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Staff Recommendations: Celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage

Each year, Americans observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. This year’s national theme is “Vive tu cultura.” 

 The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
 The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. 

In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

While this celebration is nationally called Hispanic Heritage Month, the Library is observing Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month in order to provide as much cultural inclusion as possible. The Library’s Equity Task Force consulted a variety of articles and surveyed other institutions and organizations to reach this decision.

This month, the Library will be hosting Latinx-themed storytimes and our Take & Make craft is inspired by molas, hand-made textiles that forms part of the traditional women’s clothing of the indigenous Guna people from Panamá and Colombia, South America.

The Library is also participating in Audubon Zoo’s Celebración Latina, presented by Pan-American Life Insurance Group on Sunday, Sept. 24. This beloved cultural event offers our community an opportunity to enjoy one of New Orleans’ biggest celebrations of Latin cultures. This event will offer a true taste of the Latin American culture with live music, children’s activities, Latin cuisine, and conservation programing.

Looking for recommendations of what to read or watch to celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage this month? See staff recommendations below, or visit any Library location to find more suggestions and to learn more about Spanish-speaking and Latin American histories, cultures, and communities.

Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month Books for Kids:

Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month Reads for Teens:

Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month Reads for Adults:

For Streaming on Kanopy:

For Streaming on hoopla:

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