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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Dia, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 33
1. Get Ready for Día!

What celebration are children’s librarians across the United State getting ready for on April 30th that involves families, fun, food and of course, books? Although every day is an opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading, El día de los niños/ El día de los libros (Children’s Day/ Book Day), founded in 1996 by Latino children’s author Pat Mora, “Día” is a wonderful way for libraries to reach out to their community and emphasize the importance of advocating literacy to children of all backgrounds. In addition, Día connects them to different cultures through books, craft activities and recipes.

 Your celebration can be as small as promotingDía at a storytime with a bookmark making craft or as large as an evening event with a special guest such as an author or storyteller. To get started with some excellent ideas, check out the Día Facebook page or the Día Pinterest account.Register your program on the Día Registry and receive special bookmarks, stickers, and posters. Don’t forget about the wonderful Día Family Book Club Toolkit available for free download! A special bonus offered this month only to help you prepare and incorporate Día into your library programming are the four free webinars offered through ALSC. What are you planning for Día?


Debra S. Gold is blogging on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee and has been a Children’s Librarian for Cuyahoga County Public Library (Cleveland, Ohio)  for the past thirty years.  She served on the Newbery Committee in 1996, the Caldecott Committee in 2004, and the Coretta Scott Book Award Committee in 2011 and 2012.

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2. The Importance of Día

2014 Día Map

To find a celebration near you, check out the awesome Día map! (image courtesy of ALSC)

With the population of the United States becoming more diverse each year, working to connect children and their families to books that celebrate our diverse country has never been more important. The Día celebration (El día de los niños/El día de los libros Children’s Day/Book Day) works to do just that.

As the 2014 Día celebration approaches the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is inviting librarians to register their 2014 Día programs in the Día National Program Registry. By registering their Día programs held throughout the year in the national registry, libraries build a searchable database that showcases all types and sizes of Día programming allowing families to find programs near them. Libraries that register will also receive Día stickers, buttons and bookmarks (while supplies last).

Once you’ve registered your program be sure to look through the new Día website which is packed full of free resources to help you as you plan your program.

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3. Making Every Day a Día Day on Wed., Oct. 23

Celebrate Dia in 2014Día season is right around the corner and it’s time to start your preparations! Learn how to make Día (El día de los niños/El día de los libros–Children’s Day/Book Day) a part of your library programming throughout the year!

On Wednesday, October 23 at 2pm Central, ALSC offers Making Every Day a Día Day: Incorporating Día into Current Youth Programming with instructor, Jeanette Larson. An effective way to really make Día (El día de los niños/El día de los libros–Children’s Day/Book Day) a part of library programming throughout the year is to introduce multicultural literature and bilingual literacy into any and all programs and events at the library where it might apply. Learn more about these programs in this one-hour webinar.

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4. Tools for Advocacy

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 honors 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 dgold@cuyahogalibrary.org.


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5. Multicultural Holiday Books

It’s that time of year again, when we gather around our families and friends to observe the various winter holidays. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas are important holidays that are marked during the month of December. The Public Awareness Committee makes a special effort to promote programs and books that celebrate multiculturalism through promotion of El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, commonly known as Día, and below you will find some of my favorite multicultural holiday picture books. What better way to honor and educate others about these festivities than with a fun holiday book? Little ones and adults alike are sure to enjoy sharing these stories. Any of these titles would make a great gift as well!

Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel; Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. Holiday House, 2013. Old Bear is mistaken to be the rabbi by Bubba Brayna on the first night of Hannukkah.

Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah by Jamie Korngold; Illustrated by Julie Fortenberry. Kar-Ben, 2013. After Sadie breaks the menorah she made at her Jewish school, her mom helps to convert it into a shammash holder to light the family’s other menorahs.

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012. Every December, a young girl enjoys celebrating the uniqueness of two winter holidays with her family.

The Christmas Coat: Memories of my Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve; Illustrated by Ellen Beier. Holiday House, 2011. In this winner of the American Indian Library Association’s 2011 Youth Literature Award,  Virginia dreams of the perfect coat that will keep her warm during the harsh South Dakota winter.

Pablo’s Christmas by Hugo C. Martin; Illustrated by Lee Chapman. Sterling, 2006. When Pablo’s father leaves him in charge of the small, rural farm in Mexico, Pablo does his best to make Christmas special.

