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  • Writer's pictureMaria-Elena Cigarroa

Making Connections! Thursday, March 2 (2-6pm)

Such a fun day today! I came into the reading room and started my shift immediately. Marina, the community archivist whose shift I was relieving, told me about everyone that was in the reading room and what they were researching. One of the women there was a long-time Chicana activist in Austin who was researching the ecology and history of Rainey Street—a downtown area next to Town Lake that was once a quiet neighborhood but is now a bustling entertainment district. I introduced myself and told her that my husband’s brother was an architect at her husband’s firm—she was so delighted and said that they love him like a son. We chatted and talked about her family and her research! Then I showed her how to use our copier so that she could copy a report that she found helpful.

Another customer came in asking for help figuring out if a baseball field was ever located on one of several blocks on Guadalupe Street. He said he used to play Little League baseball there in the 1950s and had a bet with some of his friends about where it was located. We looked at the City of Austin criss-cross directories from the 50s and found a block that was listed as “vacant.” I then went to the City of Austin’s property profile tool and was able to “scroll across time” to pull up aerial photographs from that area. We found the field and I printed out the aerial photos of the block. He was thrilled! Then he asked me where I was from (Laredo) and we then discovered that, although he and I were not blood relatives, we shared the same uncle, aunt, and cousins! It’s such a small world.

After my shift was over, I re-shelved materials and handled a few administrative tasks—going through emails, inputting time, and tidying up my desk.

Maria-Elena Cigarroa

Supervisor: Jennifer Hecker

General Schedule: Sundays (11-6); Thursdays (2:00-6:00); Fridays (12:30-5:30)

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