Nation’s libraries celebrate cultures

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/03/2012

Contact:

Linda Mays

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) April 30

CHICAGO —According to the 2010 U.S. Census, racially and ethnically diverse groups saw higher percentage growth rates than white populations from 2000-2010, and growth is expected to continue.  On April 30, libraries will celebrate and explore our nation’s rich tapestry of cultures during national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day).

Also known as Día, El día de los niños/El día de los libros, is a celebration every day of children, families and reading that culminates every year on April 30. Libraries will offer family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways and other literacy driven events.

Research has shown that enjoying a book with a child even for a few minutes a day can make a measurable difference in both the appreciation of reading and the development of skills.

Día emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Through literacy events and programs like Día, libraries are working with parents and caregivers to spread “bookjoy.” Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers; and that avid readers are led by the reading habits of their parents.

“Libraries and library staff are critical to family literacy and multicultural awareness,” said Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) President Mary Fellows. “Día bridges cultures and provides an opportunity for families regardless of linguistic or cultural background to come together and learn from one another.  We want parents and caregivers to know that the library is a place to learn, read and have fun – a place that the whole family can enjoy.” 

Día supports an ongoing commitment for libraries to mirror the needs of the communities that they serve by providing resources in multiple languages. For example the Boise (Idaho) Public Library will offer a Dia program in Japanese, Korean and Spanish, while the Houston Public Library hosts a program in French, Spanish, Sundanese and Vietnamese.

Parents, caregivers and teachers can also celebrate Dia at home or in their classrooms with free bilingual book lists and activities from the Dia website at http://dia.ala.org.   Resources are available in Chinese and Spanish.

Día is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, and 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 thus the inception of El día de los niños/El día de los libros.

Through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) continues to increase public awareness of the event in libraries throughout the country.  ALSC is collaborating on this effort with Día’s Founder, Pat Mora; and Founding Partner of Día, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).

For book lists and additional information on Día please visit http://dia.ala.org.   For information on  Día  events  visit http://cs.ala.org/websurvey/alsc/dia/map.cfm .