Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Día Every Day

book cover of Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

Coming soon: on April 30, we will celebrate the culmination of Día. But did you know that Día doesn’t end there? It’s the beginning of a new year of Book Joy, emphasizing the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds, and in all languages.

viva frida
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales. Image from http://us.macmillan.com/vivafrida/YuyiMorales.

How can you keep Día in your heart, and your work, every day? Commit to including a book, song, or rhyme from or about another place in every storytime. Creating a book display? Include diverse books on the theme, but then add translated editions of those titles; kids and adults need to know that their favorite reads are available in their first language. Visiting a site with your bookmobile? Check your stock for titles published in the languages spoken in the community before you depart. By demonstrating how easily all people can be represented, we encourage our peers, families, teachers, and caregivers to do the same.

crossover
Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Image from http://www.bookinaday.org/.

But where to find materials? So many resources are generated within our profession and beyond:

  • Check out the resources on the Día website at dia.ala.org, especially the recently-created “Building STEAM with Día” booklists.
  • Not ready to start a Día Family Book Club? Use the curriculum to guide discussion in any setting.
  • Need more? Bookmark the ALSC Book & Media Awards page and utilize the links to lists of vetted, quality titles and authors for kids from all backgrounds.
  • Look beyond libraryland: a quick web search leads to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, which hosts a fantastic guide to booklists celebrating everybody!
  • Finally, talk to your peers! Share books at every opportunity. Make yourself familiar with your collection, pick favorite authors, and then include them in your programming, readers’ advisory interactions, school visits, and summer reading presentations.

Stay conscious of the need to represent the world to your families. With enough repetition, we’ll build a tolerant, inclusive, well-read, and better-educated community in which everyone is reflected in books. Keep Día in your heart and mind every day!

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This post was written by Robin J. Howe, MLIS, Children’s Librarian with the King County Library System for the Public Awareness Committee. Reach Robin at rhowe@kcls.org.

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