CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Of all the thousands of stories inside La Retama Library in Corpus Christi, some of the most interesting are the ones belonging to the women behind the desk.
Laura Zavala Garcia and Patricia Herrera are the library's leading ladies, and even though they spend their days in a place known for silence, their presence resonates throughout the community.
Librarians often are portrayed as women whose only role is to shush people, but the people who walk through La Retama Library doors say that stereotype just does not fit.
The day KRIS 6 News visited, Zavala Garcia, who is bilingual, was helping a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter use one of the library's computers.
"So, you're getting your license,” she asked the daughter as as she helped guide the pair.
They also help people with job searches and prepare résumés. That help, Zavala Garcia says, is what people often come back to thank them for.
“You don't think that people really think about you once they leave our doors, but they do,” Garcia said.
Garcia is Corpus Christi's first Hispanic female library director, which puts her in charge of the city's six libraries, and by her side at La Retama Public Library is Herrera, who manages the place.
Herrera's skillset and impressive librarianship go beyond keeping books in order. She also makes an impact on the library's visitors who make sure she knows they appreciate her community dedication.
“It's just so rewarding," she said. "Not because you necessarily need the praise, but because you know that what you're doing is reaching someone."
The library ladies have worked hard to rise in rank over the years, setting an example for others this International Women's Day, and every day.
"All over the world there's women from all kinds of backgrounds,” Garcia said. “Ultimately, all we really want — all of us — is for peace and happiness in family lives. So, even though we see a lot of differences in many ways, we are very much the same."