- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the Peace Corps will give a presentation at the Biblioteca Latinoamericana covering information for those who are considering oversea volunteer opportunities with the organization. The presentation will be held from 6 pm to 7:55 pm in the Biblioteca's Community Room. Pre-registration is not required to attend.
The Peace Corps is a program of the U.S. government. It was formed in 1961 with an Executive Order by President Kennedy. Since then, thousands of Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers throughout the world. The Peace Corps mission statement entails these three goals:
Volunteer Erik Petersen is the ESL Conversation Club Facilitator at Biblioteca Latinoamericana. Every Wednesday at 6:00 PM, he leads the ESL Conversation Club. In this blog posting, Erik answers questions about himself and his interests.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a San Jose native who's lived in the South Bay my entire life. What I've always appreciated about growing up in the Bay Area is its sheer diversity. From a young age, I'd been exposed to various Latin American and Asian cultures that exist in San Jose, including their languages like Spanish and Tagalog. This is partly what spurred my initial interest in language. I decided to take Latin classes in high school, and knew by the end of my senior year I wanted to study language science in college. As of last spring, I finished up a linguistics and German language double major at SJSU. Having studied these two complementary degrees, I feel that I can contribute what I learned about language itself to the club. Topics we discuss range from current local or national events to language and cultural comparison. An analytical approach to language and a natural curiosity have allowed me to learn just as much from attendees as I hope they learn from the club itself.
Why are you interested in volunteering?
I wanted to get involved with volunteering since I'd never done any before. I have a goal of eventually teaching English abroad. I figured this position is great way to test the waters. I have a friend with similar goals who leads an ESL conversation club at the Berryessa branch, and he recommended it to me. Helping others improve their skill in English has been rewarding, especially having been on the other side of the aisle, so to speak. I spent a year studying in Germany, and I really appreciated those who would patiently spend the time to converse with me. That sort of exchange improved my German in ways that were impossible in the classroom. Likewise, conversation club is distinct from the ESL classes at the library in that it's more informal and less about grammar or pronunciation. Seeing as I'm a facilitator, I don't consider myself a teacher in the sense of being the 'head' of the club. Rather my role is to help create an environment where attendees feel comfortable to add to discussion or introduce topics of their own. Of course I answer questions and moderate discussions, but if a positive conversation is happening I keep my interruptions to a minimum. The club is for attendees to speak up, not me!
What do you like about Biblioteca Latinoamericana?
One thing I have noticed is the amount of activities available at this location. It seems every week I come in there is something to see: children's story time, ESL classes, and even creative cultural displays. I also appreciate the very existence of a multicultural library providing bilingual services. In my experience, the employees who provide those services have all been very helpful, and I've seen a clear mutual appreciation among all the volunteers. Overall, I view Biblioteca Latinoamericana as a unique offering among public libraries in the South Bay.
Give children the joy of reading by reading aloud to youngsters at one of the San Jose Public Libraries. Reading occurs in the library's children's area at designated times throughout the day. Specialized training is provided to all incoming volunteers. Several of our library branches are seeking volunteers to read to children on an ongoing basis (minimum 6 month commitment). Bilingual volunteers (Spanish/English) are especially needed. This position requires fingerprinting.
Training is on Saturday, June 22, 2013 from 12:00pm - 3:00pm at the King Library. Please complete the application form and register for training here.
Want to know more about what is going on in your neighborhood? Is there an interesting story in your community you want to tell everyone about? Have a community event you'd like to promote? Then you need to take a look at NeighborwebSJ.com!
Launched in August 2010, NeighborwebSJ is a convenient way for SJ citizens to connect with City Hall, various other community organizations, as well as with fellow residents. There are many useful resources available on this one site including a community calendar, information about the Strong Neighborhood Initiatives around the city, and a laundry list of important links. There are also articles about current events where citizens can interact with each other by commenting on these pieces. It's a great way to become an advocate for your community on your computer!
Looking for other ways to get involved in your community? Why not try volunteering at the library? We have plenty of volunteering opportunities for ages 13 and up.
Looking to give back to your community, but are not quite sure what you can do??
Habitat for Humanity is one of the answers.
What do they do?
They help people and families all over the world who are in need. They give aide by engaging their local communities in building sustainable houses for the poor or unfortunate to live in.
How can you help?
You can donate your money or, more importantly, your elbow grease through actively building a house. Locally in Silicon Valley, this non-profit organization has several housing construction projects they are currently working on. Whether it is for just one day, or you would like to volunteer regularly, Habitat for Humanity has something for you!
For more information, here is a link to a few of books in our catalog about Habitat for Humanity!
Although the holiday season is over and times are tough for many of us, we can maintain the spirit of giving throughout the year. Following are some aids to giving time, used items, and money (even $5 can help!) to those in need.
Gifts of Money
Gifts of Random Acts of Kindness
A random act of kindness (RAoK) is an action performed to help or cheer up a stranger “for no reason other than to make people happier. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, RAoKs are encouraged by various online and offline communities.” (Full definition) Find out more here: Random Acts of Kindness and Help Others.
Gifts of Time
Gifts of Used Items (Santa Clara County)