"In the cold winter afternoon, the snow was heavy. After school, my son had no friends to play with. I brought him to Jones Library. We read book, built blocks and played with other children. Even if we did not know each other, all staffs were smile to us, all kids played together naturally. My son told me: tomorrow, I want to come to this library again. I agreed him. I thought Jones Library was a place that appealed to us. Then, going to Jones Library had become our daily life in the strange America. In a long period, Jones Library had become my son's paradise, also a good place for me to relax.
With passage of time, I got to know my English tutor Andrea under the help of Jones Library. I started to attend the English conversation circle in person in Jones Library. I got the chance to communicate with local friends and other international friends. So, not only did I practice English, but I also made friends. Those friends were all very important to me in the difficult time. The coronavirus broke out in the world. The relationship between China and America has also become very tense. Air tickets back to China are hard to get. We often sink into anxiety. But we also can get help and encouragement from Jones Library. There are so many good friends who care about us. Every week, the people’s kindness in the conversation circle in Zoom gives me hope and courage. I do think that Jones Library is like the warm sunshine of my oversea life in America."
Aixiang “Sunny” Hou is a teacher at the School of Food Science and Technology at Hunan Agricultural University, and a visiting scholar at UMass Amherst.