May is going to be a very busy month here at the Scotch Plains Public Library, with our Big Read program really hitting its stride! We have a lot of exciting events planned for the whole community.

On Saturday, May 11, we will have a Festival of Hispanic Cultures from 11:00am to 4:00pm, outside the library if weather permits so be sure to bring chairs or blankets. The Festival will begin with a discussion about butterflies by Rick Mikula, back by popular demand, and a spectacular 50-butterfly release. At 1:00pm we will enjoy the music of Adelante!, an eight-piece band, featuring Grammy-award winning vocalist David Oquendo, that combines Latin rhythms from around the Caribbean with Jazz influences. There will be plenty of outdoor space for dancing. At 3:00pm, our Big Read partners from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District will announce the winners of their poster and essay contests. There will be butterfly tattoos, crafts and other fun family activities at booths set up by SPFHS students and a food truck featuring Latin American food for purchase.

While you’re at the Festival, you won’t want to miss our indoor displays. The community bean mosaics that some of you created will be displayed throughout the library. We will also be hosting a traveling exhibit in our downstairs gallery from CUNY Dominican Studies Institute: El Músico y el Pintor, which highlights the careers of two influential Dominican-American artists, musician Rafael Petitón Guzmán and painter Tito Enrique Cánepa. This exhibit will be in the gallery from May 8 through May 17.

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After the Festival is over, it will be time to get to the main purpose of the Big Read: an opportunity to discuss our Big Read book, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. There are so many themes to explore, and we are eager to hear your thoughts. Please contact the library to sign up for one of these discussion groups, facilitated by SPFHS students, community volunteers and librarians:

Tuesday, May 14, 7:00pm @ SPPL

Thursday, May 16, 7:00pm @ FML

Saturday, May 18, 1:00pm @ SPPL

Wednesday, May 22, 7:00pm @ SPFHS

Thursday, May 23, 12:00pm @ SPPL

Special discussion groups have also been arranged, including one for middle school families on Thursday, May 23, 7:00PM at Park Middle School. On Tuesday, June 4 at 2:30PM, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School will host a “Journal Make and Take” Discussion for up to 20 participants. On Monday, June 10 at 10:00AM, Scotch Plains Public Library staff will discuss the book with residents of Scotch Plains Senior Housing.