May 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Celebrate Día with Bilingual Books, Library of Congress Livestream, and More

Monday, April 30 is El día de los niños/El día de los libros, also known as Children’s Day/Book Day or Día!

Día is a national library program that “fosters literacy for all children from all backgrounds.” It aims to help meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population and promote understanding and acceptance. This specific day of celebration highlights the program designed to “celebrate a variety of cultures every day, year-round.”

Día events are planned at schools and libraries around the country. For educators looking for ideas, the American Library Association has free downloads of booklists, planning kits, coloring sheets, and more.

This year, the Library of Congress is presenting a free interactive video conference and livestream for public librarians, school librarians, and K–12 teachers from around the country. The event will celebrate Día and its place in promoting diversity in children’s literature, as well as to honor the Association for Library Service to Children and REFORMA, the national association that promotes library and information services for Latinos and Spanish-speaking people and the development of library collections, services, and programs to meet the needs of the Latino community.

The 3 PM ET event will feature a conversation around the theme of “librarians as heroes,” as well as let viewers hear from author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Eric Velasquez, who will discuss their book Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Writer Meg Medina will also participate, talking about her bilingual book for young children, Mango, Abuela, and Me/Mango, Abuela y yo.

Dr. Marilisa Jiménez Garcia, assistant professor of English and Latin American studies at Lehigh University, and Catalina Gomez, a reference librarian in the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress, will also be part of the program.

Livestream participants can tweet questions at #diatogetherLOC.

Día is an extension of Children’s Day. More than 20 years ago, children’s book author Pat Mora—whose fourth poetry collection for young readers, Bookjoy, Wordjoy, will be out later this year—proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy.

“In 1996, I learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. I thought, ‘We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We need kids’ day, too, but I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading,'” Mora writes on her website. “I was enthusiastically assisted to start this family literacy initiative by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

“Often known as Día, meaning day for our daily commitment, this literacy initiative is a collaboration of national and state library and literacy organizations, educators, presses, and readers creatively striving to share bookjoy and its importance..”

 

Kara Yorio About Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (kyorio@mediasourceinc.com, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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