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.