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“Make Your Home Among Strangers”: Book Reading

June 22, 2016
Program Type
ALA Program
Author Event
Book / Reading Event
Target Audience
Adult
Children / Family
College Students
Community Members
Older Adults
Young Adult
Program Topic
Grants and Program Starters
Literature / Literacy
Arts and Culture
Budget
$251-500
ALA Programs (PPO)
Latino Americans
Advance Planning

Crucet's book reading was planned with the goal of sharing, engaging and bringing awareness to the community about the histories, experiences and rich culture of Latino Americans in the community. Planning for this event began as early as May 2015, when we wrote and submitted a grant proposal for Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). As soon as we were notified that our proposal was selected for funding, we began scheduling events and reaching out to authors and presenters.

Library Director Grisel Torralbas, Library Services Supervisor Christina Dillon, Programming Coordinator Alina De La Barrera, and Technical Services Supervisor Theresa Cuba were all involved in the planning and implementation of the program series. Cuba was the point person communicating with Crucet. She also took the lead in planning the event.

The book reading and discussion had to be rescheduled from its originally planned date, per the author’s request, which gave us additional time to promote and prepare for the event. Copies of “Make Your Home Among Strangers” were bought as giveaways. Snacks and refreshments were also purchased for attendees to enjoy during the event. Cuba prepared an introduction for Crucet, and our library director presented her. (View the introduction under Attachments at right.)

Marketing

To promote the event, the library posted on their social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. The public was able to register by phone, in person at the libraries and on an event page, which was created on our Facebook. Crucet assisted with promotion for her book reading and discussion by posting about it on her Twitter feed. The City of Hialeah’s Communication and Special Events (CSE) department furthered our efforts by sharing and creating posts on the city’s Facebook page and including the event in their monthly email blast.

The libraries continued to promote the event through posters and flier handouts, as well as our own email blast to registered patrons and program participants. After the book reading and discussion, CSE created a video piece and broadcast it on the City of Hialeah’s Channel 77. They also posted it on their YouTube channel highlighting the success of the event, as well as further promoting the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History program series at the Hialeah Public Libraries. (View the video under Video and Images at right.)

Budget Details

The total cost for this event was $351.20. An honorarium of $300 was budgeted for the author. The remaining $51.20 was spent on supplies, including snacks and refreshments. The Friends of the Hialeah Public Libraries generously assisted with the event by purchasing copies of Crucet’s latest novel for giveaway, as well as the napkins and plates.

Day-of-event Activity

The Saturday prior to the event, March 19, 2016, two colleagues set up the library’s auditorium. Seating was arranged theater-style along with tables for the snacks, refreshments and the book signing. In total, 50 chairs and three tables were set out. A podium was also set up for the author’s use while reading her book and leading the discussion. On the actual day of the event, we purchased the snacks and refreshments for optimum freshness.

As participants entered the auditorium, we asked that they sign in. The attendance sheet was also passed around to ensure everyone was listed. After the event, a survey was made available and distributed to participants. Once the event began, it ran smoothly thanks to advance planning and experience in hosting past book and author presentations.

Program Execution

At the start of the event, the people waiting were invited into the John F. Kennedy Library auditorium. As the public signed in, took their seats and enjoyed snacks and refreshments, an announcement was made in English and Spanish over the library loudspeaker inviting everyone to the free event. The attendees were also instructed to fill out a survey at the end of the program. Once Crucet arrived, the library director introduced her with a short introduction. This included some of her background and literary successes with her novel, "How to Leave Hialeah," and her latest one, "Make Your Home Among Strangers."

Crucet then took to the stage. She spoke about her early life, growing up Hispanic and continued on to her experiences leaving the place she had grown up in and the transition from being part of the majority to being the minority. Crucet went on to read three excerpts from her latest novel. Once the reading was complete, she took questions from the audience and thanked everyone for coming out to the event. Copies of "Make Your Home Among Strangers" were on display at the front of the auditorium where Crucet sat to begin signing books for attendees. In total, our event was well received and attended by 50 individuals. We achieved our goal of engaging the community in discussion and raising awareness of their shared experiences. 

Short Title
Make Your Home Among Strangers

The Hialeah Public Libraries welcomed nationally awarded author and Miami native Jennine Capó Crucet to John F. Kennedy Memorial Library for a book reading and discussion of her new novel, "Make Your Home Among Strangers." Crucet discussed how being a Latina in the United States has affected her life and literary works. After the discussion, copies of her book were given away and she was available to sign them. This event was free and open to the public.

Attachments
Source
ALA
Program Date
Mon, 2016-03-21
  • Audience at Jennine Capó Crucet reading
    Audience at Jennine Capó Crucet reading
  • Image of "Make Your Home Among Strangers" book
    Image of "Make Your Home Among Strangers" book
  • Audience listening to speaker
    Audience listening to speaker
  • People gathered to get book signed
    People gathered to get book signed
  • Jennine Capó Crucet speaking
    Jennine Capó Crucet speaking
  • Second shot of audience listening to Jennine Capó Crucet
    Second shot of audience listening to Jennine Capó Crucet
  • Attendee listening to Jennine Capó Crucet
    Attendee listening to Jennine Capó Crucet
  • Jennine Capó Crucet speaking 2
    Jennine Capó Crucet speaking 2
  • Jennine Capó Crucet signing
    Jennine Capó Crucet signing
  • Jennine Capó Crucet reading
    Jennine Capó Crucet reading
  • Jennine Capó Crucet signing 2
    Jennine Capó Crucet signing 2
Summary

A Florida public library hosted a successful reading with author and Miami native Jennine Capó Crucet.