Nation's Libraries Places of Opportunity for Diverse Populations
Libraries to celebrate El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) April 30
CHICAGO, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation's population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase multicultural programs and services during national El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day). This year marks the 15th anniversary of the observance also known as Dia, a celebration every day of children, families and reading that culminates every year on April 30. Libraries across the country will host Dia celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways and other literacy driven events.
In today's increasingly diverse and complex information environment, library multilingual resources are needed more than ever. According to a study by the American Library Association (ALA), Spanish is the most supported non-English language in public libraries. Seventy-eight percent of libraries reported Spanish as the priority #1 language, after English, 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.
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 are part of the American Dream," said Julie Corsaro , president, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA. "As families continue to try to make ends meet, libraries are working with new Americans to assist with learning English, applying for jobs, identifying e-government resources and educational tools that will enhance their quality of life. Education is the key to making good choices. Low literacy is linked to poverty, crime, dependence on government assistance and poor health. By motivating children and parents to read, libraries are fueling a healthier democracy."
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 for 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 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) 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 The American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 67,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.
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
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