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Latino-American History @ SCF Libraries

A State College of Florida Libraries program

Some of our participants

Pablo, Jorge, Susana, Lucia, Alex, Wentao, Juan, Olayemi, Vasyl, and Heidi... already shared their stories!

What are you waiting? Tell your story! See more below...

Participate with your family!

Be part of our Oral Histories Project:   

"Tell me OUR story"

SCF Libraries and Latino Americans logos with microphone 

What is "Tell me OUR story"?

The project began as part of our "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" program at the SCF Libraries. After we concluded our Latino American phase, we decided to keep the recording of Oral Histories going.  

It consists of recording audio interviews with anyone from our Manatee/Sarasota community who has a story to tell!  (Who doesn't?)

How can we participate?

We invite you and your family to come to the SCF Library. We'll set up a space for you to have a conversation about your family history, places you lived, or any immigrant experiences, if you have them. We'll facilitate the conversation with you and members of your family, and record it (audio recording only.)  Afterwards, we'll ask that you allow us to preserve the recording in the State College of Florida digital repository, so that it becomes part of our community's cultural patrimony.

Why do we need to record our conversation?

Our local history is made by people like you, and we want to document your story for others to learn more. If you agree, you will have to sign a consent to have your recording shared. You will have the choice to disclose your names and have a picture taken or not.

What it's in it for me?

Families and individuals who participate will benefit from the experience of telling (or retelling) their stories and will get a tangible document to take home (each family will receive a copy of the recording) plus the added value of leaving a legacy to benefit our local communities and beyond.

What do we need to talk about?

Some questions will be provided as guidelines, but as participants you might come prepared with your own. It's a conversation, not an interview!   We will provide ideas and suggestions to get you started.  For example, if your family has an immigrant history, children can ask their parents: "How did you decide to leave your country"; "What did your parents/friends say when you told them?"; "What are some things that you miss from your former country?", etc.   Parents can ask their children: "Is there something that you would like to know and I never told you?"  "How do you feel about having a family who speaks another language?"   etc.

What do I need to bring?

Just the people! We will provide the adults a Release Statement to sign, giving the SCF Libraries permission to record the conversation, and to share it with the public.  You and your family can come prepared with their own questions, or you can also use our list of suggested questions.

When and how do I sign up?

Contact Alicia Long, (longa @ or 941-752-5404) with your questions.



*"Tell me OUR Story: Oral Histories" program was part of the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant at the State College of Florida Libraries, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).


Want to participate?  

Start thinking what questions you'll ask!


Sample Questions

These may be used by younger generation asking their parents/grandparents/uncle-aunt, etc...

* When did you come to this country and how old were you?

* At home, who did you tell first that you were leaving? What happened when you told your family (or your close friends)?

* What were the hardest things to leave behind and why?

* What were the easiest things to leave behind and why?

* Who came with you on the trip here? Did someone met you when you arrived? Who?

* Where was home when you left (town, city, country)? Was it a choice to leave? Why did you have to leave or why did you choose to leave?

* What are some of the fondest memories of your old home?

* What did you think when you first got here? How were the first days or weeks?

* What things were hard for you here and why?

* Who were most helpful to you when you were new to this country? How did you meet?

* Was there something that you really loved as soon as you got here? What and why?

* Where did you live first when you arrived, and how did you end up there? How was it?

* What was learning a new language like? How did you learn? What or who helped you?

* When do you speak your first language now? What do you prefer and why?

* Which holidays from your old country did you continue to celebrate? Why?

* Did you stay in touch with the people you left in your old country? How? Why or why not?

* What do you feel we (your children/grandchildren/nephew-niece, etc.) have missed by growing up here? And what have we gained (if anything)?

* Do you want us to stay connected to your former language, traditions, culture? How? What things? Why or why not?

* How do you feel coming here changed you?

* If you had to tell your descendants in one sentence what you went through in order to come here, what would you say?



These may be used by older generations asking their children/grandchildren/nephew-niece, etc...

* Do you feel different/unique/special for having a family from _______ ? How?

* What embarrasses you the most or what do you wish you didn’t have to explain to people?

* What are you most proud of about our culture and why?

* What do you think we should have done differently when raising you in this country? What do you think we did right?

* How do you feel when we speak _______? In public? At home?

* What do you think of people from our country/culture?

* If you had to tell your (parents/grandparents/etc.) in one sentence what you think about their migration story, what would you say?