Amanda R.'s blog

Plaza Voices: "I can be anything I want to be"

United States Flag in Schlessman Hall, Central Library

"On Tuesday, April 15, I got to witness a Naturalization Swearing-In Ceremony at the Central Library. Fifty people representing twenty-three countries became naturalized American citizens. The ceremony started with the Presentation of the Colors performed by the West High School Color Guard. Then "America the Beautiful" was sung by Jubilee and Lenlee Davis (daughters of DPL employee James Davis.) I have to admit to you that I got emotional. I took my seat, regained my composure and took this time to reflect on my life in America.

Plaza Voices: It's a Small World After All

Still from video of "let it Go" in 25 languages

Did you know there are about 6,500 languages spoken in the world today? The new movie Frozen has been translated into 41 of these languages, and this amazing video shows singers performing the hit "Let it Go" in 25 of them.

Plaza Voices: From food trucks to cliff divers...

Loteria cards

Food trucks, good restaurants, cliff divers, and airplane disappearances were all part of the discussion at Ross-Barnum’s Plaza program this week. We started the evening off by playing Lotería, a game of chance similar to Bingo. Participants learned the English equivalent of several phrases on the Lotería cards and had a few laughs. Toward the end of the game, there were several Lotería cards referencing sea sickness, seafood, and shrimp - and the discussion naturally turned to food.

Plaza Voices: Exploring New Ways of Talking to One Another

Hands of Plaza participants

Hi, my name is Will Smith--no not that Will Smith, I’m the OTHER Will Smith! I have been involved with Plaza since the beginning. I’ve mostly been sharing basic computer skills with folks who have little computer experience, or helping people solve specific computer problems.

Plaza Voices: Art Students League of Denver -- Exhibition and Video

Young girl drawing a picture in a Plaza program.

The Denver Public Library's Plaza program has partnered with the Art Students League of Denver to offer a collaborative workshop series designed to challenge immigrants of all ages to create their own art, respond to the ideas that art conveys, and experiment with new techniques and materials to showcase the many voices of our global community.

Scroll down to check out our latest video from Case Drury, featuring artist Tom Mazzullo!

Plaza Voices: Montbello Knitting Circle

Photo of a woman and her grandson at the Montbello knitting circle

We are learning to knit at the Montbello Library! During our Monday evening Plaza programming, our knitting circle takes over the storytime room with our yarn and needles. We are a diverse group of adults, teenagers, and a few children, and it’s a lot of fun getting to know each other.

We’re learning the basics of knitting, and one of our members has offered to teach us all to crochet, too. Some of our kids have even been sewing toys out of felt! We’ve been meeting for a couple of months now, and many of us have finished our very first knitting and sewing projects.

Plaza Voices: Best Vietnamese Films

Cover of Khi người ta yêu phần 1

Did you know that there are almost 10,000 items in Vietnamese within the Denver Public Library collection? The majority of these items are housed at the Barnum Branch Library, where DPL’s Vietnamese speakers come on a regular basis to check out DVDs, books and CDs.

Many outside of the Barnum area are unaware that this collection exists, and there are those, like myself, who simply find it intriguing and mysterious. In order to learn more, I asked Sao T. to give some recommendations for the best Vietnamese movies at DPL. Sao first came to the US in 1978 and has been working for DPL for over 20 years. Many of the Vietnamese items in the collection are a result of her hard work and selection, and I am pretty sure that there isn’t a single Vietnamese customer at DPL who doesn’t know who Sao is.

Plaza Voices: "We love Denver"

Photo of Denver skyline.

"In Denver, winters are long and we have snow storms. Sometimes snow covers houses, cars, and trees, and we get stuck in our houses for days. During winter, we enjoy hot soup, such as menudo and pozole, sometimes made of buffalo."

Conversation Tables are a wonderful way to meet other language learners, make friends, and participate in fun activities. We have groups that are learning English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese!

Our former English facilitator at Barnum is in Japan teaching English to high school students. She created a blog at http://bloghellofrom.blogspot.com for people around the world who are practicing English. A while back, our English Conversation Table participants at Barnum created this entry and posted to her blog.

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Plaza Voices: "It's a Family Thing"

Baby playing with a toy in the Plaza program.

Hanako Ngalame comes many times each week to story times, craft times, and Plaza with her mom and siblings. She is growing up in the library, just like her brothers and sisters.

In the next picture you can see many of the sixteen people who participated in the pastel art workshop, presented by local artist Tony Ortega from the Art Students League of Denver.

You can also see people working on other projects. Three children were playing with our toys, and another two were making puzzles in the background. Four adults were working on computers, three of them looking for places to rent and one creating a resume. One man was getting help with the homework for his English class.

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