ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Hispanic Heritage Month is underway and the Orange County Library System is hosting events to celebrate Latinx cultures.
“It took well into my adulthood to find myself on the pages of books and I’m so glad now there are children’s books and picture books. Even books for adults in every genre,” said Bookstagramer Carmen Alvarez.
Alvarez is a first-generation Cuban American and calls herself a “Bookstagramer,” reading Latinx books and posting reviews on social media. She said the Orange County Library System provides a large variety of books in Spanish with characters representing many Latinx cultures.
“I think it’s important that libraries consistently try to find stories that reflect a myriad of backgrounds, so people understand that all Latinx people aren’t just one people, they are people who have a myriad of identities and different experiences in life,” Alvarez said.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, OCLS is hosting several free virtual events with activities for all age groups.
“It’s not just about books. We’re more like a community center. For toddlers, we have bilingual story time, for teens we are doing paper molas art and we have live performances,” said OCLS Circulation Lead Aimee Andujar.
Virtual cooking classes are also offered focusing on Latinx cuisine. OCLS kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with a cooking class for “Cuisine Corner,” cooking Mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish with plantains as the main ingredient.
Several branches display art and exhibits for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Alvarez is also involved, moderating a panel of Latinx authors on Sept. 23. Alvarez is encouraging everyone to participate in the events, not just those who are part of the Latinx culture.
“I think that learning about communities that aren’t your own or learning about a community that is your own not only teaches you, but opens up your heart and mind to different experiences,” Alvarez said.
OCLS will be hosting events and activities for Hispanic Heritage Month through Oct. 15.
You can register for a virtual library card by clicking here.