The BYU Library was a leading participant in a multi-departmental celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) to foster unity and belonging through cultural education and a shared connection with family and loss. Each participating campus entity built an ofrenda--an "altar" or display honoring deceased family members-- with the largest one on the main floor of the library and subject-themed ofrendas on other library floors.
Several days of activities led up to the holiday, with different participants hosting dancing, mariachi performances, distributing churros, Pan de Muertos, and hot chocolate, and inviting people to learn about family history as a way to feel a sense of belonging. The event also helped raise awareness of library family history resources, as well as resources for belonging, multicultural awareness, and student support.
Library employees, both student and non-student, helped staff the display so patrons could ask questions. Informal feedback from campus employees, library employees, students, and community patrons was overwhelmingly positive. The nearly 600 post-it note messages from the poster board have been collected and transcribed—they are being coded to analyze the qualitative data around sentiments towards family members who have passed.