12 Ways to Immerse Yourself in a Culture
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Enjoying the Music.
Music is a great way to connect to a certain time or place. From the “Sounds of Latin America” to the “Chants and Dances of the Native Americans” and “Carneval – Brazil,” you’ll definitely feel immersed in the culture. Stream and listen to songs in Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, Italian and more with hoopla and Freegal Music. Music helps with memorization and can make learning a new language easier. Visit any branch and check out music CDs.
Cooking & Savoring a New Dish.
In Spanish, we like to say “barriga llena, corazón contento.” which in English means “full stomach, happy heart.” And really, what better way to learn about the heart of a culture than through food? We have many physical cookbooks as well as online through hoopla, cloudLibrary and OverDrive. Some of our mouthwatering titles include “Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy’s Food Culture,” “Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking From the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore,” “The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors and History” and more!
Flipping Through Magazines.
Another great way to learn about a culture is to read travel or foreign language magazines. With your Library card, you have free access to print and digital issues. Use RBdigital and Flipster to view online travel magazines: “Conde Nast Traveler” and “National Geographic Traveler.” Read Spanish language magazines “National Geographic en Español, “Hola!,” “USA en español,” “Vanidades” and more online. We’re always adding new titles, so check back periodically.
Watching Foreign Films & TV.
Foreign films and TV are terrific for learning a culture’s nuances, like slang, dialect and humor. With hoopla, you have access to countless British shows from BBC and Acorn TV, movies in Spanish, travel TV series and more. You can also visit a branch and check out foreign title DVDs. You really can’t appreciate “Coco” until you’ve seen it in Spanish.
Attending Activities & Events.
Throughout the year, the Library System celebrates many heritages and cultures. By attending these events, you can gain an insight of the culture through music, art, food, literature, gastronomy and more. These activities offer a deeper and more personal experience. This month, we’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
Learning Your Ancestorial Language.
Transparent Language is an online language learning system. It includes tools and activities to learn 80 languages.
Reading Foreign Language Books.
You can find books in Spanish, Creole, French, Japanese, Portuguese, German, among others. Visit the Main Library for books in Spanish, Creole, Portuguese and more. Glades Road Branch houses a vast collection of Spanish language titles, while the Lantana Road Branch is home to the Haitian Cultural Collection. Access free e-books in Spanish and French with hoopla, OverDrive and cloudLibrary. Download language learning books for Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German and more. Read your favorite books in a different language!
Listen to an Audiobook.
For those who prefer to listen to books, you will find audiobook titles on CD and online through hoopla, RBdigital and cloudLibrary. The wonderful thing about audiobooks is that you can hear the intonations and flow of a language.
Puerto Rico, Mexico, Italy, or South Africa travel guides – you name it, we’ve got it! Visit a branch and check out a travel guide or download one from the comfort of your home. Get to know faraway places without leaving home! Research customs, traditions and appreciate the way people around the world live.
Researching Your Family History.
Find out about your history. Ancestry Library Edition includes over one billion records from Social Security Death Index, U.S. Federal Census Images, Military, Immigration and Naturalization Records. With Heritage Quest, you can search more than 25,000 family and local histories, census records and more.
Leaning About Different Places with The Great Courses®.
The Great Courses® are uniquely crafted for lifelong learners, with engaging, immersive learning experiences you can’t get in a classroom. Learn about the culture you came from, whether it be the Americas, the Celtic World or the Native Peoples of North America. You can access these courses on hoopla or check out the DVDs at one of our branches.
Reading About Famous People.
You can’t come to fully know a new culture, without learning about its people. The Library System is home to a vast selection of bibliographies. Read about the man who led a Latin American independence movement from the Spanish Empire, Simón Bolívar, or about Africa’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.