El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, brings together the two things nearest and dearest to the hearts of youth services librarians. This annual celebration which culminates on April 30th each year provides recognition of the importance and joy of the work we do every day to bring the two together.
Día offers an opportunity to shine a light on what we do and the rich cultural treasures and textures in our communities and our collections. We know the importance for children of seeing both oneself and the bigger world reflected in the books we share with them. Access and engagement with a broad array of materials and languages provide both a mirror and a window to extend vision, awareness and understanding of diverse cultures.
Día has grown in leaps and bounds since first proposed by author and poet Pat Mora, developed in partnership with REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, and combined efforts with ALSC. While referred to by its Spanish name, celebrations have expanded to embrace all cultures. The Día 2013 season saw a record breaking 527 libraries in 40 states hosting Día programs, representing 25 different languages. Celebrations and observances gain momentum every year, supported by ever increasing resources and opportunities available.
There is a tremendous wealth of resources available at http://dia.ala.org/, including a practical toolkit for forming a Día book club, a resource guide, booklists and success stories. After you are inspired to stage your own event be sure to register it at http://cs.ala.org/websurvey/alsc/dia/index.cfm so we can continue to grow Día together.