Hows does the Public Awareness Committee help to promote library services and cultural diversity in programs to children? As youth services librarians, we are busy with the day to day task of providing wonderful reference service, homework help, book recommendations, and planning early literacy programs. At time we all feel overwhelmed and think, “How can we ever juggle one more responsibility?”. This is where the PAC come in with lots of ready-made ideas that an individual can evaluate and curtail to their unique library and community needs. Several of the tools shared below will be great jumping off points that are very accessible and will get your creative juices flowing!
One main initiative that PAC extends support for is the celebrating of El Día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Book Day, which is traditionally celebrated on April 30. Founded by the children’s book author Pat Mora in 1996, Día celebrates the power and pleasure of books and reading all year long by promoting programs that honor multiculturalism, often culminating in a spring fiesta! As an expansion of this, libraries have an opportunity to participate in the Día Family Book Club. Up to 15 mini-grants of $2000 will be awarded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to public libraries who demonstrate a need to better address diversity within their community. For more information and the application form, visit our grant page here. The deadline for grant applications is November 30, 2013.
Whether you plan a big community extravaganza or just a small branch program, Día involves beginning somewhere! Here are a few places to look that would be most helpful in getting started. The very detailed ALSC Día website provides a wonderful booklist and lots of other great resources for programming. The PAC is maintaining a great Pinterest presence with various boards categorized by country which provide suggestions for wonderful cultural crafts and cooking activities. Follow our pins on the Día: Diversity in Action page. Día also has a Facebook page which promotes multicultural book titles, extension activities and author interviews. Be sure to like us on Facebook here! Now all you have to do is get started!
Debby Gold is a Librarian at the Parma Heights Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. She is also the Public Awareness Commitee Chair. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.