Hispanic Heritage Month: A Library Resource Round-Up

Girl making craft at Hispanic Heritage Month event
A girl works on a craft project at a Hispanic Heritage Festival at the Somerset (N.J.) Public Library in October 2015.

With more than 50 million people of Latino descent currently living in the United States, Latino Americans have become the nation's largest minority group. Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) celebrates the histories, cultures and accomplishments of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last five centuries.

Programming Librarian has compiled the following round-up of resources to help libraries deliver their best programming in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Do you have other go-to resources that are not listed below? Please share them in the comments or email us at programminglibrarian@ala.org


  • Bridging HistoriasFunded by the NEH, Bridging Historias addresses the increasingly influential body of scholarship on the importance of Latino/a culture in American history, that remains under-represented in most college history textbooks and teaching collections. The website contains the research and teaching materials used by 42 community college faculty and administrators in the greater New York City region, including scholarly talks and teaching presentations by visiting lecturers. The website is designed to provide scholarly resources for incorporating Latino history and culture into the humanities classroom, and for the general public.
  • EDSITEment! National Hispanic Heritage Month: Explore the history of Hispanic culture in America through EDSITEment, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This website offers a treasure trove of high-quality material in the subject areas of literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, and history and social studies.
  • Humanities Texas Traveling Exhibitions: The Humanities Texas exhibitions program circulates traveling exhibitions on a variety of topics including In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez, Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy, and Voces Americanas: Latino Literature in the United States. Information including rental prices are included for each exhibit.
  • LATINO AMERICANS Documentary: LATINO AMERICANS is a landmark six-hour documentary featuring interviews with nearly 100 Latinos and more than 500 years of History. It is a production of WETA Washington, DC; Bosch and Co., Inc.; and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB); in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS). The LATINO AMERICANS website offers complete episode descriptions, videos of the full series as well as clips that highlight areas of interest, and access to supporting lesson plans and activities. Films are available in English and Spanish.
  • Latino Americans: 500 Years of History Final Report: Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and ALA, was a nationwide public programming initiative that supported the exploration of the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos. More than 200 grantees around the country — libraries, museums, state humanities councils and other nonprofits selected through a competitive application process — received funding, resources and support to host festivals, collect oral histories, facilitate discussions and hold other public events. Be inspired by their accomplishments in the project's final report.
  • Latina/o Diaspora in the Americas ProjectThe Latina/o Diaspora in the Americas Project (LDAP), newly founded in 2014, is a growing archive of more than 100 oral histories dedicated to creating space for Latina/os to share their historical experiences related to identity, immigration reform, labor conditions, education, and civil rights. The site includes tutorials for beginning a new project, deeds of gift examples, and other tools for implementing oral history projects.
  • The Latino Intersections Resource CenterThe Latino Intersections Resource Center, a part of the Latino Journal Intersections website, is affiliated with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies Program at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. It receives funding and support from the Dartmouth College Library System. The Resource Center's mission is to create a gateway to resources that facilitate access to Internet-based information to, from, or about the Latino community in the United States.
  • National Park Service's American Latino Heritage ProjectsThe National Park Service American Latino Heritage projects explore how the legacy of American Latinos can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. This website highlights projects undertaken by National Park Service parks and programs as part of the Service's commitment to telling the American Latino story. Projects vary from increased interpretation, collaboration with community organizations, and the production of scholarly documentation.

Program Models

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    People tour Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on a tour organized by Barry University's Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library.
    Participants tour Miami's Little Havana neighborhood in a tour created by a Barry University library.

    A Celebration of Latino Lives in FloridaAlso offered as part of Barry University's programming about Latino American history and culture, A Celebration of Latino Lives in Florida was a storytelling and -recording event with storyteller Caren Neile. After a presentation on storytelling in Latino culture, event attendees volunteered to share personal stories with the audience. The audience then voted on their favorite stories; the winning story told how a participant and her parents and brother celebrated their first Thanksgiving after immigrating from Peru. The stories were later aired on the local public radio station and archived in the WLRN Public Storyteller website.

  • Journeys of My Life / Viajes de Mi VidaLoudoun County (Va.) Public Library forged an outside-the-box partnership with its local school district's One to the World initiative, inviting students to address a problem, create and product and connect with the world. Seventy high school students worked with award-winning Latino artist John Parra for two days to produce original stories and illustrations to be made into bilingual picture books. Topics included the students' personal journeys, Latino role models and historical events that support Latino history and culture. The books were presented by the students to the Honorable Francisco Altschul, ambassador of El Salvador to the United States, who would later deliver them to the Biblioteca Luz Children's Library in El Salvador. The student authors and illustrators also read their books at public story times.
  • Little Havana Walking TourBarry University's Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library in Miami Shores, Fla., offered a three-hour tour of the world-renowned Little Havana neighborhood. Participants were treated to an amazing wealth of knowledge about Little Havana's significance to Miami's Ciban community and its many historical, political and cultural connections. Perks included freshly brewed Cuban coffee, freshly squeezed guarapo (sugar cane juice) and a book signing with tour guide Corinna Moebius, co-author of "A History of Little Havana."
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    Hispanic Heritage Month scout patch
    Olathe Public Library created patches that Girl and Boy Scouts could earn by attending Hispanic Heritage Month events.

    Olathe Hispanic Heritage Month Scout PatchesIn a creative partnership with the local Girl and Boy Scounts, Olathe (Kan.) Public Library offered a special patch that scouts could earn by attending various Hispanic Heritage Month activities. Scouts could choose from several activities: attending a chat with "Enrique's Journey" author Sonia Nazario; taking part in a story walk with a book reading in English and Spanish; making a memory box for personal treasures and mementos; and more. The partnership between the scout organizers and the library was "mutually beneficial," said Adult Services Librarian Ralph Tomlinson.

  • The Skin You Live In: Since 2010, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library has partnered with a number of local organizations and libraries on an initiative called Coming Together, an annual project that focuses on a different culture or major ethnic group in our community each year. The 2016 program, ¡Viva!, focused on Hispanic and Latino cultures. The library created this fun program — based on the book "the Skin You Live In" by Michael Tyler — to help young kids explore identity.


Hispanic Heritage Month Pinterest Boards