Cultural Mosaic: A Celebration of Diversity at Alexandria Library

The Alexandria Library values diversity and inclusion that extends beyond the obvious culture, gender, ethnicity and religion to include all forms of differences. In fact, our staff represents 5 continents and speaks 20 different languages. October is National Diversity Awareness Month and the Alexandria Library is celebrating with an Open House. 

In addition to hosting storytimes, movies, bookclub discussions, staff picks and book displays; various artifacts and items from library staff’s personal cultural experiences and/or international travel have been assembled for a rotating cultural display. The cultural display will travel to each branch location for a full week during the month of October beginning at Beatley Central, Duncan, Barrett and finally Burke. 

Rotating Cultural Display

 Beatley Central: October 7 - 14
Duncan Branch: October 17 - 21
 Barrett Branch: October 24 - 28
 Burke Branch: October 31 - November 4



Join each branch as we celebrate diversity and inclusion within our community and throughout the world!

Beatley Central

Bi-Lingual Story Time
Wednesday, October 5
10:30 AM
Join us for an English-Spanish story time.  For ages 5 and under.  

Know Your Rights: Immigration
Thursday, October 6
12:30 PM
Join us for a program about your rights as you go through the immigration process.  Topics covered include E-Verify and what it means for you, how to protect yourself from immigration scams, obtaining U.S. citizenship, legal services available to you, and more.  Presented by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General.

Story Time with Braille Books
Wednesday, October 19

10:30 AM
Join us for a unique story time to raise awareness of visual impairments.  Braille books will be featured.  For ages 5 and under.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Monday, October 24 and Wednesday, October 26
4:00 PM
This is a 2-part training on how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health /addictions challenge or is in crisis.   This program is offered as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.  Registration required.

Stress Management through Art Therapy
Thursday, October 27
7:00 PM
Join us for an experiential art-making workshop as we learn how creating art can help us reduce stress.  Everyone will have a chance to create a piece of artwork - no previous art experience required.  This program is offered as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.


Barrett Branch

Entrepreneurship and Diversity
Tuesday, October 4
7:00 PM
Edward Williams, a director of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, will talk about the importance of diversity in business and entrepreneurship.  Williams is independent financial adviser and co-founder of DEW Financial Management, Inc.  NVBCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of black owned businesses located in Northern Virginia.

Together We Bake
Tuesday, October 11
7:00 PM
Co-founded by Stephanie Wright and Tricia Tabatini, Together We Bake is a job training program for women in need of a second chance.  Producing bake goods sold at places such as Whole Foods and the Del Ray Farmer’s Market, the program teaches work-life skills and provides experience that will enable recovering women to enter the workforce.  Come here how Together We Bake benefits its participants and the greater community.  

In Our Own Voice
Tuesday, October 25
7:00 PM
In Our Own Voice explores how individuals living with a mental health condition experience recovery.  Presenters will walk through their experiences with a mental health condition, from early onset symptoms to how they are today. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.  Presented by NAMI Northern Virginia (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).

Social Justice Storytime
Saturday, October 29
10:30 AM
Description: Share in stories and activities designed to teach ways to positively communicate with your children about important issues shaping our world.  The story time will be presented by NOVA SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).  SURJ will have resources available for parents and children to continue the discussion.  For children, kindergarten-third grade.

Diverse Reads Community Discussion
Tuesday, November 1
7:00 PM
Did you take part in the Diverse Reads?  Attend the community discussion to share your thoughts about the book you read and hear from others about their reading experience.  Come with an open mind and be prepared for discussion. 


Burke Branch

Where are you from?  Where have you been?
All month
Come to Burke Branch and help celebrate Alexandria’s diversity. We will have a world map hanging on the wall on which we invite you to place a pin representing where you are from or where you have travelled. Let's see how many countries we can tag!

Woman Suffragists in Virginia
Saturday, October 1      
2:00 PM    
After the Civil War, Virginia women began the long campaign to get the right to vote.  Early efforts led by Republican women and men in Richmond failed to gain much support, fading after 1872.  Richmond served as the birthplace for the early 20th century Equal Suffrage League of Virginia that tried unsuccessfully to get the General Assembly to approve women's suffrage during the 1910s.  The ESL soon had a rival based in Norfolk, the National Woman's Party, allied with suffrage radical Alice Paul. The ESL and the NWP battled to control the direction of the movement in the Commonwealth.  Although they won the right to vote in 1920, Virginia women still had to pay the state poll tax and pass a literacy test, but some of the commonwealth's women soon found a way around those restrictions. This program is presented by Professor Alice Reagan, history professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

Film Screening:  Meet the Patels
Tuesday, October 4
4:00 PM
Please join us for a 2014 romantic comedy documentary film where an Indian-American man who is about to turn 30 gets help from his parents and extended family to start looking for a wife in the traditional Indian way. Rated PG.

Practice Your English: Adult Conversation Club
Wednesday, October 5 and 26
2:00 PM
Come practice your English language skills with others in friendly conversations.  Free and open to the public.  No registration is required; drop-in when you can.

