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ERIC Number: EJ1103884
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1946-7109
Libro + Biblioteca = Libertad
Rodriguez, Rodrigo Joseph
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v13 n1 p65-75 Spr 2016
On the margins of El Paso, Texas, a teacher-librarian communicates daily to her students the following bilingual mantra: "'Esta biblioteca les pertenece a ustedes.' This is your very own library." Lisa M. López-Williamson is the teacher-librarian and literacy activist and advocate at William "Guillermo" C. Herrera Elementary School in the El Paso Independent School District. She is a celebrated teacher-librarian who cares about family literacy. Proudly bilingual, she works to advance the intellect, creativity, and imagination of children through digital and print literacies that foster social responsibility. She identifies herself as a young Latina of Mexican descent and borderlands citizen who can directly influence young people's bilingualism, biculturalism, and biliteracies. The library serves a school population of nearly 500 students, 96 percent of Hispanic origin. Lisa explained that her school building houses three libraries in one to increase bilingual readership among students--during all hours and every day of the year. In addition to the main school library that is open during the academic year and part of the summer, there is one Little Free Library outside, and another indoors. A Little Free Library is part of a larger non-profit network of free book exchanges with the motto "Take a Book, Return a Book." The libraries vary by shape and size, although the most common version is a small wooden box with glass doors that open to house books for readers. Anyone takes a book or brings a book to share. The outdoor Little Free Library is open year-round for readers and families. Although situated along the largest border and enforcement zones of North America, these three school libraries are free of borders and limitations. This article features an interview with Ms. Lopez-Williams, and digs deeper into the interactions among borrowers and the librarian. The questions were open-ended with the purpose of seeking the librarian's own agency and identification, which involves decision-making about selecting books, honoring students' ethnic cultures and home languages, and maintaining mindfulness about civic responsibilities.
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas (El Paso)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A