February 25, 2010

Presenting Díapalooza AND the new Día Dynamos!

News Flash! Soon we’ll be posting information about how you can be part of our first Díapalooza next month. Each day of April, we’ll post Día ideas, photos, testimonials, etc. Look for more information to come soon or email us to be put on the mailing list.

I’m grateful for each of the committed Día advocates out there—librarians, teachers, professors, pre-service librarians and teachers, authors and illustrators, parents, students, etc. ¡Gracias! We’ve recognized a few of the Día Champions on this Bookjoy Blog and have decided that they’re more than champions: they’re Día Dynamos. Let me introduce Día Dynamo Beatriz Pascual Wallace. I met her a few years ago at a Día celebration at her library in Seattle.

Beatriz served on REFORMA’s Mora Award Committee last year. She’s this year’s chair and is doing an outstanding job. Please see the award guidelines on my website for more information. Consider volunteering at a Día event in your community. If there isn’t one, work with your nearby school or library to start one.

Thanks, Beatriz, for taking the time to answer some questions for us!
1.Tell us about your path to librarianship and work in youth services.
It was a long and winding road! I worked in newspaper publishing, children's book publishing and independent bookselling before hitting on the idea of going back to school to become a librarian. Now that I'm a librarian, I wish I had come up with the idea 20 years ago but ultimately, the path I took ended up fully informing my library career. As for focusing on youth services, I've always had an affinity for children's and YA literature, and in general, I'm kid-oriented at heart. When asked my age, I always have to think a moment how old I am because I definitely don't feel that old!
2. What do you like most about your work?
There is nothing proprietary or competitive about librarianship. We enthusiastically share information with our patrons and with each other as professionals. It's a collaborative and cooperative profession which I really appreciate!
3. How long have you been a member of REFORMA, and why did you become a member?
I became a member of REFORMA ten years ago while in library school and it was one of the best memberships for supplementing my library school education. I remember attending RNC2 (REFORMA's second national conference) and coming away inspired and jazzed by all that I learned about serving Latino and Spanish-speaking patrons.
4. Why did you agree to be the Mora Award Committee Chair?
I really appreciate that the award promotes reading in all the languages we speak. I think it's an important message to all families that their cultures and languages are valued and that they are celebrated and reinforced in books.
5. Can you tell us about your favorite Día memories?
My favorite Dia memories include the first Dia I ever hosted when I worked at Multnomah County Library. In my little branch, we had a festive celebration, with Head Start families in attendance, live music, and a visit with Maisy. Last year at my Seattle Public Library branch, we hosted a visit with the local Univision news anchor who is a terrific advocate for libraries and reading with kids. He read aloud from Pat Mora's Book Fiesta. And two years ago, Seattle Public Library hosted Pat Mora. She spoke to kids at an elementary school near my branch and it was great to see the kids come to the branch asking for her books.
6. What are you reading now?
There is so much to keep up with in children's and YA lit! I usually am listening to two and reading two all at once. At this moment, I'm also catching up on the recent award winners. I'm listening to Going Bovine by Libba Bray, reading Truce by Jim Murphy, and just finished Back Home by Julia Keller and Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Michaeux Nelson.
7. I always ask this question when interviewing someone for Pat. What is your favorite example of Bookjoy (either as a child or adult?)
For me, my moments of Bookjoy happen when a child or teen visiting the library tells me about a book they liked and we get into a conversation about it. I love seeing when a young person is profoundly affected by a book he or she read and they just can't tell me enough about it!

February 18, 2010

School and Public Library Collaboration for Día Events

When we read Hope Crandall's article "Community Collaboration for a Día Celebration," co-authored with Mary Parra and Deeda Chamberlain and published in the Winter 2009 issue of OLA Quarterly, we knew we wanted to interview her for the blog. Her enthusiasm and support of Día is infectious.

Hope Crandall provides library services in English and Spanish at Washington Elementary School in Woodburn, OR. She loves multicultural celebrations for all
ages. Hope is a member of OASL, OLA, and REFORMA.