Speaker Series: Rion Scott
Thursday, October 6
7:00 PM
Please join Rion Amilcar Scott as he reads passages from his debut collection of stories, Insurrections, which chronicles the lives of people of Cross River, Maryand, founded on the site of the only successful slave revolt in US history.  Mr. Scott will also talk about what inspired his stories.  His books will be available for sale.

Book a Trip with Pajama Party
Thursday, October 13
7:00 PM
Join us for stories, rhymes, and songs from around the world. Pajamas are optional.  Ages 3-7, with an adult.

Film Screening: Race
Friday, October 14
Please join us for a film based on the true events of the legendary black athlete Jesse Owens' inspirational journey to overcome racism at home and abroad, which culminated in his triumphant performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Rated PG-13.

Together We Bake
Saturday, October 15
11:00 AM              

Founded in 2012, Together We bake is an empowerment based job training program for women in need of a second chance with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.  Together We Bake 's mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency.  Come hear Stephanie Wright, co-founder, talk about the program and learn how you can support them or even volunteer.

Tuesday Tots presents Bill Jenkins’ World Music
Tuesday, October 25 
11:00 AM
Sing, clap and stomp along to this interactive world music presentation.  Ages 1-4 only with an adult.

Film Screening: Zootopia

Wednesday, October 26
4:00 PM
In a city of talking animals, a rookie bunny cop and a clever con artist must work together to uncover a conspiracy. Rated PG. All ages welcome.

Learn New Languages Using Mango and Gale Courses
Friday, October 28
10:00 AM
Please join us to find out how you can learn a new language (72 to choose from) using the library's digital resources Mango and Gale Courses.


Duncan Branch

Sensory Story Time
Monday, October 3, 17, 24 & 31
10:00 AM
Sensory story time geared toward children with special needs includes songs, stories, music and social interaction.  Ages 1-5.  Space is limited.  Registration required, call 703.746.1783.  

Film Screening: The Crying Game
Monday, October 3
7:00 PM
Irish Republican Army member Fergus (Stephen Rea) forms an unexpected bond with Jody (Forest Whitaker), a kidnapped British soldier in his custody, despite the warnings of fellow IRA members Jude (Miranda Richardson) and Maguire (Adrian Dunbar). Jody makes Fergus promise he'll visit his girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson), and when Fergus flees to the city, he seeks her out. Hounded by his former IRA colleagues, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the enigmatic, and surprising, Dil.  Rated R.

French Story Time
Thursday, October 6
11:00 AM
Join us for songs, conversation and stories in French.  This program is for 3 year olds and up with a caregiver.  No registration.

Living with Difference –Presentation by author David Montgomery
Saturday, October 8
3:00 PM
David Montgomery one of four authors of Living with Difference explores and presents the challenges and necessities of accommodating difference, however difficult and uncomfortable such accommodation may be. Drawing on fourteen years of theoretical insights and unique pedagogy, CEDAR—Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion—has worked internationally with community leaders, activists, and other partners to take the insights of anthropology out of the classroom and into the world.  Come and discover more of how communities can be made stronger through the diversity they support. 

Teen Gay/Straight Alliance Club
Thursday, October 14
4:15 PM
Whether you're LBQT+ or not, come talk about issues and give each other support.  Pizza provided.

Film Screening: Freddy Mercury the Great Pretender
Monday, October 17
7:00 PM
Archive footage of interviews, concerts and personal material bring to light the solo performance work of Mercury, the lead singer of Queen.  Not rated.

Pre-K Story Time
Celebrate Diversity
Tuesday, October 18
4:00 pm

Stories and craft with a diversity theme for 3 year olds and up.  Caregivers invited to attend at their discretion.

Apocalyptic Beliefs
Saturday, October 22
2:00 PM

Studying other cultures helps to understand the social forces that lead to apocalyptic and related messianic, prophetic, and millenarian religious beliefs. Are these forces present in our society today?  This program is presented by Mary McCutcheon, taught at George Mason University and conducts research on land and marine resource ownership in the Palau Islands of Micronesia.  In addition to continuing her work in Micronesia, Ms. McCutcheon is spending her retirement trying to understand the surge of religiosity in our society.

Film Screening: Some Like It Hot
Monday, October 24
7:00 PM
After witnessing a Mafia murder, slick saxophone player Joe (Tony Curtis) and his long-suffering buddy, Jerry (Jack Lemmon), improvise a quick plan to escape from Chicago with their lives.  Disguising themselves as women, they join an all-female jazz band and hop a train bound for sunny Florida.  While Joe pretends to be a millionaire to win the band's sexy singer, Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), Jerry finds himself pursued by a real millionaire (Joe E. Brown) as things heat up and the mobsters close in.  Not rated.

Film Screening: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Monday, October 31
7:00 PM
In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors.  Despite others' dismissive denials, Dr. Bennell, his former girlfriend Becky (Dana Wynter) and his friend Jack (King Donovan) soon discover that the patients' suspicions are true: an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town.  Not rated.