Yesterday we shared a video about the role of the Patchogue-Medford Library following the murder of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. Today, we share with you a short video profiling librarian assistant, Gilda Ramos. Librarian assistant Gilda Ramos became a translator for the Lucero family who came to Patchogue from Gualaceo, Ecuador as the community gathered to honor Marcelo Lucero. Ramos also translated for Latino residents at community events and meetings that were held at the library, the Patchogue Theatre, vigils and rallies. Like libraries across the country, the Patchogue-Medford Library is a place where people come together and feel supported and safe. Next week, on Sept. 21, our documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness will premiere on PBS (check local listings). For more information on the film, visit the Light in the Darkness page.
Released today! In Not In Our Town: Light In the Darkness, the Patchogue-Medford Library plays a pivotal role as a safe haven for the local immigrant community. In Fall 2008, librarian Jean Kaleda and librarian assistant Gilda Ramos learned that people were afraid to attend evening ESL classes at the library for fear of being attacked while walking the streets at night. The librarians were in the process of organizing a public meeting with local officials to address their concerns. A week later, Marcelo Lucero was murdered and the library became a place for healing and dialogue. Spanish-speaking police officers, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, and local leaders met with community members to address the concerns of the Latino population in Patchogue. A group of quilters worked in the basement of the library as they stitched "Healing Hands, Mending Hearts," a quilt they later presented to Joselo Lucero, Marcelo's brother.
Librarian assistant Gilda Ramos’ achievements as a dedicated community leader were honored by the Library Journal with the distinguished titled “Paralibrarian of the Year” last month. The multilingual library assistant, whose efforts to unite a town torn by anti-immigrant violence are documented in our upcoming PBS documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness, accepted the award at a special reception hosted by Library Journal during the American Library Association's annual conference held in New Orleans on June 23-28. Ramos, her supervisor Jean Kaleda and other Patchogue-Medford library staff played a key role in the aftermath of the murder of longtime Patchogue resident Marcelo Lucero, who was targeted by a group of teens because he was Latino. “It was heartbreaking,” Ramos told Library Journal. “He was killed in November, and he planned to go home in December.”