Blogger Mary Fellows

One Dí­a to Change the World

Children’s Day/Book Day. For those of us serving children in libraries, that’s every day. We know first-hand the power of the right book at the right time in the hands of a child. We know that reading changes lives. We just need to keep reminding everyone else!

Luckily, we have Dí­a to help us. El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is one of those robust, flexible campaigns that provides resources without prescribing activities.  I first learned about Dí­a shortly after ALSC became the home for Dí­a in 2007. I had begun service on theALSCBoard and was asked to be the Board liaison to the committee developing Dí­a.

It was — and is – an exciting project to learn about. Dí­a grew out of Children’s Day, a concept instituted throughout the world in 1925 with the goal of bringing attention to the importance and well-being of children.  Author Pat Mora revived the concept in the U.S., and carried it a crucial step further, linking children’s well-being to books and literacy.

While it is commonly referred to by its Spanish name, our Children’s Day/Book Day is a celebration emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Do you have a strong Russian community in your city? Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day with a Russian flair. (There’s a Dí­a booklist in Russian — and booklists in 8 other languages too.) How about Vietnamese, Afghan, or French culture? TheALSC Dí­a site has resources. Although April 30 is the day many celebrations happen, Children’s Day/Book Day can happen on any day or on multiple days, at any time of year.

I’ve always maintained that we do storytimes on themes primarily because it makes our planning easier. El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros is a perfect opporunity to plan a community celebration of reading with a theme — and resources – already in place.  Why not use it? And be part of persuading the world of what we know to our core – that books and reading change children’s lives.

4 comments

  1. Inger

    Hi Ms. Fellows,

    In your blog I can hear your love and passion for children and reading. You touched on three things that are also very special to me in your blog, which are children, reading, and multiculturalism. I used to be a English as a Second Language teacher for five years before pursing a career in library science, and I loved taking them to the library to utilize the resources. At the time my school was becoming an IB school and we had a growing section of books in our students’ native languages, and I thought that was incredible. I also think that Children’s Day/Book Day is incredible. I am not a professional librarian yet, but I want to say “thank you” to you and all of the other Children’s librarians for continuing to be creative, promote literacy, and having something for all children. You all mean so much to the library and its community as a whole. 🙂

    1. Mary Fellows

      Dear Inger,

      It is so delightful to hear you say that you are not a professional librarian *yet.* We look forward to having you join us with your own passion and love for children and reading. The experience and knowledge you bring from your ESL teaching will enrich us! Thanks for writing.

  2. Jeanette Larson

    To add to what Mary has said, the ALSC Día website has had a lot of new content added over the past couple of months. Start at http://www.dia.ala.org. There are multiple entry points for many of the resources but the direct link for the booklist is http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/initiatives/diadelosninos/Info%20Sheet_FINALDia.pdf. Also look at the Resource Guide, http://dia.ala.org/resources/resource-guide, for activity sheets and coloring pages that can be printed out to use in programming and storytimes.

  3. Selomit

    can you tell me who celebrates it?All the people and from what countries?

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