Bubbles, books, music, live creatures, families and so many smiles…these are the sights and sounds of Día de los niños, Día de los libros in San Francisco. This is my last post as PAC Chair and I am dedicating it to Día, one of my favorite events inspired by the partnership of ALSC and REFORMA.
As a longstanding Día leader, San Francisco Public Library plays an essential role. Maricela Leon-Barrera, SFPL’s Early Learning Coordinator, works all year planning, preparing, promoting and wrangling resources to connect children with books and delights. On the heels of the 19th celebration, Maricela shares her insights.
Q: What does Día mean to San Francisco families?
Día is a unique celebration and an opportunity for families to enjoy time together and connect with other families in a safe and welcoming outdoor space. It’s truly a literacy themed street party for the entire family! Día honors the Latin American tradition of Children’s Day and takes place in the heart of the Mission, an historic Hispanic neighborhood. Families look forward to this event each year, held on the last Sunday of April for the past 19 years.
Q: What role does the library play in bringing community partners together for Día?
The library is a community connector and provides the necessary infrastructure for Día. We leverage resources with other city agencies such as Recreation and Parks, Department of Public Works, Department of Traffic, the Police Department, and Recology to provide the space to make the event possible. In collaboration with the SF Early Literacy Network, we provide free books to every child, an afternoon of literacy activities, outreach with families and shared experiences.
Q: What’s the vision for next year’s 20th celebration?
This is a big deal for Día, our library, SF Early Literacy Network and the City of San Francisco. We’re thinking more enchantment and magic. That means more entertainment, more publicity, perhaps a longer event and definitely more bubbles. We know families are looking forward to this annual event.
Q: What tips would you share on leading Día events?
Think about what your resources are, who your partners are, and what you want to do together. One of the strengths of Día is planning with the SF Early Literacy Network, who share our mission. No one is alone in this and all partners know they are valued and have ownership in the event. Each partner believes in the power of collaboration and Día.
Thanks, Marcela, for giving us the Día download! Best wishes on the milestone celebration next year.
How does your library celebrate Día? How can ALSC and REFORMA help you foster more book joy on Día and beyond? What do you hope to hear, see and feel at Día 2019? Share your ideas in the comments.
Christy Estrovitz leads youth services for the San Francisco Public Library and always looks forward to Día. She welcomes your questions and stories via email@example.com.