In December of 1960 I came to this country as an 11 year old. I was anavid reader in Cuba, reading up to one book per day. Since I did not speak English and there were no books available in Spanish, at that time, I was hungry for the stories that had fueled my vivid imagination.
I lived with my aunt and uncle in Miami because my parents had stayed behind in Cuba and my other two siblings had other relatives. In January of 1961 I started school in the sixth grade without knowing a word of English. My aunt took me to the public library, which is still standing to this date. A small building built of coral rock. It was a child's dream come true, except that I could not read any of the books. I began to read the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. They were simple and with lots of pictures. From there I graduated to the lives of revolutionary heroes; Betsy Ross, John Paul Jones, etc.
Once again, I could get lost in my own little world. The library became to me an escape from the harsh reality of living without my parents, not having a lot of friends, being made fun because of my accent. To this day, the library is a place of solace for me. I can read the latest magazines free, can view movies that I did not get to see in the theater, hear guest speakers. Also, besides reading, when I am out of town I go to the library so that I can use the internet for free. The library has evolved into the 21st century and I am a happy participant of its growth and the feeling of contentment it gives me.