“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” Albert Einstein
I always knew I wanted to be an English teacher – always. So you can probably guess that one of my most favorite places in the world is a public library. Whenever I moved to a new city, the very first thing I did was go get my library card. Ben Franklin did a lot for our country, but I rank his founding of free libraries as #1.
Imagine my delight, then, in taking a fun and diverse group of students to the Sioux Falls Downtown Public Library, all of them for their very first time! Our school is right on the beautiful river walk, so Teacher Mary, Volunteer Karen, and I walked along the Big Sioux to 8th Street with everyone, and then two blocks later, we were at the library.
FIRST, though, we had to stop and take a picture underneath the “Arc of Dreams.” I sure can’t think of a better group to stand beneath this special sculpture than these brave people who have survived the unimaginable and are now realizing their dream of living in freedom in a safe and healthy community.
The Downtown librarians greeted us warmly upon our arrival and ushered us into a conference room to explain the day: library tours, getting library cards, and time to explore.
I really couldn’t have asked for a better day. I just about burst with pride as I watched them get their library cards—just think of how much their worlds expanded with that little piece of plastic. One student told me, “Teacher, I think I will come here a lot. No more sitting at home with the TV!”
Some students found books right away that they checked out; others explored the online learning the library offers. And others really enjoyed the comfy chairs. 🙂
A huge THANK YOU to the staff at the Downtown Public Library. You sure made our day special.
By Lindy Obach, LSS Center for New Americans ESL Instructor
300 E 6th St | Sioux Falls, SD 57103
1-866-242-2447 toll free