In November, more activities take place throughout the state at libraries participating in our 2019 cohort of the Library Innovation Lab. In response to the needs and interests of California’s immigrant communities, libraries have designed a wide range of programs, from virtual reality to graffiti workshops, film screenings to hands-on art activities. Check out what’s happening in your community below!
Responding to requests from their rural, largely Mexican American community, the Tulare County Library developed a project to deepen the connections between new and longtime residents to their cultural traditions and heritage. In November, events at Exeter and Woodlake branch libraries include hands-on arts & crafts for families, starting with a Día de los Muertos workshop, and events aimed at teens, including two graffiti art workshops, all conducted in both English and Spanish. For more information, contact Project Director Veronica Casanova.
In the central coast community of Cambria, the local branch of the San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries offers bilingual programs in November, from a family-friendly screening of the Pixar hit film Coco, along with a cultural program about Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos, and a community conversation about how residents of Tucson, Arizona, came together to support migrants and respond to the border crisis. For more information, contact Project Director Kate McMillen.
In the City of Commerce in southeast Los Angeles county, Library Innovation Lab programming in November focuses on the theme of “My City, My Voice,” including hands-on workshops on art, zine-making, poetry, and the Mexican tradition of lóteria. Programs are selected to showcase the diversity and richness of residents’ experiences and celebrate differences as well as commonalities. For more information, contact Project Director Sonia Bautista.
In Napa County, the two most commonly spoken languages in the county are Spanish and English, reflecting the region’s large Latino population. With the support of the Library Innovation Lab, the Napa County Library is providing inclusive and diverse programming to encourage Latino immigrants to come to the library and to enable the entire community to increase their cultural awareness. In November, a family-friendly event for Día de los Muertos invites kids to make their own Mexican sugar skulls. And a special virtual reality experience allows Napa County residents from different communities across the globe to revisit their home countries virtually. For more information, contact Project Director Refugio Rivera.
Using visual storytelling to promote empathy and share the immigrant/refugee experience the Fountain Valley Branch of Orange County Public Libraries has designed ongoing programming focused on Vietnamese immigrants and Vietnamese Americans, as well as the community at large. At an “Art is for Everyone” workshop, participants will get notebooks in which they can share their stories as immigrants and their cultural traditions through art. In December, completed notebooks will be displayed at an art exhibition and opening reception at the Fountain Valley Library. At a separate event, an author talk brings Tram Le, co-author of Vietnamese in Orange County, to the library to discuss their book, filled with vibrant snapshots from over 40 years of the region’s history. For more information, contact Project Director Zoe Nash.
For a list of programming at all the participating libraries, click here and check our online calendar for events near you.
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 about this grant and professional development opportunity.