We have seen a whirlwind of activity, attention, activism and acclaim for children and their books this week.
The opportunities to celebrate diversity every day in libraries culminated in the officially designated day for El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on April 30. Communities came together to explore and appreciate the rich texture that plurality contributes to their world. As the Día movement has grown, so has its recognition including the publication of an op-ed in this week’s Huffington Post which highlighted the paper The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Materials Collections for Children authored by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD and recently adopted by the ALSC Board of Directors.
That importance was expressed exponentially this week when Twitter resounded with #WeNeedDiverseBooks though thoughtful, poignant, articulate posts by parents, teachers, librarians, book creators, and most effectively, children themselves. The groundswell of images, emotion and exuberance continue to resonate.
The perfect crescendo to this momentum occurred last night with Andrea Davis Pinkney’s stellar presentation of the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture. As the audience followed her journey into reading and writing we were regaled with the family stories recorded in her “colorful notebooks”, awed by the “thin black line” of her literary influences, moved by her connections between the past and the present, and inspired by her commitment to a “rescue squad” for global literacy. The glory of the evening truly cannot be captured by my words. Luckily, it was recorded and the video will be available soon on the ALSC website. I invite you to savor every moment of the presentation and continue the fine work of this wonderful profession with renewed conviction.