer Dan Redmond who spoke to our campers about school safety procedures, author Tim Shannon who spoke about the writing process, and Chet and Marina Fery of Bread Time Stories who spoke on the importance of kindness. Businesses that invited us in to see their operations included KupKates, Queen City Cycling, Park Edge Sweet Shoppe, Abbott Ice Cream and Brick Oven Bistro & Deli.


At Queen City Cycling


“Our teen campers were also thrilled to build a mini library that will be housed in the Garden of St. Patrick on the grounds of nearby Mercy Hospital,” McDonnell continued. “This project was made possible thanks to Jeanne Mullen of The Gap and The Gap Foundation, as well as Mercy Hospital and the Mercy Hospital Foundation.”


With author Tim Shannon

Now that the summer activities are over, McDonnell hopes to give the bookstore a fresh look by purchasing new furniture for the second-floor Literary Arts Center, and he’s turning to the community for help completing this project.

“We are currently accepting donations to help us purchase new furniture for the second floor of our facility where most of our literacy programs take place, from our camps to writing workshops and poetry nights,” McDonnell added. “The furniture that we are currently using is showing its age and is in need of an upgrade. We are hoping the community — businesses, organizations and individuals alike — will help us achieve our goal by making a donation of any size to help offset the expense of the project.”

To make a donation to the furniture fund, please contact McDonnell at 823-2665 or

Erie County continues to be a huge supporter of programming at Dog Ears Bookstore.

A new six-week Puppy Tales series at Dog Ears Bookstore & Café, located at 688 Abbott Road in South Buffalo, will kick off at 10:15 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7.

Open to children ages 2 to 4 accompanied by a parent or guardian, Puppy Tales runs on six consecutive Friday mornings and each session includes three stories, a craft and healthy snacks. Sessions are skill- and book-based and the cost is just $25 per child for the entire session.

Puppy Tales is a great way to prepare students for Pre-K. To register for the next Puppy Tales series, please visit the bookstore or call 823-2665. And for more information on the nonprofit community bookstore, please follow on Facebook for frequent updates.

We would like to thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Erie County for their ongoing support of the arts in WNY, including programs offered here at Dog Ears Bookstore. Please know that your support is greatly appreciated!