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Hispanic Heritage Month: Many Backgrounds, Many Stories ... One American Spirit


 Pura Belpre (1899-1982) Author, Storyteller and first Puerto Rican Librarian at the New York Public LibraryPhoto: Pura Belpre (1899-1982) Author, Storyteller and first Puerto Rican Librarian at the New York Public Library

It's Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15), the time of year to celebrate and recognize the contributions made by people of Hispanic descent to this great nation. This year's national theme is Many Backgrounds, Many Stories... One American Spirit.

According to the 2010 Census, 16 percent of the US population is Hispanic. Hispanic Americans include people from the following countries:

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, USA, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

At The New York Public Library's Bronx Library Center, there is a fabulous collection of books and other materials, as well as free programs to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Visit the Library and learn more about Hispanic cultures and histories.

Here are some of the programs offered:

Book Discussion Group (in Spanish): In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
September 19, 2011 at 7 p.m.

History of the Latino in the Bronx by Angel Hernandez of the Bronx Historical Society
September 21, 2011 at 6 p.m.

Hispanic Family History Fair: Discover your Latino Roots
September 24, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Performance of Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican Folkloric Music by Cuatrisimo
September 24, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.

Book Discussion Group (in English): Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende 
September 28, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.


Flamenco Music and Dance by ArtsFlamenco
October 8, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.

Recommended Books for Adults:

Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago, 2011

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Recommended Books for Teens:

Crazy Loco by David Rice

El Bronx Remembered by Nicholas Mohr

Once Upon a Quinceañera by Julia Alvarez

Ten Hispanic American Authors by Christine M. Hill

When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

Recommended Books for Children:

The Bossy Gallito: A Cuban Folktale by Lucía González

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muoz Ryan

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy

Perez and Martina: A Puerto Rican Folktale by Pura Belpré

The Storyteller's Candle by Lucía González

Electronic Resources

Available at various NYPL locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and with a library card offsite. Please click the link to get specific instructions regarding libraries where these can be accessed.

  • Consumer Health Information — Spanish
    Consumer Health Information — Spanish provides hundreds of reports for the most common health topics, offering patrons in the community access to reliable health care information.
  • Digitalia
    Digitalia, a Hispanic database, provides thousands of ebooks from the most renowned Spanish and Latin American publishing houses, as well as relevant journals that cover all topics of interest.
  • El Diario La Prensa NY
    The largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in New York City.
  • Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes
    Includes full-text works of Spanish-language literature, both classics and lesser known works.
  • Parallel Histories: Spain, the United States, and the American Frontier
    A digital library site devoted to Spanish exploration and settlement in North America from the 15th to the early 19th centuries.
  • Art Full Text
    This database provides indexes, abstracts, and articles from an international selection of periodicals, including French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, and English-language journals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins.
  • New York State Unit History Project
    A digital library of the New York State military unit, providing historic information on the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and more.
  • La Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre
    Spanish-language encyclopedia written from the Latin American perspective provides coverage of all curriculum-aligned topics so English Language Learners can conduct authentic research in their native language.
  • Latin American Newstand
    ProQuest Latin American Newsstand provides full-text information in Spanish and Portuguese from 41 newspapers from Puerto Rico and 11 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. The complete articles are available in ASCII format.
  • Mango Languages
    Learn a new language with this interactive database that provides step by step lesson plans for nine different languages. This database features ESL lessons for Brazilian Portuguese, Polish and Spanish speakers. A text translator is also provided.
  • NOAH (New York Online Access to Health)
    A guide to the latest health information and resources. Acceso Computarizado a la Salud de Nueva York (NOAH, siglas en inglés) le proporciona al consumidor información sobre la salud en inglés y en español.
  • Bibliografia Nacional Espanola desde 1976
    Contains records of the national bibliography of Spain.


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