March 25, 2010


From a recent press release: "REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, an affiliate of the American Library Association, announces Oralia Garza de Cortés and Susana Hinojosa as the 2010 Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarians of the Year (LOTY). The award is named in honor of Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo, the founder and first president of REFORMA and is made possible by the generous financial support of the Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education." Both Garza de Cortés and Hinojosa have long and distinguished careers in service to libraries. For more information please see the REFORMA website.

We also have news from REFORMA's Southeast chapter that we want to share. The winners of the first Sara Howrey El día de los niños/El día de los libros Mini-Grant are the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Thomas B. Norton Public Library of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Charlotte Mecklenburg's theme for this year is Día as "Diversity in Action" and the Norton Library will be holding it's first Día celebration.

Congratulations to all the winners! 

March 19, 2010

Women's History Month

March, National Women’s History Month, is a grand time to think of the brave and bold women nationally, internationally, and in our own lives. I think of the women who now lead countries and who serve in national and state government positions in the U.S. In a celebrity culture, I think of the usually unknown female musicians, scientists, dancers, painters, women working at non-profits and all the educators investing in the next generation. I think of the unsung women who prepare meals at hospitals and schools, who care for children, the elderly, the dying. I also think of you and me working to make this a better world, each in our own way, and how we draw strength from the determination of a Frida Kahlo, an Eleanor Roosevelt and the poet Lucille Clifton who died recently. How they lift our spirits!

I wrote A LIBRARY FOR JUANA: THE WORLD OF SOR JUANA INÉS to bring attention to Mexico’s most famous woman poet, a prodigy I didn’t hear about until I was an adult. I wrote MARIA PAINTS THE HILL to bring attention to Maria Hesch, a self-taught Santa Fe artist inspired by Grandma Moses, and I wrote DOÑA FLOR: A TALL TALE ABOUT A GIANT WOMAN WITH A GREAT BIG HEART to create a tall tale about an immense yet gentle bilingual woman who spoke all animal languages, “even rattler.”

Together, may we help young women to believe in their potential and to invest in themselves.

March 12, 2010


There's still time to register for the National Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature Conference, Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos, at the University of Alabama April 23 and 24. Nationally-recognized Latino children’s literature expert Oralia Garza de Cortés, award-winning Latina author Monica Brown, and award-winning illustrator Rafael López are all keynote speakers. There'll be breakout sessions, research posters, talks by authors and illustrators, and book signings.

The Reading Tub and others in the Kidlitosphere are winding down the annual blog tour for literacy, Share a Story - Shape a Future. The encouraging and enthusiastic posts offer a huge collection of ideas and thoughts about engaging children and teens as readers and building a community of literacy advocates.
Logo created by Elizabeth Dulemba

March 9, 2010

Doesn’t a night of storytelling sound like a grand family literacy program? REFORMA is planning such March festivities for Noche de Cuentos. The press release from REFORMA reads:
“The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking is launching Noche de Cuentos 2010, a family literacy focus program generously supported by the American Library Association as part of ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Initiative. Noche de Cuentos will be celebrated March 20-27, 2010 in conjunction with World Storytelling Day, observed during the spring equinox on March 20.

REFORMA invites families from Latino communities across the United States to join the global community in the celebration of World Storytelling Day and gather at their libraries to share stories, songs and experiences from their families, their communities, or their countries.

“REFORMA believes that storytelling and the oral traditions are key in the transmission and preservation of culture, as well as a significant tool in developing literacy skills,” says Loida Garcia-Febo, President of REFORMA. The mission of Noche de Cuentos is to promote and preserve the art of storytelling within our Latino communities in the US. “Our language and our stories bind us together, they make us stronger,” says Garcia-Febo.”

In writing about her presidential initiative, Camila Alire noted in the November issue of American Libraries, “The plans [to develop family literacy projects and programs that can be replicated by libraries] are in the spirit of ALA’s Association of Library Service to Children’s El día de los Niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), the family literacy program founded by Pat Mora in collaboration with the ALA affiliate REFORMA.” How wonderful to see Día’s influence spreading!

Yuri Morales created this amazing poster!

March 3, 2010

It's Díapalooza!

Please join us right here for DÍAPALOOZA, a month-long, virtual celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day. Every day during April, the post(s) will celebrate and support Día’s main goal of daily linking all children to books, languages and cultures.

We’re inviting your participation and hope you’ll send us visuals—videos, photos, posters, children’s art work; as well as stories, interviews, poetry, anecdotes, testimonials; interesting and surprising Día facts; quotes from kids, families, teachers and librarians; sayings and proverbs about reading and literacy; and special or funny Bookjoy moments. Send us cool Día ideas big and small as well as best practices. Your submissions can be humorous and fun or serious; inside or outside the box. Try and keep your submission to less than 200 words.

When we need it: March 15 is our deadline though we welcome your submission now.

The format: Short text can be in an email; longer text in a Word doc. Send photos as a jpeg; web resolution is okay. Submit artwork as a pdf or jpeg.

Where to send it:

If you don’t feel you can contribute a post, please stop by Bookjoy in April for fun and inspiration; read the posts and comment.

Please forward to friends and colleagues. Feel free to post on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information on El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day, go to the Día pages on Pat's website or ALSC's Día site.