Please enjoy this month's Community Engagement Spotlight showcasing Kent District Library's incredible Community House: Senior Histories Anthology. This Anthology embodies the spirit of community, collaboration, and preservation that local libraries around the world are striving for.
"We were approached by a few community members who were looking for help to host their oral history videos of area seniors. Our initial excitement centered on the diversity and unique viewpoint these seniors brought to the community. Libraries are about story and we loved having the ability to offer a hosting opportunity to bring these local stories to a wider audience. The community members came from the group where the majority of the interviews came from along with a local graduate student (who himself has an interesting past in social activism in the Chicago area from his youth) at a local university (Grand Valley State University). In fact GVSU was responsible for getting the interviews into the format and size needed for Creator. The new Creator collection was unveiled at a community event with many of the seniors in the audience – they were rock stars and all felt that they were honored. More interesting was the 90 year old woman who told me that her daughter had encouraged her to tell her story – after all, when you are 90 years old you have lived a life full of history!"
Director of Innovation & User Experience
Kent District Library
“The Young Lords in Lincoln Park” collection conveys the ongoing struggle for fair housing, self-determination, and human rights that was launched by Mr. José “Cha-Cha” Jiménez, founder of the Young Lords Movement. In the 1960s the Young Lords brought out the question of self-determination for Puerto Rico on a mass, national level with the slogan, "Tengo Puerto Rico en mi corazon." This project is dedicated to documenting the history of the displacement of Puerto Ricans, Mejicanos, other Latinos, and the poor from Lincoln Park, as well as the history of the Young Lords nationwide. Recording, preserving, and making these memories accessible to teachers, researchers, and the community is the guiding aim of this project.
Highlights of this collection include more than 110 oral histories, historical photographs, papers, and clippings documenting the origins of the Young Lords Movement. Mr. Jiménez’s unpublished manuscripts from his campaign for alderman of Chicago’s 46th ward, founding of the Lincoln Park Camp, and KO Club as well as photos, documents, clippings, and related ephemera donated by other individuals who have been interviewed as part of this project are also included.