North Miami Public Library serves as a beacon of Haitian culture and a magnified influencer during Haitian Heritage Month
May 15, 2023
Approaching the glass doors of North Miami Public Library may seem like an embarkment upon a quintessential hometown gathering place for nostalgic book readers and neighborhood kids after school. Visitors soon discover, however, that after entering those same glass doors the vibe quickly changes into a cultural explosion. The library is actually an embodiment of a potpourri of Haitian elements. From its authentic Haitian Book Collection to its colorful hanging artwork, the library reflects a strong cultural influence indicative of the heritage of the people it serves So, it was only fitting that the North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132 St, North Miami, FL 33161, evolved into the epicenter of the city’s 2023 Haitian Heritage Month celebration and magnified its influence throughout May.
“We are hosting celebratory events around the city which allows us to expand our reach into the community,” Library Director and North Miami Haitian Heritage Month Committee Chairperson Paul Bazile explained. “Residents and even city visitors have a chance to sample library offerings outside of the facility this month which we hope will encourage them to visit the local library year-round.”
The library kicked off the monthlong celebration by facilitating a lunch-and-learn dialogue on mental health issues in the Haitian community at the city’s Scott Galvin Community Center, 1600 NE 126 St, North Miami, FL 33181. Library Manager Georgette Spratling opened the dialogue and concluded it with the importance of working with youth and caring for their mental health since more than half of the library patrons are kids. "The library serves as a beacon of knowledge and a sanctuary for learning, not just in books but in the diverse topics that shape our lives,” Spratling shared. “By hosting a lunch and learn event on mental health stigmas in the Haitian community, the library embraces its role as a catalyst for empathy and understanding.
She went on to state that by breaking down barriers and fostering open conversations around mental health not only promotes inclusivity, but also cultivates a supportive environment where individuals can find solace, knowledge, and strength. She ended by noting that “together, we can erase the stigma surrounding mental health, enriching our community with compassion and empowering every individual to thrive."
Events happening at the library during May in celebration of Haitian Heritage Month are Guest Storytime every Wednesday at 3:30PM which will feature children’s books from Haitian and Haitian American authors; free Kompa Classes every Wednesday at 6:30PM; and the Haitian Comedian Meet and Greet on Thursday, May 26, 2023, 10PM, immediately following the Haitian Heritage Month Comedy Show with popular headliner Comedian Success Jr.
For a full listing of North Miami Haitian Heritage Month events, visit NorthMiamiFL.gov/Celebrate. To learn more about the library’s Haitian Book Collection, call North Miami Public Library at 305-891-5535.
North Miami Public Library director and manager along with North Miami Vice Mayor Mary Estimé- Irvin (center) and panelists for the Mental Health Awareness Lunch and Learn event.
Traci Y. Pollock, Communications Manager
305-893-6511, Ext. 12151
About the City of North Miami
North Miami is a suburban city located in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida. It is roughly 10 miles (16 km) north of Miami. The city lies on Biscayne Bay which surrounds the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University. North Miami is home to a diverse demographic of residents. With more than 64,000 residents, North Miami is the sixth largest city in Miami-Dade County. We are home to the Oleta River State Park; the largest urban park in the Florida State Park System and the nationally accredited Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA North Miami).