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Wat Dharmmararam Buddhist Temple's Kong Tith, 44, in his english classes at Stockton School for Adults in Stockton.

Library Events Through 2018 Engage Immigrants Around the State

Libraries participating in the 2018 Library Innovation Lab: Exploring New Ways of Engaging Immigrant Communities through Public Humanities Programming cohort are wrapping up their programming. Here are a few of the many exciting activities being held in late November and December; visit our online events calendar to find out about other programs.

For the past 14 years, Sutter County Public Library’s literacy program has hosted the Multicultural Women’s Dance every spring, a festival which engages the diverse community of Yuba City through performances of traditional dances, a fashion show, opportunities to learn about women’s health and community resources, taste traditional foods, and connect with others. Dance Around the World, an original short video documentary about this annual community-affirming event, will be screened on November 29 at the Yuba City Library, accompanied by dance performances, a panel discussion, and seasonal refreshments. For more information, visit our events calendar listing or contact Project Director Ayla Elkins.

During the fall, several Anaheim Public Library System branches have offered Breaking Barriers, monthly intergenerational programs to promote understanding of the barriers immigrants to Orange County have experienced and overcome, focusing on local Asian, Latino, Indian, and Middle Eastern communities. Children and their families participated in activities such as book readings, arts and crafts, dance, music, and language that exposed them to different cultures. Libraries welcomed authors and speakers who all shared a similar message: to understand each other, we must learn from one another. To conclude the Breaking Barriers series, a Cultural Marketplace will be held at each branch. The Cultural Marketplaces take place on December 8 at Ponderosa and December 15 at Haskett, with dance performers, food demonstrations, educational booths, refreshments, crafts, and other fun activities. For more information, contact Project Director Guadalupe Gomez.

Santa Cruz Public Library invites the public to celebrate the launch of Zine Fronteras, a new bilingual publication featuring writings, poetry, photos, and artwork reflecting on immigrant experiences. Content was produced by community members, primarily immigrant youth, in library-sponsored workshops over the course of the fall, in close collaboration with Bookshop Santa Cruz and other partners. The festivities will take place Friday, December 14, from 5:30 to 7 pm, at the Live Oak Branch, and include refreshments and a drawing for a free copy of the book. For more information, visit our events calendar listing or contact Project Director Lorena Lopez.

Library Innovation Lab is an ongoing program of California Humanities that supports responsive and relevant public humanities programming in California’s public libraries by providing a practice-based capacity-building professional development experience for library programming specialists. Cash awards to the participating libraries support innovative programming that engages immigrant populations and offers welcoming and inclusive experiences for all community members. Click here for more information.

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