The Legend of the Poinsettia retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994. This retelling of a Mexican legend explains the meaning of the beautiful flower and how it served as a significant gift.

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis; Illustrated by Daniel Minter. Albert Whitman & Company, 2000. This original African folktale tells the plight of many brothers who are constantly fighting while cleverly outlining the seven principles of the holiday.

My First Kwanzaa by Deborah Chocolate; Illustrated by Cal Massey. Scholastic, 1999. Lovely illustrations and simple text serve as an excellent introduction to the Kwanzaa holiday as we see one family celebrate their heritage.

What are some of your favorite multicultural holiday books to share during December?


Nicole Lee Martin is a Children’s Librarian at the Grafton-Midview Public Library in Grafton, OH and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at nicolemartin@oplin.org.



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6. A wonderful Día for everyone!

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.

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7. 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 making mock luminaries (also called farolitos) with paper bags and inexpensive mock tea lights. Sometimes a piñata will be available; a star shaped piñata is appropriate and generally easy to find. Instead of having children hit the piñata with a stick, use a pull-string piñata or, alternatively, keep the piñata for decoration only and provide a small zip-lock bag of treats for each child.  Fill the bags with stickers, wrapped candies, and small toys.

Las Posadas is a great way to expand holiday programming and invite families to find their way to the library.


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8. One Día to Change the World

Children’s Day/Book Day. For those of us serving children in libraries, that’s every day. We know first-hand the power of the right book at the right time in the hands of a child. We know that reading changes lives. We just need to keep reminding everyone else!

Luckily, we have Día to help us. El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is one of those robust, flexible campaigns that provides resources without prescribing activities.  I first learned about Día shortly after ALSC became the home for Día in 2007. I had begun service on theALSCBoard and was asked to be the Board liaison to the committee developing Día.

It was – and is – an exciting project to learn about. Día grew out of Children’s Day, a concept instituted throughout the world in 1925 with the goal of bringing attention to the importance and well-being of children.  Author Pat Mora revived the concept in the U.S., and carried it a crucial step further, linking children’s well-being to books and literacy.

While it is commonly referred to by its Spanish name, our Children’s Day/Book Day is a celebration emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Do you have a strong Russian community in your city? Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day with a Russian flair. (There’s a Día booklist in Russian – and booklists in 8 other languages too.) How about Vietnamese, Afghan, or French culture? TheALSC Día site has resources. Although April 30 is the day many celebrations happen, Children’s Day/Book Day can happen on any day or on multiple days, at any time of year.

I’ve always maintained that we do storytimes on themes primarily because it makes our planning easier. El día de los niños/El día de los libros is a perfect opporunity to plan a community celebration of reading with a theme – and resources – already in place.  Why not use it? And be part of persuading the world of what we know to our core – that books and reading change children’s lives.

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9. 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 activities and games. Check out the library’s website for a diagram showing how the parking lot was organized and photographs from past tailgate parties.

Not every library will be able to pull off a big event like this but Farmington includes some other activities in their programming that is easily emulated elsewhere. For example, the April 30th celebration of El da de los niños/El día de los libros also serves as the kick-off for summer reading registrations. One of my favorite ideas is the poetry garden. Children and teens are encouraged to write their own bilingual poetry or copy a favorite poem onto a paper flower. The flowers are then shared in the Poetry Garden/Poesia Jardín. Children are encouraged to bring a book wrapped as a gift. In a literary version of musical chairs, books are handed around until the music stops. Each participant then leaves for the day with a new book. Donations ensure that every child has a book.

Located in the Four Corners region of New Mexico, it is natural that Farmington’s celebration would include the Navajo language (Ałchíní Baa Hózhóogo Bee E’e'aah Naaltsoos Wólta’ Bee E’e'aah is Dia in Navajo). Although you may not have Navajo speakers in your community, you can share this beautiful language and culture through books like The Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons by Nancy Bo Flood. The text includes many words in Navajo with pronunciation assistance provided in the back matter and the book is beautifully illustrated by Navajo artist Billy Whitethorne. Salina Bookshelf, Inc. is the publisher of this and many other culturally authentic books, a number of them with accompanying CDs with both English and Navajo narration. There are other books that feature Navajo stories but Salina Bookshelf is the only bilingual English-Navajo publisher so check out their other titles.

