One was a very interesting memoir, that I read for my adult book club, Learning to Die in Miami by Carlos Eire. As one of fourteen thousand unaccompanied children airlifted to America in the nineteen sixties, Eire captures his boyhood experiences as a Cuban exile. Through humorous, spiritually touching and some emotionally, difficult vignettes we watch as Carlos finds himself and his way in a new world.
“Then we hit pay dirt, by accident. Tony [his older brother] discovers a public library…and the next thing you know we’re in there just about every single evening during the week…We can read books in there, or check them out. Our library cards become our new passports…Mine actually works as a passport to the past and the future, and eventually it gains me admittance to my chosen profession…The world that opens up to me in that library has no boundaries whatsoever. It's infinite and eternal. And that boundless expanse calls to me, louder and louder with every passing day…” (p.150)
While trying to find a common thread between each of my two summer reads I realized that they resonated for me because of this special time and place. These two books reminded me of the importance of my work and where I conduct it. This is the beginning of our 2017-2018 school year and I have a sacred task as a teacher librarian to offer my students a safe place, within the Aaron Kushner Library, to find their voices and for their voices to be heard as they proceed to take their next steps on their life's journey.