It is always good to learn about different cultures,” said Alberto Lopez, Calpulli Mexican Dance artistic director. “Every celebration in Mexico is unique.” 

The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) will be hosting traditional Mexican dance workshops in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Bound Brook branch on September 17 from 11 a.m. to noon; and at the North Plainfield branch on October 8 from 11 a.m. to noon. 

“Living in the U.S. and being born in Mexico, I notice a lot of misunderstanding of the culture,” said Lopez. “I enjoy educating people about the traditions and different beliefs across different regions – regions that are rich in culture, musicality, and traditions. I want to bring all this education to share with people. And, participation is strongly encouraged so that we can truly share these traditions. I invite all community members to this unique experience to celebrate and learn about Mexico through an interactive presentation.”

The programs will be hosted in person and will be bilingual events. Four to six traditional Mexican dancers will participate to help audiences learn simplified movements and choreographies. Following the presentations, Library users are encouraged to explore the robust book displays curated by SCLSNJ’s expert staff. 

“Libraries are one of the most incredible places to find new and old materials, especially older documentaries or vintage movies about Mexican culture and traditions,” said Lopez. “I love to spend my free time at the Library. I love to see and read about the connections between one country and another, especially between Latino cultures. These celebrations – Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic Heritage Month, Dia de los Muertos – have such uniquely special, beautiful meanings.”

The Bound Brook branch is located at 402 East High Street in Bound Brook. To contact the branch, call (908) 458-8410 or email The North Plainfield branch is located at 6 Rockview Avenue in North Plainfield. To contact the branch, call (908) 458-8435 or email

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month children and their families will not only see focused displays and listen to bilingual storytimes, but they will also move,” Mona-Paulina Mahaga-Ajala, system program coordinator, youth services. “Performances are great but it is very special when customers can be a part of the experience, leaving the Library with new dance moves and hopefully a fun memory.”

Other Hispanic Heritage Month programs hosted at SCLSNJ will include: Make Art Like Basquiat hosted in person at the Bound Brook branch on September 13; Ritmo Caliente Latin Duo Band hosted in person at the Bound Brook branch on September 24; and many more.

Additionally, SCLSNJ has added a new research resource to its suite of services, Hispanic Life in America from Newsbank. This new resource offers comprehensive coverage of the Hispanic American experience from the early 18th century to the present day through an easy-to-use online resource.

“Hispanic Life in America offers customers a window into Hispanic heritage, culture, history, and daily life,” said Linda Tripp, collection development librarian. “This new digital resource from NewsBank explores how people of Hispanic descent helped found and define the United States. Featuring 17,000 American and global news sources, including 700+ Spanish-language or bilingual publications, this rich collection captures the experiences and impact of Hispanic Americans as recorded by the media over centuries. With NewsBank’s suggested searches, users can immediately discover topics, eras and events to explore further, whether for general reference, or to research local or national issues, people, or places.”

To explore more signature events hosted in person or virtually at SCLSNJ, visit the System’s calendar of events. To discover all SCLSNJ has to offer, visit or connect with SCLSNJ on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.