Displays celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Off The Shelf


Mark Luetkehoelter, Librarian

We’re in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, being celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, those identifying as Hispanic/Latino make up almost 7% of the population in Dane County, with a significant portion of that population living in Madison or Fitchburg. 

Those numbers are projected to grow. Those numbers can be reflected in growing enrollment numbers at Madison College, and in particular, the Goodman South Campus.  The Madison College Libraries have tried to expand its collection of materials about and supporting that growing population. 

If you do a search on the subject term “Hispanic American” in our library’s catalog, you will find a great wealth of material in a variety of formats to explore. You can also search on narrower terms such as Mexican American, Cuban American, Dominican American, etc. 

Some new titles in the library collection you might want to check out include the National Book Award-winning verse novel, “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo, Jaquira Diaz’s award-winning memoir “Ordinary Girls,” Reyna Grande’s memoir “A Dream Called Home” and the award-winning children’s book “My Papi Has a Motorcycle” by Isabel Quintero. 

Rather watch than read?  Check out the video “Dolores” about Dolores Huerta, an equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers union with Cesar Chavez but then was largely forgotten by history. 

You will also find a lot of bilingual titles – for instance, you could read Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s biography, “An Unlikely Journey” in both English and Spanish or Quiora Alegria Hudes’s acclaimed recent memoir, “My Broken Language” in either English or Spanish.  

Another title you’ll come across in that search is “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin” by Madisonian Oscar Mireles. Mireles’ book aims to share decades of writing contributions by Hispanic Americans in Wisconsin and the Midwest. 

Mireles has been the Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and a strong advocate of Latino culture in Madison including being director of the Omega School. You can find out more about all the things he’s done by finding articles on him in our EbscoHOST database.  

Also on the local theme, check out the book “Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Heroes” about Hispanic American women political activists in Wisconsin or Sergio Gonzalez’s “History Mexicans in Wisconsin.” 

The Madison College Libraries will have displays honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, where you can check out some of the items mentioned in this article and much more. You might also want to take a look at the library’s research guide for Hispanic American History at https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/latino.