Fieldnote 12 Nov. 2012

Back to the library. I was able to speak more with the branch Manager about the history of the library and also how the Hispanic Library gradually turned into the Mexington Library. She directed me to a plaque on the wall nearest the entrance.

“This is for Sandra, because this was really her dream,” she said.

I saw the name listed, and the plaque was from the dedication ceremony, nearly ten years ago. It’s hard to imagine that this branch has been around for nearly ten years. After composing my artifact analysis, I realized that the library really had revitalized this part of the neighborhood, and it also leant legitimacy to the claims of the local Latino community.

There were more tutors than necessary this evening, so I ended up walking around and speaking to different children. Eventually I sat with a family at a table watching a young man do a puzzle. I asked his mother if he finished his homework.

“Si, termino, pero el no queire leer.”

“Porque no?” I asked him.

“El no sabe much el espanol,” she said.

“Is that right?”

“No, I don’t always understand,” he said.

“You’re like me too, because I still am learning.”

He smiled. I asked him if he wanted to read when he finished the puzzle, as he was nearly done. He answered yes.

His mother selected a book for us to read, and she watched us read together. When we finished, the boy returned the book. I spoke with his mother and I assured her that he read well.

I did my best to explain to her that sometimes children just need to find a book that’s interesting for them to read, and when that happens they won’t stop reading. Well, I tried to express that. I noticed she watched closely, however, as I read with her son, and I think that offered more in terms of showing engagement with reading than with what I had to say in my broken Espanglish.

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