Don’t forget that you can get ideas from other Día celebrations, register and share your own

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10. April Means Día!

Happy Día month! April is here and that means libraries around the country are getting ready to celebrate on April 30th!

For Día, ALSC is proud to offer participants a beautiful new website that features all the information and resources that your library needs.

Want some ideas? Download the gorgeous 78-page resource guide that includes games, activities, and program models. Download the bilingual (English/Spanish) book list which was recently updated for 2012. Check the Día map for events being held in your area and peruse past years to find new ideas from around the country. Register your events and receive free stickers and buttons.

Looking for some Día-related professional development? Take the Making Every Day a Día Day: Incorporating Día into Current Youth Programming webinar on Thursday, April 12 @ 1 PM CT. This one-hour webinar will help you discover opportunities for including bilingual literacy into library programs.

You can also interact with other participating libraries on Dia’s Facebook page. Join the hundreds of libraries across the country in celebrating on April 30th!

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11. 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 Off),
and Uma Krishnaswami (Chachaji’s Cup) provide fabulous books to use during Dia programming throughout the year. Throughout April to celebrate Día, these ambassadors will be blogging, tweeting, speaking, presenting, reading, and talking about Dia! Many will be reading their stories as part of the 2011 Díapalooza (a month of Día posts) on Pat Mora’s blog, Bookjoy. These readings can be shared with children at your library. The first, by Margarita Engle reading from The Wild Book, can be viewed now with more to come throughout the month.

The Día Every Day concept is kicking into high gear with more and more schools and libraries including bilingual literacy into everyday, ongoing programs, storytimes, and displays. More school libraries are celebrating Día this year and have registered their programs on the ALSC map. (There is still time to add your celebration to the map!)  ALSC has also released the newly updated Día brochure, and it is available in Spanish and Chinese versions. The Día booklist includes a wide range of great books, with some suggestions for books that are bilingual in a variety of languages. The celebration of languages is growing…and that is very sweet!


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12. One Week Til Día!

In one week, on April 30th, libraries all over the country will be participating in El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), the annual celebration of children, books, and culture.

This year, over 400 libraries will be celebrating across the country. Here at the ALSC office, we’ve heard from a lot of libraries that are doing some fun things. Here are a few examples below:

  • On Saturday, April 28, the Harrington Library of the Plano (Texas) Public Library System will be hosting an event with crafts, stories and an “Manana Iguana” puppet show!
  • On Tuesday, April 24, the Buckhead Branch of the Atlanta Fulton (Ga.) Public Library System will be be hosting even featuring Pura Belpré award-winning books, books authored by Pura Belpré, and a display about her life and career.
  • On Tuesday, May 6, the Brentwood (N.Y.) Public Library will be celebrating their 6th Día celebration with a storyteller/singer who will present “stories and songs of Latin America.”
  • On Monday, April 30, the Buhl (Idaho) Public Library’s afterschool elementary-age book club will host as many as 6 countries featuring books, posters, foods, and a talk about their country.

These are just a few of the great examples of celebrations around the country. Are you hosting an event at your library? What kinds of things are you doing? We’d love to hear from you. Have fun in your 2012 Día event. Thanks for participating!

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13. Music Makes the World Go Round

There has been a lot of conversation on listservs and social media recently 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 or twice a year. To include music in everyday programs and storytimes librarians usually will have to do it themselves. There are not many songbooks available that include songs from other cultures and in languages other than English but there are a few. It’s a little easier to find  books with songs in Spanish, like De Colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children by Jose-Luis Orozco or The Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, Stories, and Fingerplays: Over 450 Spanish/English Selections by Pam Schiller. For other languages try Skip Across the Ocean: Nursery Rhymes from Around the World collected by Floella Benjamin. In spite of the title, the book includes some songs and lullabies in English and the original languages. Unfortunately there is no music provided so librarians still have to find another source to get the melody.

Websites like Songs for Teaching provide a nice selection of songs in French, German, Spanish, and Chinese as well as songs from around the world (in the multicultural and diversity section) like Hello ‘Round the World, that teaches singers how to say hello in languages ranging from Hawaiian to Finnish and more. You can view the lyrics and listen to a clip of music or purchase downloads or printed material. Mama Lisa’s World is the mother lode for international music. Lyrics are provided in English and the original language and many songs have MP3 files or sheet music. Songs are available from every continent (except Antarctica). Even if you don’t speak the language, you may be able to learn the words through practice and add to your bilingual programming.

