Hispanic Heritage Month in the Library

Hispanic Heritage header
September 27, 2022

By Dr. Mary Jordan, Librarian

We are halfway through Hispanic Heritage Month, and we are celebrating in the library!

The library is a place for information. We provide information on all topics, in all kinds of formats: paper, audiobooks, videos, ebooks. If you need books, podcasts, images – we can not only help you find the best material, but also help you to cite it correctly for your assignments. And, of course, we love to celebrate!

Drop by the library any time to check out our display of books, showcasing the diversity of the culture. Even sorting through the vocabulary of politely discussing this group of people is diverse! Just as you would politely ask about pronouns, it would be polite to ask people their preferred term here. An article by Antonio Campos, from the University of California, walks us through some different definitions. “People often want to know which term — Hispanic, Latino or Latinx — is the most respectful. But it really depends on the person and context. I’ll sometimes say I’m Latino or Hispanic. Or I’ll be more specific and say Mexican American.”

““Hispanic” refers to any of the peoples in the Americas and Spain who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking communities. It was coined in the 1970s by the U.S. Census Bureau to offer a pan-ethnic name for peoples such as Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans and others, whose social, economic and political needs were often ignored.”

“In contrast to Hispanic, the term Latino describes any person with ancestry in Latin America, a politically defined region usually unified by the predominance of Romance languages. This definition usually includes Portuguese-speaking Brazil and French-speaking Haiti, but excludes Spain.”

“Latinx is essentially a non-binary form of Latino or Latina. The suffix “-x” replaces the “-o” or “-a” corresponding to masculine or feminine, allowing the word to resist the gender binary. (In Spanish-

speaking countries, the term Latine with the suffix “-e” is circulating as an alternative to the -o/a binary.)” This seems to be the term younger people are using, and is popular on social media and across much of the internet.

As in all things, politely learning more about people is a great strategy!

Are you looking for other ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in your classroom or subject area? Let me know! I can find you some videos, recipes, architectural drawings, or other resources that would be useful to you. Drop by the library anytime and chat with us to get good material you can enjoy. Or, send me an email and I can help you track down everything you need!

Crissy Quigley
Posted in News, equity, library