Phoenix Public Library

Guantánamo Public Memory Project @ Phoenix Public Library

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people read the panels of the exhibit
people read the panels of the exhibit

The Guantánamo Public Library Memory Project @ Phoenix Public Library is collaboration with Arizona State University’s Public History Program.

The free exhibit is located on the second floor of Barton Barr Library in Phoenix.

Eleven panels explore the history of the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo (GTMO) from the beginning of U.S. occupation in 1898 to today.

Eleven universities collaborated to create a panel that explores a different component of GTMO.

The exhibit opened at NYU in December 2012 and is traveling to 9 sites including Rutgers University, Perdue, and NYU London.

The free exhibit is now located on the second floor of Barton Barr Library in Phoenix until November 24.

The Phoenix library periodically hosts traveling exhibits said Rita Marko, Phoenix Public Library Management Assistant.

They have hosted exhibits about the Holocaust in the past and will host another exhibit in the spring.

“It coincides with out goals as a library to introduce the community to a topic,” Marko said.

The library hopes to “shed light not heat” on a topic. The library doesn’t take a position but gives an opportunity to expand the topic.

In addition to the exhibit, Phoenix public library is hosting ten events to expand on the topic starting October 23 and going until December 8.

Events include a program with music by Victor Caldee, local Cuban architect, artist, musician and balsero who was detained on the base. The program will at 6:30p.m. and will include an opportunity for participants make clay pieces to add on the chain like fence of the exhibit.

photo of clay memory shared art
Clay memory shared art featured on a chain link fence in the exhibit

Nancy Dallett, contributor and Professor in the Arizona State Public History Program says she hopes the exhibit paired with the programs give “a sense of the complicated relationship” the United States has with GTMO.

“It has been used for very different purposes since the Spanish American war to now being used for detention,” Dallett said.


Story Time

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Children listen to Miss Debbie read a story book
Children listen to Miss Debbie read a story book

Phoenix Public Libraries offer events called Story Time at many of their locations at various times. The Arcacia branch has a baby story time and a preschool story time on throughout the week .

Miss Debbi taught for 35 years in South Phoenix before becoming a librarian at the Arcacia branch. She and a couple other librarians take turns leading story time.

“The Fridays I have story time are my favorite days,” Miss Debbi said. “I still call of them my students.

Each story time leader has their own style in leading the group. One leader is much more laid back, Miss Debbi said. “I like doing something different every time.”

In today’s half an hour story time, Miss Debbi did everything from singing the abc’s, reading Olivia, doing the hokey pokey, and playing with a parachute.

Story time is an opportunity for children to have social interactions with other children before starting school. It is also an opportunity for parents and grandparent to engage with children.

“I try to get parents involved just as much as the kids,” Miss Debbi said.