Burnaby Public Library in British Columbia, Canada has started collecting songs and
rhymes in many languages as part of their project, Embracing Diversity: Sharing
Our Songs and Rhymes
. This project includes videos created by native speakers of songs and rhymes in 15 languages. Often the singer or singers (which sometimes includes children) are in traditional or ceremonial dress so showing the videos during a program can provide a more authentic experience. The lyrics and other printed material and links to additional resources are included along with the video. The site is growing and the library is inviting people to add to the collection by creating their own videos so the selection and languages will continue to grow. (Instructions for submitting a video are available at http://www.bpl.bc.ca/kids/embracing-diversity/add-your-own-video.)

If you know of other resources please share them. We can all help keep music — and languages –alive!


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14. Polyglot Books

For years librarians have sought out bilingual books–books that included both English and another language. We continue to do so and, in fact, several recent posts on listservs have asked for potential sources for these bilingual books. They are seen as important tools in the development of literacy and are aides in learning a second language. Reading skills transfer across languages and if you can read in one language you can read in another as you learn another language. What I’m finding interesting now is the increasing availability of polyglot, or trilingual, books. Yes, we’ve had a few books in the past that include rhymes, phrases, or songs in multiple languages, but each entry has usually been in English and one other language. I’m curious whether the increase in polyglot books is a trend that will continue and I’m also interested in how the books are being used in storytimes and with young children.

The Little Pim book series by Julia Pinsleur Levine recently released several board books with different sections of the text in English, Spanish, and French so that the child being read to can learn words in all three languages. Little Pim, the trademark panda, is featured in stories that showcase colors, feelings, animals, and numbers. Each page has some task for him, such as finding the red item or identifying the happy face, and pull tabs or flaps that reveal the answer or the correct item.

Another concept book, Counting With Cats Who Dream by Cara Armstrong was originally going to be published only in English and French. The story features short vignettes about different cats, where they live, and what they dream about as the reader counts cats from one to ten. I was asked to read an advance copy of the book and comment on it. Part of my feedback was that the book would be even more useful for a bilingual/multicultural storytime if it were also available in Spanish.  Sometimes publishers do listen and the story is now to be released in the three languages.

So how are librarians using books with multiple languages? Do they work for storytimes? Are parents who want their child to be able to speak more than one –or even two– languages finding them? What other languages will we start to see mixed in with English and Spanish? Are young children learning to count cats in multiple languages? What other titles are out there? Please share your experiences.


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15. Multicultural Populations in your Library

Do you serve multicultural populations in your library?  Are you meeting the needs of these populations?  Would you like more resources to assist you?

We need to hear from you! The Association for Library Service to Children is currently assessing how we can best help you and your colleagues provide enhanced library service to your multicultural populations.  We ask you to take a few short minutes to complete a survey designed to collect current information about the challenges you face, the tools you need and how we can help.

It’s quick and easy.  Simply click on the link below to get started. The survey has about 15 questions and will take just 5-10 minutes of your time.  We ask that you complete the survey by Friday, March 12.

Here’s the link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B5PDPSH

Thank you!

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16. El día de los niños/El día de los libros

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), known as Día, is a celebration EVERY DAY of children, families, and reading that culminates every year on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros. Visit her Book Joy blog at http://sharebookjoy.blogspot.com/ for more information and ideas.

Through a series of grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) continues to increase public awareness of the event in libraries throughout the country. ALSC is collaborating on this effort with the Founding Partner of Día, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).

Each weekday in the month of April, the Official El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book) Facebook page will feature a different idea or activity. You may also visit Día at www.ala.org/dia.

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17. Let’s Make a Piñata!

Or, How I Learned to Embrace the Mess and Had a Ton of Fun.

At the ILF Children’s and Young People’s Division conference I attended a few weeks ago, I went to a session by Vicki Parker from the Westfield Washington Public Library.  She talked about ways to use art (not crafts!) in programming with young children.  I have to admit that I have been squeamish about using messy supplies in our children’s programs, but Vicki convinced me that it’s worth it to embrace the mess in order to encourage creativity.

So, last week we had a piñata-making program for our homeschoolers!  Yes, it was messy.  But it was also cheap, easy, and really, really fun.  And you can do it, too!!  Here’s how:

First, you’ll want to know how to make a piñata.  The How to Make a Piñata video from About.com will show you the basics.  There are several variations on these steps, all of which are easy to find by Googling.

I wanted to teach families how they could create their own piñatas at home, so in the program, we practiced making and working with paper-mâché.  I also wanted them to be able to decorate and take home a piñata.  Since piñatas need to dry between layers and they need at least three layers of paper-mâché, I pre-made about 20 piñatas so that after the kids were done putting a layer of paper-mâché on their balloon, I could switch them out and they could have a dry piñata to decorate.

I won’t lie: this was a lot of prep work.  BUT if you can enlist the help of a few friends or a group of eager teen volunteers, you can get it done pretty quickly.  It’s not hard, but you do need to plan ahead because it could take at least a day or two for all the layers of the piñata to dry.  For the piñatas I pre-made, I only did two layers of paper-mâché, which is a flimsier piñata than I would normally make, but it was good enough for them to have the experience of decorating it. After the program, they’ll know how to make their own at home, so they can make a more sturdy piñata if they want to.

To set up the room, I had pre-cut paper strips (you can use old newspapers, magazines, or catalogs.  If you get as many Oriental Trading catalogs each month as we do, you’ll have pleeenty of material to use).  I set out balloons in bowls and I pre-measured the flour and water into more bowls.  Of course, I had a book display with Pura Belpré Award books and books about piñatas and Latino history and crafts.


I started off the program by sharing some information about piñatas.  (Did you know that piñatas may have originated in China?!)  Then I had kids mix up the paper-mâché paste (using spoons or their hands), dip paper strips in the mix, and put it on their balloons (which are sitting in plastic bowls).  I explained that they needed to cover the whole balloon except for a spot at the top.


You know what?  The kids totally surprised me by how well they were able to do this.  Even the little ones had no problem doing it (with mom or dad helping, of course).  Their first layers actually turned out really nicely.  (One of my staff members saw the piñatas later and asked me, “Where are the ones the kids made?”  She couldn’t believe that they had turned out so well!)

Once their balloons were covered, we switched the wet piñata

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18. Día Turns 15 This Year!

El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros, celebrated on Sat., Apr. 30, 2011

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and you’re encouraged to get in the spirit!

Día, sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This is the 15th anniversary of the event, originally proposed by children’s author, Pat Mora. Libraries around the country recognize Día as a great opportunity to bring children together

Plans for the actual anniversary date—April 30, 2011—include a special presentation by Pat Mora at a library to be identified soon. The Día anniversary also will be celebrated at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 25th beginning at 10:30 a.m.

A great way to commemorate this occasion is by ordering your copy of El día de los niños/El día de los libros: Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community Through Día by Jeanette Larsen. This book will be available in early April from the ALA Store, but pre-orders are currently being accepted.

This year, Día encourages libraries to shape their programming around the new slogan, “Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books!”

For planning ideas and to follow Día events as they happen, please visit the homepage at http://www.ala.org/dia/. Make sure you also visit the Facebook page and use our hashtag (#dia2011) when tweeting!

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19. Estela and Raúl Mora Award

If your library has been doing neat things for El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros, consider applying for the Mora Award. The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents and to promote El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day, Book Day), also known as Día. Culminating celebrations of this year-long initiative that links all children to books, languages, and cultures are traditionally held on or near April 30. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Día.

Libraries and schools that host Día programs during spring 2011 are encouraged to submit an application by August 15, 2011. The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s 2012 Midwinter meeting to the most exemplary program celebrating El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros. The Mora Award consists of a $1,000 stipend and a commemorative plaque. Members of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, serve as judges for the Award

Application guidelines are available on the REFORMA website www.reforma.org or at http://www.patmora.com/dia.htm.

For additional information please contact the chair of the 2011 Mora Award committee Beatriz Pascual Wallace at beatriz.pascual-wallace@spl.org.

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20. Countdown to Día

As it prepares for the April 30 celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, better-known as Día, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is offering “Countdown to Día.”

Register your Día 2011 event today!For one month, ALSC will post a new idea for youth librarians celebrating Día at their libraries. The ideas will be posted to Día’s official Facebook page. Sharing your own Día ideas on the page is highly encouraged!

Sneak peak? Well, okay:

One great idea for all librarians and children’s literature enthusiasts is to sign up for Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The course will take place on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 1 PM CST. This one-hour webinar will present the history of Día as well as ways to make the local Día celebrations exciting and educational. The course is taught by Beatriz Pascual Wallace of the Seattle Public Library.

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21. Double Your Día Resources!

Think of how exciting your Día event will be after you take the ALSC webinar, Día 101 and add a new Día book to your collection!

Available April 1, 2011 from the ALA StoreALSC is offering a $5 discount for Jeanette Larson’s book, El día de los niños/El día de los libros: Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community through Día. This discount is only available for those who sign up Día 101.

The book, which will be available starting Friday, April 1, 2011 from the ALA Store is a great resource for librarians interested in the history and practice of Día.

Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros takes place on Friday, April 1 @ 1 PM CST. Taught by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, this hour-long webinar will help prepare you for your April 30 celebration.

Spots are still available, but hurry!

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22. A Great Día

By all accounts celebrations of El día de los niños/El día de los libros were fabulous this year. In spite of budget cutbacks and lower staffing levels, as many or more libraries celebrated bilingual reading this year as celebrated last year! But whether you hosted a Día event or not, don’t rest now.

To get a sense of what went on this year and begin to prepare for the upcoming year, visit Pat Mora’s website and click on the short video to hear directly from Día’s founder  about the 15th Anniversary activities. In her presentation, Mora reminds us that through Día we are trying to link all children to books, language, and culture. She mentions that we may have originally thought of Día as being a one day celebration, primarily to encourage bilingualism in English and Spanish. However, through various Día activities and programs we hope to encourage children to hear and read many languages and discover that all languages are beautiful. A new Día booklist, helps librarians find exciting books like A Place Where Sunflowers Grow/Sabaku ni saita himawari by Amy Lee-Tai (English/Japanese) or Line and Circle/lakeer aur gole by Radhika Menon (English/Hindi) that can be incorporated into world language storytimes. The downloadable brochure includes space for libraries to personalize the booklist before printing.

While it is wonderful to hear about all of the great programs from this year, it’s also time to begin thinking about the Día activities and programs you can do in your library throughout the year. As you begin to plan, add two continuing education opportunities to your ALA Annual Conference schedule. On
Saturday, June 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ALSC will sponsor Beyond Fiestas, Calaveras and Quinceañeras. This program (MCC-Rm 274) will be highly interactive and help librarians add contemporary Latino themes to programs throughout the year
through high-quality literature. One of the speakers will be noted author René Colato Laínez.

Immediately following that program, from 10:30 to noon (MARCC-RIver Bend BR), join Pat Mora, Oralia Garza de Cortes, Jeanette Larson, and others for Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books, a 15th anniversary celebration of Día. In addition to sharing new Día resources, attendees will discover multicultural programming techniques for year round Día celebrations. You could even be a part of this program! Amy Holcomb, ALSC Public Awareness Committee 2011 Program Organizer, is looking for people to share table top presentations that are representative of the multicultural programming in your library that supports Día’s mission. According to Holcomb, program attendees will have time to visit the tables before and after the main speakers. If you are interested in being part of this

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23. Never too early for Día 2012!

Come celebrate Sat., April 30 at your library!
Want to get a jump on your Día 2012 celebration?

he Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) recently announced that the archived webinar, Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros, is now available for purchase.

This webinar, presented live on Friday, April 1, was taught by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, children’s librarian at the Seattle Public Library.

For those who were not able to attend the live webinar, this is an opportunity to learn more about El día de los niños/El día de los libros. This archived webinar prepares librarians for the 2012 celebration with the history of Día, program ideas and information on resources available to librarians.

This hour-long webinar is archived at the ALSC Online Education website. The cost of the archived session is $25 for both members and non-members. Once purchased, the webinar can be watched an interminable amount of times.

Descriptions of other ALSC online courses and webinars are available at www.ala.org/alsced. For more information, contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at jnajduch@ala.org or (800) 545-2433 ext. 4026.

