Focus on Hispanic Heritage Month: Local Mom Bonds with Family Through NPL

Southeast patron Marina encourages all Latino families to visit the Library

Read this story in Spanish.

Marina browses the books in spanish section at the Southeast location. (NPL MarComm / Ed Brown)

Marina browses the books in Spanish section at the Southeast location. (NPL Photo/Ed Brown)

“She was shocked to see her mother actually reading a book.” 

That’s how 39-year-old Marina describes her daughter’s reaction that day. Marina had been reading Gaby, perdida y encontrada, for her book club, Club de libros. But when Marina’s daughter realized her mom was reading in Spanish, she became reluctant to jump in.

“I told her, ‘Well then, I’ll just go back to the library and get the English copy for you,’” Marina said. “That’s just what I did. We read the book together and discussed it. It’s one small way I’m able to bond with her.”

Moments like this are why Marina loves coming to Nashville Public Library (NPL).

Originally from Mexico, Marina immigrated to the United States in 1999 and settled in Nashville. She’s been coming to NPL, most fequently to the Southeast location, for years, but books have become a regular part of her routine only recently. A big reason for that is Club de libros.

“I didn’t really have a habit of reading. A book has to be really engaging to hold my attention,” Marina said. “Joining Club de libros was a way to help myself and my children read regularly.”

Klem-Marí Cajigas, a family literacy specialist on NPL’s Bringing Books to Life team, runs Club de libros (or The Book Club). For her, patrons like Marina are precisely why the club exists.

“The goal of Club de libros is to foster a culture of reading in the home,” Cajigas said. “We know that reading to and with children is important, but forming a habit and knowing how to set that example for children can be difficult.

“That’s why every book the club reads is available at NPL in both Spanish and English. Like Marina, I’ve had many mothers in the club tell me that their children see them reading and say, ‘What are you reading? I want to read it, too!’”

Club de Libros picks

Three of Club de libros' past picks. (NPL Photo/Ed Brown)

As fulfilling as her own experiences at NPL have been, her children’s – Anthony, 17; Melissa, 14; Marina, 8; and Naomi, 6 – are even better.

“My youngest daughters are the ones who say, ‘Mom, I’ve read all my books! We haven’t been to a puppet show in a while! When are we going back to the library?’” Marina said.

Her children love NPL’s Launchpads, tablets that come preloaded with learning games.

“Since they belong to NPL, I stress to my children to take care of them. It helps me teach them to be responsible,” she said.

Meanwhile, Marina’s children also use Limitless Libraries, NPL’s initiative to bring its books and learning resources directly to Nashville schools.

“I think many Latinos just don’t know about everything NPL has,” she said. “That’s why I tell them myself!”

Curious to see what else Club de libros is reading? Check out some of the club’s past picks, available at NPL in Spanish and English.

Or check out our events calendar to learn about some great events happening in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at your closest location.

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