Beyond cinco de mayo: Celebrating Mexican History and Culture

In the U.S. on cinco de mayo, which means May 5th in Spanish, margaritas are half price at Mexican restaurants and bars and avocados are often sold out in stores and markets. While lots of people enjoy a cool margarita and homemade guacamole on May 5th, not many know why that day in particular is celebrated. On May 5th, 1862, […]

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Lá Fhéile Pádraig, or The Day of the Festival of Patrick

March 17 commemorates the day of death of St. Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland. On St. Patrick's Day in the U.S. in today's world, green is the must-wear color, kids make leprechaun traps at school and corn beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread grace dinner tables. For some it's a day to visit pubs, parades, or churches and listen to traditional Irish […]

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Prince, Bowie, George Michael, but Have You Heard of Juan Gabriel?

The world lost another great musician in 2016, Juan Gabriel. Also affectionately known as JuanGa or El divo de Juarez, Juan Gabriel was a Mexican composer/singer and six-time Grammy nominee. He wrote his first song at the age of 13 and went on to write more than 1,500 songs, all the while working his way to the top of the Latin music industry. According […]

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5 Excellent Animated Films NOT produced by Disney

It is true that for decades Disney studios have produced widely popular films for children. It is also true that Disney films are regularly criticized for portraying cultural, racial, and gender stereotypes that cause many parents to question the problematic messages they give to children. Despite the controversies associated with Disney films, I admit that I have enjoyed the occasional screening of Sleeping Beauty and other […]

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¿Día de los muertos o Halloween?

En una reciente visita a una tienda de Halloween me di cuenta de que los vestidos y el maquillaje inspirados en el día de muertos están siendo usados como disfraces de Halloween. Aunque hay similitudes entre el origen espiritual del día de Halloween y el del Día de los Muertos (también conocido como Día de los Santos) la forma […]

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Day of the Dead or Halloween?

As my recent visit to the Halloween store revealed, colorful Day of the Dead inspired skeleton makeup and dresses are once again trending as popular Halloween costumes in the consumer world. While Day of the Dead parallels All Saints Day origins of Halloween, the way that Halloween is celebrated in today's world (pumpkin carving, costume wearing, trick-or-treating, haunted houses) differs greatly from the sacred traditions […]

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Welcoming America Movement

The Welcoming America movement encourages cities around the country to bring long-term residents together with new immigrants to foster welcoming and supportive environments for all members of the community. During the week of September 16-25, there are welcoming events across the country such as panel presentations, storytelling, block parties, and film screenings. In 2015 Welcoming Week, more than 22,000 people participated […]

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We heart gymnastics!

Women's gymnastics Team USA are 2016 Olympics gold medal-winning champions! Mighty American gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, and Laurie Hernandez are inspiring young gymnasts everywhere. Our communities are full of kiddos cartwheeling, somersaulting, back bending, and generally bouncing around with excitement. The waiting lists for gymnastics classes are super long too! Here at the library we've been busy putting together some recommended titles of […]

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Hear Diversity: 5 audiobooks for teens that build understanding, not walls

Diversity in audio is just as important as diversity in print. Kids and teens need to hear themselves in character dialogs and language just as much as they need to see themselves reflected in their print counterparts. Books on CD and eaudio format also provide accessibility for people with obstacles that prevent them from easily […]

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