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Bronx Library Center celebrates Hispanic heritage year-round

Bronx Library Center celebrates Hispanic heritage year-round
Bronx Library Center celebrates Hispanic heritage year-round 01:56

NEW YORK - The Bronx Library Center stands as the largest public library in the borough, and the first in the city with a green-certified design. Inside lives a hidden gem in the busy hub, which honors Hispanic heritage and history every day.

The five-story building boasts something for everyone, from on-stage performances to identification services, all for free.

"Adults can come and get help with their resumé or learn a different language," said managing editor Pamela Cora, "also just enjoy the quiet and comfort of having an inclusive space in their neighborhood."

Throughout the library, visitors see nods to the Bronx, with local authors' works standing side by side in designated sections on each floor. But in one small room on the fourth floor, lovingly nicknamed "El Cuartito," the culture jumps off the page in the Latino and Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

"This collection is really curated to speak to the narrative of Puerto Rico, the history, all of these different aspects rather than just popular titles," explained Cora.

Hundreds of volumes on the island of Puerto Rico and its impact provide reference for deep dives of all kinds. Rotating exhibits fill the walls, showcasing artists of the culture.

The center recently featured Laura Alvarez, whose picture book "Eggie's Adventures at Poe Cottage" stars a squirrel living in a nearby historic landmark.

"You have the house where Edgar Allan Poe lived last, and where his wife died, and many of the people in the neighborhood or in the Bronx, they don't know that that is there, and there is for them, and they can visit it," Alvarez said about her book's title location.

Beyond the walls of El Cuartito, librarians highlight Hispanic heritage all year round, opening doors and arms to embrace their community.

The Bronx Library Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Find a schedule of events and more about the services offered here.

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