January 29 2020

Burlington Public Library Unveils Reading Nook in Memory of One-and-a-Half Year Old Boy


The Burlington Public Library has a new space dedicated to the memory of a boy who was taken far too soon. 


Library Director Michael Wick said he is pleased to announce the unveiling of Jackson's Reading Nook. 


The space, located in the picture book area of the children's section, honors Jackson Walsh, a one-and-a-half-year-old boy who passed away on December 26, 2018 due to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. His parents, Harry and Michelle Walsh, asked those interested to make donations to the library in Jackson's name, as the space was one the family enjoyed during Jackson's life.


“What followed was an overwhelming outpouring of donations made in Jackson's name,” Wick said. “Through conversations with Harry and Michelle, it was decided they wanted to make a significant impact on the library by using the funds to improve the Children's Room, specifically a project that would be age appropriate for Jackson.”


The space includes a new love seat, a wall of activity boards, space for children to read and the library's puppet collection. One of the most significant additions is a wooden castle that has benches and houses books Jackson loved.


“Harry and Michelle have shown incredible strength and care in the light of such a tragedy, to turn it into an opportunity to make a significant impact for other children and their families,” Wick said.


The donation was also used to purchase a play kitchen with toys for the children's atrium area and new musical instruments to be used during the Songs & Stories program at the library.


Wick said he would like to thank all of the individual donors and Rolta Advizex, an IT company in town, for their generous contributions to Jackson’s Reading Nook. 


The space was officially unveiled on Saturday, January 11. Harry and Michelle Walsh, along with their immediate family, attended a private unveiling before the library opened that day.

Jackson and his parents Harry and Michelle Walsh (Courtesy photos)


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