El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), known as Día, is a celebration EVERY DAY of children, families, and reading that culminates every year on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
For libraries that serve a diverse population in their communities, Día’s 15th anniversary is a great opportunity to better address their needs.
Plans for Día’s 15th anniversary include a special presentation by Día’s Founder, author Pat Mora, at the Valencia Branch of the Pima County Library System in Tucson, Ariz.
Mora and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association will join the Pima County Library System for an afternoon filled with children’s reading events and a discussion on the history of Día.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to visit the site of one of the first libraries in the nation to embrace El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” said Mora. “Libraries play such a key role in supporting family literacy within diverse communities. From bilingual story hours for children to adult literacy and English as a Second language programs – libraries are truly part of the American Dream and are an important key to lifelong learning.”
A former teacher, university administrator, consultant and the author of many award-winning children’s books, Mora is the founder of Día, the family literacy initiative now housed at the ALSC. Mora is the author of many children’s books including Pula Belpre award-winning books “Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” “Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart” and “Tomas and the Library Lady.”
Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
The founding partner of Día is REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Literacy and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking. This event is co-sponsored by the Tucson Chapter of REFORMA. With the support of REFORMA, Pat Mora and ALSC, librarians all over the country have been able to bring children and families the opportunity to explore language and culture through books. For more information, see www.ala.org/dia.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.
You can also find the celebration on Facebook, where daily exchanges of Día ideas are already taking place.
In addition, “Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community through Día,” is available through ALA Editions. This book will provide many helpful suggestions for multicultural programming in your library.
Día’s 15th anniversary will be also celebrated at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, on June 25th beginning at 10:30 am.