New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Library & Librarians Play a Role in Hunting Season

A New York library and librarians play an important role in the upcoming book Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town (Beacon, 2013). The book will be released on October 29, 2013 is the The true story of an immigrant's murder that turned a quaint village on the Long Island shore into ground zero in the war on immigration.

Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Mirta Ojito tells the story of Marcelo Lucero, a thirty-seven-year-old undocumented Ecuadorean immigrant, who was brutally attacked and murdered by a group of teenagers as he walked the streets of Patchogue, a quiet Long Island town. The teenaged attackers were out "hunting for beaners," their slur for Latinos, and Lucero was to become another victim of the anti-immigration fever spreading in the United States.  

The story also involves the role of the community library. Patchogue-Medford 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 community participation. Ramos became a translator for the Lucero family who came to Patchogue from Gualaceo, Ecuador.  She also translated for Latino residents at community events and meetings that were held at the library, the Patchogue Theatre, vigils and rallies.  

The library and librarians were also featured in the PBS series Not in Our Towns.  In 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Services to the library.

The book is distributed by Random House ($24.95) and is also available as an e-book.

Below are to videos that describe the role of the library: