GR Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with bilingual storytelling

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public Library is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through both in-person and virtual programs. One includes storytimes with readings in both English and Spanish.

The purpose of ¡Vamos A Leer! is to celebrate stories written and illustrated by Latinx people. Library officials say they hope people take away a sense of inclusion.

“We’re hoping that these are programs that can be enjoyed by everybody and not just during Hispanic Heritage Month, but we’re hoping that our programs become more accessible to everybody throughout the year. We wanted to highlight some stories that are by Latinx people and about them,” said Madison Perian, the manager for the Ottawa Hills branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library. “It’s a community partner and a library staff member reading the same book in English and Spanish simultaneously.” 

The program is virtual and hosted on the library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Perian says she wants it to serve as a learning point for not just those in the Latinx community.

“I’m hoping that there’s an education component there for white folks, for people who do not identify as Latinx to learn more about these customs and traditions and culture and to feel more engaged with that,” said Perian.

While at the same time, giving those who are in the Latinx community a sense of belonging.

“I think there’s also a piece of it that we want folks who identify as Latinx to see themselves represented in these programs, to be a part of the discussion and to have things that celebrate their culture,” said Perian.

There are two more storytimes coming up at 1 p.m. on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.

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