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The Evanston Public Library will present a “Latin@Caribbean Carnaval” March 2-10 at the Main Library through books, movies, games, food and music. Instead of “Latino” or “Latina,” the Library is using the term “Latin@,” which incorporates both. The Latin@ community makes up 9% of Evanston residents, having more than doubled over the last two decades. The Library is broadening its collections and programs to reach the growing community.

The jazz band “Rio Bamba” will kick off the weeklong celebration with a live performance 1-2 p.m. on March 2 in the Community Room. Other events include a Caribbean cuisine cooking contest, a screening of the film “Buena Vista Social Club,” live drumming and dancing, book talks and a teen dominoes game.

“We’re bringing the Caribbean heat to Evanston to help us get through the last days of winter,” says Ms. Carrizal-Dukes, who is coordinating Carnaval. “Miami is known for throwing the biggest Carnaval festival in the nation, so we scheduled our events to take place around the same time to highlight our Latin@ Caribbean materials collection in the library.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics are projected to make-up 17.8% of the U.S. population by the year 2020. In 2006, Illinois was ranked the fifth top state by Hispanic population size. Cook County alone has over 1.2 million Hispanics.

This program hosted by the Evanston Public Library is free of charge and is open to the public.

More information is available at 847-448-8658 or from Elvira at ecarrizaldukes@cityofevanston.org.