APL Storyteller - Perla

About a year ago my family and I moved to the United States from Mexico. I grew up in Mexico and had a career, and coming to the United States was like starting life all over again. My greatest hope after moving here was, and continues to be, that I am able to help my daughter achieve all her goals in life. I had a large barrier in front of me – I wasn’t fluent in English. But I knew I needed to try every possible way I could to help her be successful, like any other child in this country.

I had heard the library had a Spanish-speaking staff member, Norma. One day, I was able to walk to the library with my daughter to meet Norma. She showed me around the library, where to find and check out materials and gave me a schedule of classes she taught that I could bring my daughter to. Norma was so friendly and loving that my daughter wanted to come see her every day, so we would walk to the library every day.

During our visits, Norma was able to connect me with other Spanish-speaking families and community agencies I needed; including the Fox Valley Literacy Council, where my daughter and I continue to learn English. As fall turned to winter, I knew my days at the library were coming to an end. I had to tell Norma that I could no longer come to the library because I lived in Menasha and it was too far to walk with my daughter in the cold weather. Norma knew we needed to keep coming to the library and taught us how to use the bus system. Norma gave me all the resources I needed in that moment to survive in this new country.

The library is a fundamental and happy part of our lives. We know that we can go there and find helpful materials, friendly people that speak your language and more importantly, a place where you can feel like family.

Read more stories like Perla's here!