Libraries to bridge cultures, support family literacy during 10th annual El día de los niños/El día de los libros celebration

Contacts: Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

April 6, 2006
[en español]

Libraries to bridge cultures, support family literacy during 10th annual El día de los niños/El día de los libros celebration

(CHICAGO) As the nation's population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April 30th during national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day). This year marks the 10th anniversary of the observance also known as Día, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events.

Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. It is a celebration of children, families, culture, and reading and is held annually on April 30.

Through literacy events and programs like Día, libraries are working with parents and caregivers to raise avid readers. Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers.

"Día spreads 'bookjoy' by linking children from all languages and cultures with books," said Kathleen T. Horning, ALSC president-elect. "Libraries are the perfect family destination, offering parents and children an opportunity to explore the world through multicultural book collections, diverse cultural programs and free access to the Web."

Libraries in nearly 40 states have community-wide Día celebrations planned this year. Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, for example, will host a Día festival offering games, crafts and the viewing of "Tomás and the Library Lady," a play based on the book by children's author Pat Mora. The Washoe County Library in Reno, Nev., will offer musical programs that will discuss the history, culture, geography, traditional instruments, music and dances of the Andes and Latin America, and the Des Plaines (IL) Public Library will offer bilingual Spanish and English storytelling.

Día honors children, their languages and culture; encourages reading and literacy; and promotes library collections and programs that reflects the country's changing populations. For multicultural book lists, Día brochures and tips on how to encourage children to read please visit the Día Web site at

ALSC is the national center for Día. Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC is working with other national organizations, such as REFORMA: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, to initiate communication and education efforts that promote Día to families across the United States.