Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick unveiled the Haitian Cultural Collection of books at the Lantana Road Branch of the Palm Beach County Library System on Saturday, May 13, as part of the inaugural event celebrating Haitian Heritage Month.
The collection includes books from local authors, as well as renowned Haitian writers. The collection also includes children’s books, fiction and non-fiction books.
Several community leaders and elected officials along with community members participated in the event where Doug Crane, Director of the Library System, declared it an honor to celebrate the Haitian community’s history, traditions and contributions to American society.
“The collection you see today is the initial stage of this special collection,” Crane said. “Under the direction of staff at the Lantana Road Branch, the Haitian Cultural Collection will continue to be enhanced and will be enjoyed by everyone in our community.”
The Multicultural team at the Library System traditionally partners with the School District of Palm Beach County’s Department of Communications and Engagement and the District’s Multicultural Department to organize events for Haitian Heritage Month.
Mayor Burdick, a former School Board member, applauded the commitment of the District and the Library System to celebrate diversity and offer multicultural books to students. Haitians represent a significant percentage of the Palm Beach County population. More than 15,000 Haitian students attend Palm Beach County public schools.
In 2003, the School District became the first institution in the county to recognize May as Haitian Heritage Month. Since then, activities have been taking place each year throughout the District to commemorate Haitian Heritage Month, including school cultural events, flag-raising ceremonies, book festivals, student essay contests, cultural nights, musical performances, fashion shows and art exhibits. Several cities in Palm Beach County have since adopted similar resolutions.