Día Celebrations

Libraries Celebrate Día

As the nation’s population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April 30th during the National El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) celebration. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the observance, also known as Día, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events. Click here to see a list of local libraries in Western Mass and give them a call to see how they’re celebrating Día.

“Día is an example of how libraries are places of opportunity,” said Jane B. Marino, president, Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), sponsors of Día. “They are part of the American Dream, places that support family, education, self-help and lifelong learning.”

Most of today’s libraries provide a wide range of opportunities for people with diverse needs and interests. A national American Library Association (ALA) study found that the most popular and successful activities offered in libraries are English as Second Language classes, language-specific materials and collections, computer use and classes, and storytimes.

Spanish is, by far, the most supported non-English language in public libraries. Seventy-eight percent of libraries reported Spanish as the priority #1 language to which they develop services and programs. Asian languages ranked second in priority at 29 percent. Another 17.6 percent of libraries indicated Indo-European languages as a second priority. Through literacy events and programs like Día, libraries are working with parents and caregivers to raise avid readers. Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers.

Día honors children, their languages and culture; encourages reading and literacy; and promotes library collections and programs that reflect the country’s changing populations. For multicultural book lists, Día brochures and tips on how to encourage children to read please visit the Día Web site at www.ala.org/dia.

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