Introducing VBL Valle de Bluegrass Public Library


For nearly a decade, the Valle de Bluegrass Library (VBL) offered free K-12 homework tutoring serving emergent bilingual Latino youths of a small city in central Kentucky. It was the only bilingual public library in the state, and the only in the Bluegrass to offer afterschool homework assistance thanks in part to volunteer tutors and assistance from library staff. VBL was located in one of the city’s immigrant enclaves and fostered family educational participation outside of a school setting. VBL mediated between newly growing Latin American immigrant community in the area and local institutions, primarily local schools. The VBL afterschool program itself purported to promote educational advancement for the Latino populations of all central Kentucky, but it was limited to expanding shopping center space funded by city government and donations, and a homework program that operated four days a week for four hours each session and reached thousands of students.