To The Editor:

On Saturday morning, May 18, before the art fair on Bridge Street in Waitsfield, I had the honor of facilitating a rollicking musical celebration, inaugurating the newly renovated children's space at the Joslin Memorial Library. Not only was it a joy to sing, drum and celebrate with so many friends both young and not-so-young, but I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty and the child-friendly quality of this venue! It brought back many warm memories of having worked for six years as the children's librarian at the wonderful Warren Public Library (2000-2006).

The new children's space in Waitsfield is surprisingly light-filled and welcoming, composed of several nooks and comfortable spaces that invite little people to read, wonder, play and create. There is room for tired mommas and papas to sit, relax and connect with one another. Alongside the extensive selection of books, there are toys, puzzles and art supplies for children to enjoy. Best of all, it's free! Libraries are political in this way, in that all are welcomed in to enjoy the riches. It's ample and generous and abundant, a far cry from the outdated stereotype of a rigid, shushing, unwelcoming space!

In this age of junk news and screen-based technology, I find it exceedingly refreshing to see libraries that support early literacy, helping to forge meaningful community connections. As our world stumbles its way into the 21st century, it is a comfort to acknowledge institutions such as our Valley's wonderful libraries – places that uplift, sustain, inspire and educate. That these resources are made available to the smallest of our citizens is doubly hopeful.

If you happen to cross paths with any of the Joslin library's leaders (including director Katie Bourque-Johnson, children's librarian Anna Church and/or trustees Jean Joslin, Carol Hosford, Sally Reisner, Trish Read and David Babic), please join me in congratulating them on prioritizing this important, child-focused facet of our wonderful library. Bravo!

With gratitude,

Wrenn F. Compere

Waitsfield, Vermont