Palm Beach County Library
Contact Name: Adam Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Initiative: Inclusion/Tolerance
For more than a decade, the Palm Beach County Library System has invested in the diversity of our community by funding a Multicultural Outreach Services Librarian position. As our county becomes more diverse, the opportunities to support and collaborate with cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic communities have grown, too.
The cornerstone of the Library’s multicultural services is our dedication to commemorating history and heritage throughout the year. Now in its 12th year, the Library System celebrates Palm Beach County’s Hispanic, Latino, and Indigenous communities during Hispanic Heritage Month. This observance is a result of Hispanic, Latino, and Indigenous communities co-organizing activities with the library from September 15 – October 15, and beyond. However, the Library’s philosophy of responding to communities’ needs and interests goes beyond Hispanic Heritage Month. In 2010, when an earthquake devastated many parts of Haiti, the library responded by providing researched information on how Floridians could support Haitian residents of Palm Beach County and Haiti, and by stepping up to work with the School District to honor Haitian Heritage Month. In May, 2017, the Library will celebrate Haitian Heritage for the 8th year, and will be honoring the Haitian community by creating the County’s first-ever Haitian Cultural Collection.
Every year, the Multicultural Outreach Services librarian works with staff and community partners to highlight the following heritage and history months: Black History, Italian Heritage, Irish American Heritage, Día de los Niños, Holocaust Remembrance, Nepali New Year, Jewish American Heritage, Creolophonie Month, Diwali, National speaking with community members to create interfaith dialogues; and establishing new activities and collections that recognize the contributions of Muslims in Palm Beach County and beyond.
Equally as important to the Library System is our dedication to providing a welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees. Through our partnerships with the Palm Beach Refugee Taskforce, USCIS, the School District, and others, we have offered immigration and naturalization resources and workshops, and we are proud to host naturalization ceremonies throughout the County. The Multicultural Outreach Services Librarian also provides staff with buttons that say “I speak…” in various languages so that visitors know that we can meet their needs no matter what language they speak.
The Palm Beach County Library System is proud to stand tall as a trusted institution that serves all communities in the pursuit of knowledge and education.