Nation’s Libraries Celebrate Cultures
El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) April 30
CHICAGO, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — According to the 2010 U.S. Census, racially and ethnically diverse groups saw higher percentage growth rates than white populations from 2000-2010 and growth is expected to continue. On April 30, libraries will celebrate and explore our nation’s rich tapestry of cultures during national El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day).
Also known as Dia, El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros, is a celebration every day of children, families and reading that culminates every year on April 30. Libraries will offer family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways and other literacy driven events.
Research has shown that enjoying a book with a child even for a few minutes a day can make a measurable difference in both the appreciation of reading and the development of skills.
Dia emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Through literacy events and programs like Dia, libraries are working with parents and caregivers to spread “bookjoy.” Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers; and that avid readers are lead by the reading habits of their parents.
“Libraries and library staff are critical to family literacy and multicultural awareness,” said Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) President Mary Fellows. “Dia bridges cultures and provides an opportunity for families regardless of linguistic or cultural background to come together and learn from one another. We want parents and caregivers to know that the library is a place to learn, read and have fun – a place that the whole family can enjoy.”
Dia supports an ongoing commitment for libraries to mirror the needs of the communities that they serve by providing resources in multiple languages. For example the Boise (Idaho) Public Library will offer a Dia program in Japanese, Korean and Spanish, while the Houston Public Library hosts a program in French, Spanish, Sundanese and Vietnamese.
Parents, caregivers and teachers can also celebrate Dia at home or in their classrooms with free bilingual book lists and activities from the Dia website at http://dia.ala.org. Resources are available in Chinese and Spanish.
Dia is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, and 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 thus the inception of El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros.
Through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy 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 Dia’s Founder, Pat Mora; and Founding Partner of Dia, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).
About The Association for Library Service to Children
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, develops and supports the profession of children’s librarianship by enabling and encouraging its practitioners to provide the best library service to our nation’s children. ALSC provides leadership to the profession and public on behalf of high quality library services that support children in becoming lifelong learners.
About Dollar General
Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with more than 9,000 neighborhood stores in 35 states. Dollar General stores provide convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $50 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 2.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit www.dollargeneral.com.
Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.
SOURCE American Library Association