(Photo) Mehveen, pictured above, started volunteering for TCPL in March 2017 until moving recently in June 2019.
The focus and vision of ESL Talk Time has always been the spoken language, and to give anyone who doesn’t speak English as a first language the ability to converse. I’ve felt a lot of issues that people face…stem from communication barriers. If you’re not able to communicate in the language of the general society, you’re always at a disadvantage. That leads to problems for you [and] that leads to ignorance for the people around you. I understand, there’s a lot of fear around not being able to communicate; not being able to tell someone what’s wrong, or what’s fine, or share your happiness. ESL [Talk Time] has been less about teaching, and more of a social event while learning to speak the language and its nuances. It’s taught people but it’s not been teaching in the formal sense.
For me the library was my community, this is where I truly got to know Ithaca and what Ithaca is all about: diversity. Through ESL Talk Time I got to interact with the diverse people that enrich Ithaca. That’s why I really feel that having the library right in the heart of the city has been a great benefit. It has been a very good time [living in Ithaca] in no small part due to the library. If anything I’ll miss the library the most. Patrons come and go, but the library is a constant.