Hispanic / Latinx Cultural Heritage


Hispanic / Latinx Cultural Heritage

On September 17, 1968, President Johnson signed the National Hispanic Heritage Week bill into law, with the goal of celebrating the achievements of Hispanic Americans while also garnering more attention for legislative and grassroots efforts to uplift the Hispanic American community. What originally started out as a week of honoring Hispanic Americans has now grown into a month-long celebration of Hispanic and Latinx Americans, signed officially into law on August 17, 1988. (source: United States House of Representatives)

Past National Hispanic Heritage Month Themes: 

2018: “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions”
2019: “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation”
2020: “Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future”
2021: “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope
2022: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation

2023 Events

Latinos: Contributing to the Fabric of the Nation

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. This year, SJSU iSchool Health and Wellness Ambassador, Loida Garcia-Febo, brought a keynote featuring how library services to Latinos support social cohesion and the contributions of Latinos to the fabric of the nation, highlighting the field of librarianship.

A panel discussion with experts serving Latinos and Spanish speakers nationwide brought insights about critical contributions librarians and library services make to Latinos to support culture, communication, diverse populations, education, financial security, health, gender equality, inclusion, immigration, wellbeing, and society in general. Additionally, speakers discussed how libraries can better support Latinos and Spanish speakers, their education, and lifelong learning.

Find the video of the symposium below.

Past Symposia

On October 11th, 2022, the SJSU iSchool hosted their annual Hispanic Heritage Month symposium entitled “Unifying the Information Community.” The keynote speakers and panelists talked about the gaps that Latinx and Spanish-Speaking communities experience with regards to digital inclusion, as well as how librarians can work with community members outside of the library.

EDI Symposium: Making Vital Connections

In October 2021, the SJSU iSchool hosted a symposium entitled “Making Vital Connections: Understanding and Serving the Hispanic/Latinx Community.” Symposium panelists talked about the importance of incorporating Spanish into outreach services, adding more Hispanic programs and committees into library systems, and creating more space for our indigenous community members.

Library and Information Science Best Practices

Best Practices for Libraries Supporting Latinx and Spanish-Speaking Communities

Best Practices from “Unifying the Information Community”:

  • Meet people where they are by doing outreach in the community, connecting with folks at churches, or going by supermarkets. 
  • Understand that for many recent immigrants of Latin American countries, people may be reluctant to engage with surveys or express concerns about a government or public agency.
  • Find other ways to support community members: recruit them into librarianship, write aspiring students a letter of recommendation, be a reference for a job application, have conversations with people in the library about a career in librarianship. 
  • Find inspiration in your life experiences, and know that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. 
  • Believe in your ideas and believe in yourself. Find your cheerleaders, seek out support systems, and join organizations like REFORMA where you feel represented and heard. It’s those groups that are going to help you thrive in life.

Best Practices from “Making Vital Connections: Understanding and Serving the Hispanic/Latinx Community”:

  • Incorporate bookmobiles into Spanish-Speaking Communities
  • Offer Bilingual Handouts
  • Provide English Language Learning Opportunities
  • Incorporate Hispanic Teen Programming and Committees
  • Add more Spanish items to the collections
  • Host Spanish story time programs

Additional Resources for Best Practices:

Unifying the Information Community

Additional Resources for Best Practices:

Community Profiles

Erin Castillo

Professional Associations


SJSU iSchool Articles: