Awards & Scholarships

Did You Have a Great Dí­a?

It’s been a couple of month’s since most libraries held their celebration culminating El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) sometime around April 30. And most of us have moved on to summer reading programs. But before you totally forget about the amazing and wonderful things you did to celebrate bilingual literacy, please consider sharing your success by applying for the  Estela and Raíºl Mora Award. Schools and libraries that work with older youth can submit their El dí­a de los jovenes/ El dí­a de los libros (Youth Day/Book Day) programs. The deadline for applications is August 15, 2012. The award has been presented annually since 2000 to the most exemplary program celebrating El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (also known as Dí­a). It was established by author, and Dí­a founder, Pat Mora and her family to honor their parents, who fostered bookjoy in…

Blogger Jeanette Larson

Music Makes the World Go Round

There has been a lot of conversation recently on listservs and social media about using music in programming, especially bilingual or multicultural programming. Music plays a big role in early literacy and language development and studies have shown that music activates a number of parts of the brain. It’s easier to learn some things when they are set to music–many of us learned the alphabet singing “The Alphabet Song” and to this day I sometimes find myself singing it when I need to remember whether Q comes before or after R. While most of us recognize the importance of including music in our programs and storytimes, finding appropriate songs and music in other languages can be a real challenge. Some libraries bring in performers as part of their programming for El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros or another special event but of course that may be affordable only once…

Author Spotlight

It’s a Great Dia!

Sixteen years ago a handful of libraries in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas held the first El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros celebrations. Quickly the idea of an observance to celebrate children and literacy, particularly aimed at linking all children to books, languages and cultures spread across the nation. Associations like REFORMA, a founding partner, NCTE, and ALSC, provide structure and organization for the celebration, while publishers like Lorito Books, Arte Píºblico Press, and Charlesbridge Publishing have added their support through sponsorships that offer discounts and resources for libraries holding Dí­a celebrations. The Dí­a idea continues to reach more and more children and families and this year hundreds of libraries are holding programs, festivals, and events. But Dí­a started as one person’s dream! I recently asked founder, Pat Mora, to reflect on her idea for a day, a week, a month, and a year that celebrates — and brings attention to…

Blogger Jeanette Larson

Sweet 16

My family moved a lot and we moved right before my 16th birthday so I don’t recall ever having a sweet sixteen  party.  We had just moved a few weeks before my birthday and I didn’t know many people. Maybe that explains why I’m so excited about the 16th birthday of El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). I was there as this Dí­a child was born and have been a loving aunt all of these years. What makes this birthday so sweet? So many exciting things are happening for the 16th birthday and Dí­a has so many friends at the party! Recently Pat Mora, Dí­a’s founder, invited authors and illustrators to become Dí­a Ambassadors. Check out the fabulous list at http://www.patmora.com/dia/dia_ambassadors.htm for some of the wonderful people who are adding their voices, in many languages, to Dí­a. Books by people like George Ancona (¡Ole! flamenco), Jacqueline Jules (Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes…

Blogger Jeanette Larson

A Great Dí­a in Farmington, NM

One of the most energetic celebrations of El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros has to be the celebration hosted by the Farmington (NM) Public Library. Since 1997 this library has celebrated bilingual literacy. The Farmington Public Library does many things that other libraries do, like bilingual book readings and author programs. For several years they have also hosted a tailgate party in the library’s parking lot as part of a day-long celebration with vendors and partner organizations. Community groups and organizations are able to distribute information about their programs for youth while also offering educational activities, games, and crafts for families. I love the idea of a tailgate party because it takes any mess out of the library while still keeping the celebration at the library. It’s also a great way to handle limited meeting room space and supplements what staff can do by having partner organizations provide…

Blogger Jeanette Larson

Cuento de Luz: Books from Spain

Some of the most frequent questions I get have to do with finding books in Spanish and other languages, especially books originally published in that language. Because of this I’m constantly on the lookout for new-to-me publishers, particularly when their books are readily available in the US. One such publisher is Cuento de Luz. Although they only launched their picture book list in the United States a little over a year ago, this Madrid-based publisher is quickly adding to a list of books “that stimulate the imagination, help care for our planet, respect differences, eliminate borders and promote peace.” Most titles are available in Spanish and English and at least one title is currently available in Catalan. The books are available in hardcover, with a reasonably sturdy binding, and most titles are also available as ebooks, including in PDF and Kindle formats. The authors and illustrators represent a mix of nationalities, including…

Audio books

Listen to This!

I first became interested in audiobooks when as a relatively new librarian I was invited to serve on the Notable Children’s Recordings committee in 1983. I had started listening to audiobooks a year or two earlier as a way to keep up with children’s literature by “reading” during my hour-long commute twice a day. Over the almost thirty years since then, I have served on several Audio Publishers Association‘s Audie Awards committees, taught classes on including audiobooks in library collections, and I write a column for Library Media Connections on audiobooks. Even with all of that experience, I’m still learning about the value of audiobooks, and some of the best continuing education can come from reading a book. ALA Editions recently published Listening to Learn: Audiobooks Supporting Literacy by Sharon Grover & Lizette D. Hannegan. Both are longtime fans of audiobooks but these librarians are also advocates for the role audiobooks…

Blogger Jeanette Larson

Celebrating Las Posadas

When we talk about winter holiday celebrations we usually think about Christmas and Hanukkah and maybe Kwanzaa. Often library programs and storytimes center on one or more of these festivities. Libraries that support El dí­a de los niños/El dí­a de los libros might want to add another celebration that is becoming popular in school and public libraries. Las Posadas (December 16-24), celebrated throughout Latin America and in the Phillipines, re-enacts Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. Both a religious and a cultural event, community celebrations usually include a procession, followed by music and food. In the library, share books like The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola, Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! by Virginia Kroll, or The Gift of the Poinsettia: El regalo de la flor de nochebuena by Pat Mora. Serve Mexican pastries and hot chocolate and provide materials for a simple craft, such as…