Meet TLCPL’s Latino Cultural Committee

Posted on September 6, 2018

by Angela B

Over 12 years ago, the Hispanic Heritage Committee was formed by the Toledo Lucas County Public Library to promote Hispanic Heritage Month within the county. In 2014, the committee decided to expand their mission from just promoting Hispanic Heritage Month to promoting Latino culture throughout the entire year, renaming the committee to the Latino Cultural Committee.

Latino culture - dancing
Photo by Terry White

This year, the Latino Cultural Committee is presenting 37 Latino cultural programs at 19 library branches. To stay in line with their new mission, the committee members are also attending outreach events at the Toledo Mud Hens Latino Night, Barrio Latino Art Festival, El Corazon and Sofia Quintero Arts and Cultural Center events, and multiple church festivals.

Mudhens stadium in downtown Toledo, Ohio
Photo by C.P. Kirby

The committee currently is composed of 16 members, currently headed by Jeff Sabo, Public Safety Department Manager. Members have varied roles within the library system and diverse backgrounds, which produces a robust variety of work.

Latino Cultural Committee Cardio Drumming - Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Photo by the Latino Cultural Committee (TLCPL)

Rhonda Sewell, External and Governmental Affairs for TLCPL, has been with the committee since 2007. She joined the committee because, “As an African American library employee, in knowing the rich and long history of Latino and Black collaboration in social justice movements, I wanted to help advance this rich culture for patrons and guests of the library.” Rhonda also commented on how the committee’s work has had a positive impact on the community, “Customers love and respect the steps Latino Cultural Committee takes to engage, host programming and provide offerings that are on target with Latino heritage from various countries and regions. I believe that customers appreciate LCC’s efforts based on their comments during programs, their attendance, social media engagement and more!”

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by making masks
Photo by Angela Bronson

In the past, the committee has hosted an art show, Quinceañera fashion show, traditional Mexican music and dancing concerts, Dia De Los Muertos exhibits, cooking classes, and many other programs.

Dia De Los Muertos - Day of the Dead table display
Photo by the Latino Cultural Committee (TLCPL)

In 2013, 405 customers attended various Hispanic Heritage programs in our library system. In 2017, that number grew to 1,686 customers participating in various Hispanic Heritage programs. The Latino Cultural Committee is very proud of their efforts to help spread awareness and hopes that appreciation flourishes as their work continues throughout the coming years.

Related Library Books

Encyclopedia of Latino Culture : From Calaveras to Quinceaneras” by Charles M. Tatum, editor

Encyclopedia of Latino culture : from calaveras to quinceaneras / Charles M. Tatum, editor

This three-volume encyclopedia describes and explains the variety and commonalities in Latina/o culture, providing comprehensive coverage of a variety of Latina/o cultural forms — popular culture, folk culture, rites of passages, and many other forms of shared expression.

Latino History and Culture” by Ilan Stavans

Latino history and culture / Ilan Stavans

Documents Latino cultural history in the United States from pre-Colonial times to the present, in a reference that is presented in an accessible question-and-answer format covering a wide range of topics, from immigration and literature to politics and the arts.

Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture” – Cordelia Chávez Candelaria, executive editor

Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture / Cordelia Chávez Candelaria, executive editor

U.S. culture has been profoundly impacted by contributions from Mexico and the rest of Central America, South America, and the Spanish Caribbean. These contributions and their adaptations in the United States are showcased in nearly 500 essay entries on noted people, festivities, items, terms, movements, sports, food, events, places, visual and performing arts, film, institutions, fashion, literature, organizations, the media, and much more. The wide range of entries with many areas of unique coverage will meet the high demand for multidisciplinary use. Students and other readers will appreciate the inclusiveness of cultural groups, the gender sensitivity, and the heavy contextual grounding of the topics.

The Power of Latino Leadership : Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution” by Juana Bordas

The Power of Latino Leadership : Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution by Juana Bordas

Over 50 million Latinos live in the United States, and it’s estimated that by 2050 one in three of the US population will be Hispanic. What does it take to lead such a varied and vibrant people who hail from twenty-two different countries and are a blend of different races? And what can leaders of all cultures and ethnicities learn from how Latinos lead? Juana Bordas takes us on a journey to the very heart and soul of Latino leadership. She offers ten principles that richly illustrate the inclusive, people-oriented, socially responsible, and life-affirming way Latinos have led their communities. Bordas includes the voices and experiences of other distinguished Latino leaders and vivid dichos (traditional sayings) that illustrate positive aspects of the Latino culture. This unprecedented book illustrates powerful and distinctive lessons that will inform leaders of every background. Also available in eBook.

Once Upon a Quinceañera : Coming of Age in the USA” by Julia Alvarez

Once upon a quinceañera : coming of age in the USA / Julia Alvarez

A cultural exploration of the Latina fifteenth birthday celebration traces the experiences of a Queens teen who encounters anticipation and stress while preparing for her quinceañera, in an account that documents the history of the celebration’s traditions as well as its growing popularity throughout America.

Dia de los Muertos” by Roseanne Greenfield Thong ; pictures by Carles Ballesteros

Dia de los muertos / Roseanne Greenfield Thong ; pictures by Carles Ballesteros

It’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.

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