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Santa Barbara Public Libraries Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, join the Santa Barbara Public Library (SBPL) in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation, society, and the local community. SBPL invites the community to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

While a split month of celebration and recognition might seem odd, September 15 through October 15 encompasses several important dates. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Día de la Raza, which is October 12, also falls within this 30 day period.

For September, two of the Central Library's book clubs have selected reads that are written by and/or about Hispanic Americans. The Fiction Book Club meets on Tuesday, September 11 at 5:30 PM at the Central Library and will discuss Chilean-born author Isabel Allende's masterpiece House of Spirits / La casa de los espíritus, a family saga that traces the post-colonial social and political upheavals of Chile with a touch of magical realism. The following Tuesday, September 18, at 6:00 PM at the Central Library, the Social Justice Book Club will reflect on the importance of representation in children's literature as they discuss four different children's picture books: Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx / La juez que creció en el Bronx by Jonah Winter, and Tito Puente, Mambo King / Tito Puente, Rey Del Mambo by Monica Brown.

Families are invited to the Eastside Library on Saturday, September 22 as they host Celebremos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from 12:00 - 2:00 PM. There will be face painting and crafts throughout the event as well as Linda Vega Dance Studio performing flamenco at noon and Mariachi Isla Vista taking the stage at 1:00 PM. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Eastside Library.

The final event of SBPL's National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations will feature UCSB Library's Ryan Lynch, Latin American/Iberian Studies Librarian speaking on the art and music flows and conversations in the Americas, particularly looking at how they have influenced California culture. Drawing from the UCSB Library’s fall exhibition Nuestras Americas (September 10-December 7), Lynch will lead attendees on a virtual gallery tour of the exhibition, including the pieces Libertad by Ester Hernandez and Rio, Por No Llorar by Alex Donis, and share additional materials from UCSB Library's world-class collections. Join the Central Library in the Faulkner Gallery on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:00 PM for this event. 

While SBPL looks to provide culturally relevant and diverse programs throughout the year, it is recognition months like these that also allow the Libraries to highlight and celebrate the diverse peoples that make up the greater Santa Barbara community.

To stay informed individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter in English or Spanish. Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs, and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.


Contact: Jen Lemberger, Programming & Marketing Librarian

Phone: 805-564-5621


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