Libraries champion nation’s diversity through Día, April 30
For Immediate Release
Media Relations Specialist
Public Awareness Office
CHICAGO – Demographic trends indicate the United States will become a majority minority country in the near future. To help guide local communities during this time of rapid social change, libraries and librarians are developing programs, services and collections that are as diverse as the populations they serve.
On April 30, hundreds of libraries across the country will celebrate Día, a national library program that fosters literacy for all children from all backgrounds by connecting children and families to books, stories and other library resources. Libraries are a cornerstone of the American dream, offering equal access to information of all kinds and bringing access and opportunity to all. Programs like Día help libraries and librarians provide an inclusive environment in the community where all are treated with respect and dignity.
This year’s Día celebrations will consist of multicultural events that honor and embrace a child’s home language, heritage and culture. Programming includes bilingual story hours featuring a variety of languages, book giveaways and a host of other fun activities for families. For example, in Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library will host a Barbershop/Hair Salon Story Time with local hair salon and barbershop owners as special guests. Children will learn about these neighborhood hubs, their work, tools and hairstyles, and create their own identity crowns. The Bentonville Public Library in Arkansas will host author Janet Wong for A Festival of Family Stories: Celebrating Día. Wong will share selections from diverse books and local students will join her on stage to read poems and stories representing many cultures.
“Diversity is a powerful asset that helps children, families and communities to thrive,” said Nina Lindsay, president of the Association for Library Service to Children. “Libraries are a microcosm of the larger society. They play an important role in transforming lives and communities by offering educational resources that advance understanding and inclusion and challenge misconceptions and intolerance.”
Día is a commitment to include and celebrate a variety of cultures every day, year-round, culminating annually on April 30. Librarians understand that to foster literacy, children must have access to books and resources that mirror their culture and language.
Día booklists, coloring sheets, an interactive map of participating libraries and other resources can be found at http://dia.ala.org.
To follow or post about Día on social media, please use #diatogether, #sharebookjoy and #STEAMwithdia.
The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, is the national home for Día and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA) and acclaimed children’s author Pat Mora are founding partners of the initiative. Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which started in 1925 and was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found Día.