Recently I received a card from a family I’ve been exchanging Christmas cards with for years. It carried a wonderful and humbling message.
When I was a bookseller in Vermont in the 1980s-90s, a woman came to me in the children’s department and asked if I had been a librarian in New Jersey. “Yes,” I answered, “How did you know?” “I recognized your laugh,” she replied. She went on to say that her son had attended my preschool storytimes and had enjoyed them. I was amazed! She, her husband and son vacationed regularly in the small town where the bookstore was – and they had found me again.
Her card stated that she believed her son’s attendance at those storytimes and his visits to the library and the bookstore had contributed to a love for books that continued into his adulthood and also inspired him to study for the medical profession. “As parents we believe that the interest you sparked at an early age fortified his ability to pursue his goals.” He has been accepted by three universities, one of which offered him a full scholarship, and plans to be a neurosurgeon.
None of us ever knows what effect we may have on another person’s life. Libraries transform!