From Books to Spanish Conversation Class: Rediscovering the Library

Manatee County Central Library in downtown Bradenton, Florida

I have always been a lover of libraries. Yup, I was that nerdy kid that went to the library at recess. Nothing made me happier than books!

Then computers came along, and I loved those even more than books! With the advent of social media, we could literally befriend authors! (If they were alive, that is.)

Thanks to the digital age and the Libby app, I didn’t even have to physically go to the library in order to check out books. I marvel at how, no matter where I am in the world, I can instantly check out eBooks and audiobooks!

With all the convenience of the digital age, I hadn’t really even thought about physically going to the library this winter while I was in Bradenton, Florida. That is, until I found out Spanish Conversation classes were being hosted there!

Spanish Conversation Classes at Manatee County Central Library

Spanish Conversation Class with Ginette

Wow! Did you know that high quality classes were being held at the library for free? I’ve been exploring 55+ communities, wishing for a chance to experience clubs and classes, and here was an opportunity right under my nose!

I love, love, love this Spanish Conversation Class that’s held Tuesday mornings at the Central Library. I’ve been volunteering at the Manatee Literacy Council and the dynamic teacher of this class, Ginett, is one of the advanced learners at MLC! How exciting to see her here helping people learn Spanish!

Ginett makes every Spanish Conversation Class fun. The first class I attended, we broke up into groups and did some role playing, as though we were in a restaurant. Ginett had provided actual food to be served! The class was not only a good opportunity to practice Spanish, but also to get in a little Improv play, and to meet fellow-Spanish-learners.

Classes and Events and Even Things

Spanish Conversation was just one of many free classes that were offered at the library! A very popular Country Line Dancing class is held every Friday in the Auditorium.

You can even borrow things, like cake pans, binoculars, and musical instruments.

Lifetime Access to the Library

Partners in Enlightenment Sculpture
Manatee Sculpture
Book Art!

Besides all the wonderful books, classes, events, and things you can borrow, the library is just a really cool place to be. It’s like a museum, with sculptures and fun art in every corner.

Could all of this really be free, even for snowbirds? I verified that even non-residents could take advantage of many of the library’s services. However, for a $100 donation, I’d have life-time access of all of the library’s services! Perfect!

Throughout my life, as a student, an employee, a mother, a book-lover, I’ve spent time in libraries. Maybe it’s now, post-pandemic, as a retired person, that I’m realizing how valuable it is for me to physically be inside a library. Being around stacks of books brings back that same joy I felt as a kid. It’s my happy place.

Whether you’re yearning for community, a good story, a class, or just a place to sit and reflect for awhile, check out your local library. Like me, you may rediscover your happy place.

Thank you to all those at The Library Foundation of Manatee County and to the Friends of Central Library Manatee County for your valuable services!

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