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24. Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books: Fifteen Years of Dia

One of the best opportunities for professional development comes at conference. I admit that after 35 years working in libraries–and attending at least that many ALA annual and midwinter conferences–I don’t attend many of the programs. Been there, done that. However it was inspiring and informative to participate in the celebration program for 15 years of El día de los niños/El día de los libros. This celebration of bilingual literacy, born in 1996 when author/advocate Pat Mora was inspired by a traditional Mexican celebration of children, Día’s mission is to spread “bookjoy” every day by linking children from all cultures with books, and celebrating together on and around April 30.

Cynthia Richey, ALSC Past-President, welcomed everyone to the program and talked about the place Día has in ALSC. REFORMA President, Lucia Gonzalez, gave an inspiring overview of the birthing of Día and the maturation of this Latino “child” that was now celebrating her Quinceañera (15th birthday). Pat Mora talked about all the libraries that she has visited and the work that librarians have done to support bilingual reading and literacy. I gave a brief overview of the work that various states like Texas, California, and Florida have done to support Día and talked about the future. One major goal for the future is to include more languages. While many libraries focus on Spanish, the majority non-English language spoken in our communities, the goal of Día is to support all cultures and all languages. Communities across our nation have people speaking every language from Chinese to Urdu and we can celebrate the beauty of those mother tongues. Oralia Garza de Cortés finished the presentations with inspiring words about the importance of bilingual literacy and the role librarians play in helping all children feel welcome in the library and in a community of literacy. Oralia also reminded us to submit the wonderful programs our libraries are doing for the 2011 Mora Award.

After the presentations we enjoyed some music, visited tables to view information from libraries that had won Dollar General 2011 Everyone Reads @ your library Mini Grants, the Mora Award, or were willing to share their successful programs.  Table talks are especially exciting because they offer professional development to the participants but also to the sponsoring staff. The participating libraries were:

Yolo County Library, Woodland, California (Mora Award)

Pima County Library, Tucson, Arizona (Mora Award)

Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Nacogdoches Public Library, Nacogdoches, Texas (Dollar General)

Fremont Public Library, Mundelein, Illinois (Dollar General)

Then we all enjoyed cake and received a complimentary copy of Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora from publisher HarperCollins. After all professional development should be fun and this was a celebration!


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25. A New Día Is Dawning

For the past month I’ve been working with Linda Mays to update and relaunch the ALSC website for El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), also known as Día. Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, a day designed to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. Author Pat Mora added Book Day, linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy and bilingual reading. On April 30, 2011, many libraries celebrated Día’s Quinceañera, its 15th birthday. That special birthday marks a transition from childhood and is a signal of maturity. In preparation for the new website, I spent time looking at the many ways libraries of all types have celebrated Día. The wonderful mix of ideas and the wealth of talent showed me that we really are entering the young adult years of Día. Programs have grown from simple bilingual storytimes to elaborate on-going programs that include support from community partners. In many communities, the library’s Día celebration has become a major event for families.

The new website will launch on Monday, November 14th. The site will include a resource guide and a program model for school libraries. It will also feature best practices from many libraries, highlighting the fabulous programs and services that have celebrated Día. If your library is not one of those selected, don’t despair; there were so many great ideas from which to select! Review the ideas submitted by your colleagues. Use these ideas as you plan your own Día celebration for 2012. You are also encouraged to register your program and receive free stickers and Día buttons. In 2011 more than 300 libraries registered through ALSC; let’s make 2012 an even bigger celebration!

There were many great and creative programs, but one of my favorites among those submitted is Souptelling, a program developed by Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO with funds from a Dollar General Literacy Foundation mini-grant. Located about 30 miles west of Denver, Longmont celebrates diversity and community. Families pre-registered for the Día Souptelling program, a series of programs that focused on one region of the world each month. Prior to the first session, registered families went to a local ceramics studio to make their own soup bowls (pictured left). At each session, a local catering company served soup from the featured region. After families enjoyed their soup, they learned a little about the region and listened to a storyteller who shared stories from one of the region’s cultures. The program included greetings shared in different languages and music to enhance both language literacy and geographical literacy. At the last of the six sessions, families were encouraged to bring soup that reflected the cuisine of their own heritage and were invited to share family stories, pictures, and artifacts. The mix of cultures, food, and stories was a perfect lead in to the library’s 2011 summer reading program, One World, Many Stories. Delicious!

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