TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa City-County Library system Hispanic Resource Center is inside the Martin Regional Library in east Tulsa.
There are cozy corners where Amairani Perez chats with friends. Bilingual story-times for kids learning Spanish and English.
There is a playroom to occupy kids while mom and dad use computers or browse the center's selection of Spanish language books, movies, CDs, and more—all inside the library at 26th and Garnett.
"You walk into a public library, and you can check out books free of charge and laptops, computers free of charge, and so it gives access to those that might not have it at home," said Amairani Perez. "And then here at the Resource Center, all of the materials are in Spanish, which means that if maybe somebody wants to read a book in their native language, they can."
Perez told 2 News Oklahoma why that's so important, especially for those new to Tulsa. "When I first got here to Tulsa," she said, "I didn't speak English just yet. And this was actually one of the first places I came that allowed me to feel welcome."
Now she welcomes others to the library's Hispanic Resource Center.
"Back in 1999 was when the center was first founded," she said, "Sarah Martinez was the coordinator. And, you know, she grew up knowing me, and now I get to kind of lead the next step for the resource center. So, I feel very honored to have that role, and it's amazing getting to work here at the library."
Perez believes this center does more than provide Spanish language materials. She finds it also helps connect Spanish speakers to their new community.
"And I think that is so important," she said, "especially when you're coming to a new place, being able to feel welcome and to feel like you do belong is so important."
The library's Hispanic Resource Center celebrates Hispanic culture all year long, and during Hispanic heritage month, the library system plans many special events.
- September 29th from 6:30 to 8pm The Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N Hartford Ave., will host “Earls to the Ground Discussion: The Power of Stories,” with Tulsa artist Fellow Fransheska Alcantara.
- October 4th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm The Martian Regional Library, 2601 S Garnett Road, will host “Graphic Novel Club” for ages 10-13
- October 4th from 6:30 to 7:15p, at the Broken Arrow Library, 300 W. Broadway, will host “Cover to Cover Book Club” exploring “The Five Wounds” by Kirstin Valdez Quade.
- October 6th from 6 to 7pm The Martin Regional Library, 2601 S Garnett Road, will host “Exchanging Horizons: Opening Exhibition and Reception.”
- October 12th from 6:30 to 7:30pm, Martian Regional Library, 2601 S Garnett Road, will host “Cafecito, Libros y Chisme: Latina-Focused Book Club” discussing “I’m not your perfect Mexican daughter,” By Erika L. Sanchez. Ages 16 and up
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