By Meredith H.
From my kindergarten days through middle school, my family moved 11 times. I attended 8 different schools in 6 cities. Wherever we found ourselves, the place we visited first was always the closest public library. There, I found the companionship of old friends on the shelves as I struggled to make new ones in the classroom: between the pages of favorite treasured books was the continuum and blessed familiarity absent for most of my early school days.
Every neighborhood library was a constant, a comfort, and a window on a larger world in which I knew I would someday find my own place and sphere of influence. Buffeted by the concerns and tribulations of adults around me, I found my own niche and safe place in this world of words and ideas. In time, I took joy in sharing books with younger visitors as a volunteer, and still later, continued the tradition with my own family.
Now I am fortunate enough to be the staff person in my branch library of employment largely responsible for the programs and events geared to children up to second grade (from infancy). There could not be a better fit, or happier employee. The library is still my home, as it was all those years ago, and sharing its riches makes my days at work a continual joy. I hope the hundreds of children who touch my life every year leave my presence and my library with a little of my love libraries, books. And I wish, for each one, that spark of curiosity, questioning, and delight that will carry that child into the future waiting for him or for her.