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Library Innovation Lab 2019 Program Preview

Since May, the ten librarians who are participating in the 2019 Library Innovation Lab program have been hard at work conducting community assessments, seeking out local partners, and identifying creative ways to meet the needs and concerns of immigrants in their communities through the design of  new public humanities programs. Now, the ten unique projects they have developed over the past four months are set to launch. Each month we will highlight some of the engaging activities that are happening around the state this fall. The events at the libraries featured below will take place in September 2019. Visit the Library Innovation Lab page for a list of the participating libraries and check our online calendar for events near you.

In Commerce, a largely Latinx community in southeast Los Angeles county, the library will kick off its fall series “My City, My Voice” with A Visit with Chef and Author Rocio Camacho on Tuesday, September 17 at 6 pm at the Rosewood Library, featuring the local restauranteur and author of La Diosa de los Moles: Mi Origen… in conversation (this event will be conducted in Spanish with interpretation available). The event will be followed by an evening of music and song on the theme of “home” featuring local singer Margarita Luna de Guadalajara on Tuesday, September 24 at 6 pm at the Bristow Library. On September 27, the library will launch My City, My Voice: Oral History Project. This ongoing collaboration with the City’s Cable department aims to collect and record first-person accounts from residents about where they’re from, what they loved about their home town/place, and what the Commerce community means to them. The interviews will be videotaped and edited and compiled into a film that will be shared with the community in December. For more information, contact Project Director Sonia Bautista.

On Thursday, September 19, from 4 to 5 pm, the Cambria Branch of San Luis Obispo County Library will launch its LIL program with “What is your Name? ¿Cómo te llamas?“ a bilingual program based on the book Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. Recommended for children under 12 and their grownups, the program will include story time and storytelling activities where families can learn about their ancestors and share the story of their name through art. More events in October, November, and December, all part of the project “A New Community–Stories That Connect Us/Una Nueva Comunidad – Las Historias Que Nos Conectan,” aim to better connect the library to the Spanish-speaking immigrant community and create a welcoming space for all library patrons in this largely rural Central Coast community. For more information, contact the Project Director, Kate McMillen.

The small Central Valley farming communities of Exeter, Farmersville, and Woodlake will be the focus of Tulare County Library’s “Pásale Paisano: Welcoming Immigrants & Spanish Speaking Communities through stories, artwork and traditions,” a series of programs designed for residents of all ages. The first program, Celebración de Día de la Independencia, on Wednesday, September 11 4:30 to 6pm at the Farmersville Branch Library, will commemorate Mexican Independence Day with performances by the Farmersville High School mariachi and foklorico dancers. Children will have the opportunity to make piñatas and play lotería, the Mexican bingo game, to win a Spanish language book. A large map of Mexico will be available for people to annotate with sticker denoting the place they or their families are from. Culturally relevant books in Spanish and English will be distributed to attendees. For more information, contact Project Director Veronica Casanova.

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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