Left to right: Mary Parra, Hope Crandall and Deeda Chamberlain

1. You've been involved in creating and maintaining successful collaborations between public and school libraries to plan and hold Día events. What are three key factors that ensure successful collaboration?
a) begin planning together at least 6 months in advance
b) maintain the focus on family and children’s literacy
c) leverage your unique pool of resources and patrons to plan a wide variety of activities and entertainment appealing to all participants

2. Tell us about some of your favorite literacy-based activities.
a) family members write and illustrate favorite riddles, proverbs, or tongue-twisters with examples of culturally and linguistically appropriate books on hand to view
b) rent a book character costume to roam the event for family photos and promotion of his/her books
c) wheel of fortune with book-related questions and literacy-related prizes
d) origami or similar craft books and supplies for a make-and-take option

3.In your article you point out that Día can be customized to fit any community size or ethnic configuration.? How do you go about reinforcing that idea within your community?
Each year we get better at knowing the needs and wants of our community. At a minimum these include the basic considerations of culture, religion, language, parent work schedules, transportation, and major commitments the families may have such as sports. Everything we plan aims to maximize the benefit and appeal to all our families. The event activities feature print and audiovisual resources, performing arts, food, and games which represent the interests of our three major ethnic groups: Latino, Russian, and Anglo. Private, parochial, and public schools, as well as child care centers, pre-schools, and houses of worship are contacted to sponsor activities and promote Día with their children and families.

4.What are you most excited about for Día 2010?
greater involvement of our Russian community

5.What do you think can be done on a statewide or national basis to increase Día's visibility in schools?
a) tie it to the school’s mandate for parent involvement and family literacy
b) configure it to the goals of each individual school or school district
c) know it is BookJOY, and a valuable break from testing mandates
d) give the school staff the necessary “release” time to plan and implement it

6.I always ask this question when interviewing for Pat. What's your most memorable Bookjoy experience as a child or adult?
The whole arc: know the Spanish book needs and wants of my staff and students, go to the annual Guadalajara International Book Fair, find and buy the books, have them rebound in industrial strength bindings, process the books, and share them with my students, staff, and parents. The critical segment of this arc is finding and buying the Spanish books. The joyful segment is reading the books to the children, and handing the books to the patrons.

February 17, 2010

Library Funding Opportunity

The National Center for Family Literacy and Better World Books have joined together in support of family programming and literacy efforts at libraries. Three $10,000 grants are available to libraries through the Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award. The deadline is March 3 and you can get the application online.

The award can be used for El Día de los ninos/El Día de los libros, Children's Day/Book Day events or other related family literacy programs.

February 12, 2010


From time to time we like to post about resources we think will interest our readers. And we welcome resource suggestions and comments from our readers too.

Library Sparks is a magazine for elementary level teachers and children's librarians. Each issue is packed with lesson plans, activities and programming ideas; all intended to help motivate kids to love reading and integrate wonderful literature throughout the curriculum. The March issue features an interview with author Claire Nivola, a camping webquest and other nature activities, and a library lesson about endangered animals. News on children's books from the experts at the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) are included in each issue. And there are always Web Resources that correlate to the theme of the printed issue. Request a free sample for yourself or a colleague.

February 4, 2010

The Spirit of Paper Tigers Project

We like keeping up with activities and news at PaperTigers.org and were excited to learn about a new project, The Spirit of Paper Tigers, just announced yesterday! The idea is to donate 100 sets of seven multicultural titles each to schools and libraries in need throughout the world. As stated on the website
"Many organizations are doing excellent work in getting books to children through schools and libraries in areas of need, and our efforts are not intended to replicate their work. The specific focus of this SPT project is to select a set of books published each year because their content, focus, and outreach express the goals of reading and literacy, as well as encouraging curiosity among young people about the world around them."
An interesting aspect of the project is that Paper Tigers will be receiving feedback from the book set recipients and posting it on their blog.

For a list of the selected titles and more information see the Paper Tigers website and blog.

February 1, 2010

Teens Talk to Pat

Pat is the featured author on Random Buzz this week, February 1-5. Each day, she’ll respond to questions about her new book, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love .

Random Buzz is an online book community that teens can come to, to discuss upcoming books and connect with other avid readers and authors. There are over 55,000 members. Random Buzz offers teens the opportunity to receive ARC’s, participate in activities hosted by the Head Buzzer, win rewards and review books.