Every year, libraries across the country celebrate DÍA: El día de los niños/El día de los libros—Children’s’ Day/Book Day. DÍA is a celebration every day of children, families and reading, that culminates yearly with celebrations held across the country on or near April 30th. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
As celebrated by libraries and librarians, DÍA is an enhancement of Children’s Day, a celebration which took hold in 1925 following the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. Each country selected its own day for the celebration with Mexico and many other Latin American countries choosing April 30.
Library celebrations of DÍA were spearheaded by children's book author Pat Mora, REFORMA and ALSC. As a celebration of Diversity in Action, they are a great way for libraries to connect with their communities and offer quality programming for children and families.
Libraries in Oregon celebrate DÍA each year in a variety of ways. Some libraries have carnival themed resource fairs, involving nearly 20 community organizations and partners. Some events have drawn crowds as large as over 600 people and include guest authors, musical and dance performances by youth groups, zumba lessons or clowns. Other programs are smaller and interactive. DÍA celebrations can draw on traditions such as giving children gift bags (aguinaldos), having special prize give-aways, or have piñatas. Many libraries give free books to children. Some libraries have included STEAM activities, including hands-on science and math projects.
It doesn't matter or large or small your community--DÍA is a great way to celebrate children and literacy at libraries.
Looking for ideas and tips? Check out the American Library Association's official DÍA page (http://dia.ala.org) or contact REFORMA Oregon (http://reformaoregon.weebly.com/).