Ala Garlinska

From: Legnica, Poland  Current City: Faribault, MN
"I have friends. I have a garden. I have children and grandchildren here so, altogether, I am perfectly happy."
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When Ala Garlinska left Poland, she didn’t think of it as a permanent change. Several decades have passed, and she has since established herself in the United States.

Ms. Garlinska was born in the town of Legnica. She grew up with her parents and two older siblings during the communist era in Poland. After she finished a degree in library science, Ms. Garlinska went to England to study English. She fell in love with an Englishman, and they married. Ala lived with him in England and then in France before they decided to move to the United States.

Small town life in Faribault, Minnesota wasn’t too different from living in Western Europe. Ms. Garlinska already spoke the language and only had to grow accustomed to the American way of life. The only major obstacle she faced came from her profession. Ala had to learn how to navigate the computerized library system in America, which was much more advanced than the card catalogs she used in Poland.

Thirty years later, Ms. Garlinska thoroughly enjoys her American life, which now includes children and grandchildren. She works as a librarian at the Faribault campus of South Central College. On occasion, she returns to Poland and gives conferences to her peers about the American library system.

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