Met with folks at the Mexington Library. Went over with branch manager my intentions to write about the library for future research, but I wanted their consent first.
Clara (branch manager): 60, from Havana, Cuba, grew up in Florida, has lived in Lexington for 20 years.
“I’m from Cuba, refugee families. I know what these kids experience. I remember growing up, and how I started school and I didn’t know the language. That’s scary, and that starts one gap that continues to grow.”
“I want these kids to have advantages, because they don’t have them.”
Rachel (assistant branch manager): 33, from LA, lived in Lexington for six years.
“We have a lot of support, through grants, but also politically, and as you see from the community.”
We sat around the table, S, the two branch managers, and I, and S went over her project for helping the young students (age 3-6) work on their nursery rhyme repetoires in both Spanish and English. We were both met with enthusiasm for this project, which I would help to fund in terms of materials, as well as assisting as necessary. We will conduct the workshops before our volunteer shifts on Tuesdays. The intention will be to get parents involved as well. Some of the students will also do role playing games.
When I discussed my project with the managers, they also seemed enthusiastic. As it turns out, the library was on the verge of conducting their own interviews. I will be able to sit in on these, I was told, and I think they will give me some contacts and ideas to consider as I pursue the more formal approaches for my research, as well as potential leads to follow as I begin to write about the library, and indirectly make connections to what I saw at MANOS.
When we left, S and I also offered to help with any trips for he library. As it turns out, the branch will be making a trip to a local dia de los muertos celebration. S and I both offered to chaperon a trip on a Saturday.
The meeting worked out well, and I could sense that our place in the library was emerging, and that we would be able to contribute to the overall program here in a positive way.