In observance of Immigrant Heritage Month, Queens Public Library will launch a series of programs and special events exploring the theme “Bring Your Story” and celebrating the diverse cultures of the “World’s Borough.”
“Queens Public Library is proud to serve the most diverse population in the nation, and our recently adopted tagline ‘We Speak Your Language,’ along with our materials in more than 200 languages, translation devices at every location and programs tailored to the needs of immigrant communities reflect our values of welcoming and inclusion,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “By asking our customers to share their favorite recipes, photos, folktales, traditions and stories of their journeys, we aim to further embrace and preserve their immigrant experience, which defines so many Queens neighborhoods and contributes to the rich fabric of our society.”
Throughout June, library visitors will get to share their stories through recipes, traditional clothing, music and dance, from Irish step to Chinese opera, as they pay homage to the journey that their families took to come to America.
To honor the culinary heritage of Queens immigrants, QPL will compile its first-ever cookbook consisting of recipes shared by patrons at Stories Around Food activities held at each branch.
Each of the QPL branches will also have a world map on display for customers to mark their family’s journey to the U.S. As part of the library’s “Family Heritage Project,” teens will be able to better understand their heritage, by tracing the first person in their family to immigrate to America and where they came from.
Several locations will host “Stories Around Clothes” — multicultural mini-fashion shows, where patrons will show off their traditional outfits from their ancestral country. The branches will also ask families to participate in “Create Your Family Flag” activity, where library goers will make a unique family flag using colors, shapes and pictures that are meaningful to them. As part of the Wikitongues Project, ESOL students will be telling and writing their folktales in their native languages.
Customers are also invited to bring photos and other historic materials that tell their family’s story of settling in the U.S., and specifically in Queens, at 20 libraries that will host Queens Memory Stations. Library staff will scan their items and upload them through the Queens Memory website for submission to the library’s local history collections.
For more information, visit the Queens Public Library website.