Current Exhibits

All exhibits are free and open to the public during the same hours as the building in which they are housed, unless otherwise specified and with occasional exceptions for maintenance.

Smathers Library Gallery | January 23, 2022 – May 8, 2023

Pura Belpré, Bringing Boricua Stories to the Bookshelf

Pura Teresa Belpré made significant contributions to librarianship and children’s literature through her 40+ years of activism as a writer, scholar, and the first Black Puerto Rican librarian for the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). Belpré believed in the universality of childhood and dedicated herself to serving children from Puerto Rican and BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) communities. It is crucial to look at her legacy, as her activism is one that many can learn from and is still relevant to the present day. Curated by Katiana Bagué with assistance from Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler &  Dr. Ramona Caponegro.

Pura Belpré performing a story in front of a group of children

Library West | January 26, 2023 – April 24, 2023

Afrofuturism: Creativity of the Black Mind

Afrofuturism has grown in popularity in recent years and is present in every sector of popular culture. The literary and artistic style reimagines the past or creates an enhanced present and future through an Afrocentric lens. Pioneered by Black authors, artists, and musicians, Afrofuturism manifests fantastical worlds that Black people have historically been excluded from. Often directed toward a Black audience, the genre establishes a sense of solidarity and inspiration. Curated by Antonette Jones.

A person wearing a spacesuit and helmet walking through a desert terrain.

Smathers Library Lobby | November 3, 2022 – APRIL 24, 2023

The Ongoing Evolution of Alice

Since Lewis Carroll published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There in 1871, the story of Alice has been reimagined and retold in thousands of ways around the world. The many versions of Alice extend the legacy of Carroll’s Alice books while simultaneously telling their own stories. The different adaptations and reinventions of Alice reveal much about the tellers, as well as the cultures and times in which they live. How do you think members of the next generation will reimagine Wonderland? Curated by Dr. Ramona Caponegro.

An illustration of Alice with the Cheshire Cat

Education Library | October 28, 2022 – APRIL 24, 2023

Inspired by Alice

Whether or not you have read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, you have probably encountered Wonderland and some of its inhabitants. Carroll’s fantastic setting and eccentric characters have inspired hundreds of retellings and adaptations, many of which have been aimed at young readers. From their earliest encounters with books, readers can grow up with multiple visions of Wonderland. Curated by Dr. Ramona Caponegro.

Alice from Alice in Wonderland standing near a flower

Latin American and Caribbean Collection | October 3, 2022 – APRIL 24, 2023

Taste of Memory: Rice and Beans Across the Caribbean

Rice and beans is a dish with many names – peas and rice, moro y cristianos, congrí, arroz con gandules, gallo pinto, arroz con habichuelas, arroz y frijoles. This duo is not just hearty and nutritious, but full of stories that allow for making emotional connections. A small taste of this “comfort staple” allows us to connect with our upbringings and cultural identities, to find a sense of home and belonging no matter where we may be. Curated by Daniela Torres and Melissa Jerome.

Two plates with rice and beans

MARSTON Science Library | June 9, 2022 – March 24, 2023

Transcend: Beyond the Gender Binary

Existence outside the gender binary is a theme weaved throughout feminist, Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), and queer science fiction. These themes help audiences navigate through questions such as: What exactly is gender? What do technological futures look like when gender constructs, roles, and representations are thrown out? How does science fiction reconstruct and reframe how we understand identity? Curated by CJ Gott, Michelle Nolan, Barret Uhler, and Kestrel Ward.

The book cover of Octavia Butler's Dawn. It includes a human figure surrounded by plants.

Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery | March 26, 2022 – March 31, 2023

The Digging is the Least Thing of All: Health & Medicine at the Panama Canal

The tremendous public health infrastructure necessary before and during Panama Canal construction evolved into an equally monumental and vital system designed to protect the Canal’s functioning and keep the people operating it safe from injury and disease. Individuals living at the Canal had typical healthcare needs, but they also faced unique and significant challenges brought on by their location at the crossroads of global trade. Curated by Elizabeth Bemis.

Nurse Nelly Ibarra tending to a patient