The American Library Association recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment, and housing. ALA and its affiliated organizations have a number of initiatives that support libraries in providing and developing programming that promotes diversity.
Events and Celebrations
El día de los niños/El día de los libros
The Association for Library Services to Children and its partners provide resources for Día - a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30 - which emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Family Literacy Focus
An ALA initiative to encourage and inspire families in ethnically diverse communities to read and learn together. ALA’s five Ethnic Affiliates have developed library-based family literacy programs that emphasize oral and written traditions and promote reading, writing, and storytelling.
ALA's Public Programs Office online resource center provides programming ideas for celebrating cultural heritage months.
ALA Book Award Winners
Librarians may also wish to create programming around the following ALA Book Award Winners:
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society.
- Pura Belpré Award
The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
- Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
- Stonewall Book Awards
The Stonewall Book Awards are the first and most enduring award for GLBT books.