The Context for
Our Work with El
día de los niños/
El día de los libros
Oralia Garza de Cortés
ALA Annual Conference
June 24,2007
Washington, D. C.
• To promote literacy and the
importance of linking all children
to books, languages and cultures
• To honor children and their childhood
• To honor a child’s home language and culture
To promote global under-standing
through library collections that
reflect our plurality
To connect the public and school
library to families and to the
• To Promote bilingual and multilingual literacy in a
multicultural society
Historical Context for Día in the
U.S.: A REFORMA Perspective
To address low literacy rates of Latino
and poor children in the United States
To provide children and families’
access to books and entr’eé to the
To address inequities in library
services to Latino and other children
and families of poverty
Miguel de Unamuno
How Día Benefits Children
• Children First/ Los niños primeros
• All children have equal access to library
• All children have opportunity to experience
fun learning experiences
• Families recognize libraries as essential to
their learning
• Every child and family feels welcome at the
library and learns about quality programs
available at the public library
• Library partners with parents and other
professionals in developing children’s
Día helps Libraries to:
• Honor cultures, traditions and languages of the
communities that they serve
• Reach out to underserved populations
• Develop strategies for increasing library use among
traditionally under-served populations
Día Provides Libraries
Opportunities to:
• Develop library collections that
mirrors and reflects the diverse
communities that they are/should be
• Collaborate with other literacy-based
organizations and professionals
Día Provides Librarians
with Leadership
To develop outstanding services and program
for ALL children and families
To develop outstanding multicultural collections, resources,
and services that reflect the needs and face of the
To be innovative in providing high-quality services and
programs that meet educational needs
Developing Networks
of Relationships
Public Library
A person working alone has all the power of social dust.
Saul Alinsky. 1909-1972. Community activist
Relationship is a pervading
and changing mystery
Eudora Welty
American Autor
To institutionalize Día
(i.e. to make Día a permanent part of the library’s:
Strategic plan
Outreach Services
Our work as librarians serving
children and families
Día and the
ALSC Strategic Plan
(Approved 2006)
Core Ideology
To Create a Better Future for
Children through Libraries
DÍa meets ALSC Criteria for
Core Organizational Values
Member Services
Integrity and Respect
Equity of Access
Excellence and Innovation
Envisioned Future
Primary Goal:
To lead the way in forging excellent library
service for all children
 Members are actively involved in the association and feel a part of
the ALSC community.
 Members are actively recruiting other members.
 Through the association, members have grown in their knowledge
and leadership skills in order to reach their full potential.
 Members are actively engaged in providing excellent services to
 Association members are politically active.
Opportunities for
ALSC Members
 Collaborative ventures are synergetic
and results exceed expectations.
 ALSC is recognized as successfully
advocating for children and children’s
service within ALA.
 ALSC is considered an innovator for
future library service.
 There is an ALSC presence in every
 ALSC is aggressively pursuing
collaborations to benefit children’s
 ALSC is viewed as a significant player
within ALA.
Characteristics of
 Group
Independent  Community
Creative Problem Solving
Opportunity for reform
Opportunity to Involve many in
complex educational problems
Source: Towards a Theory of Collaboration for Teachers and
Librarians. Patricia Montiel Overall.
• Socially constructed experience
involving more capable people guiding
those less capable to understand ideas
beyond their development level.
Vygotsy (1962, 1978) cited in Montiel
Overall Towards a Theory of
Día Meets Two of Four
ALSC Advocacy
Objective 1:
Increase awareness of the value of excellent
library service for all children.
Objective 4:
Increase access to library services.
Service is what life is all about.” Marian Wright Edelman
President, Children’s Defense Fund.
Día as a Tool for
will work
collaboratively within ALA, the
profession, and the wider community to
ensure excellent library service for all children.
• Objective 1: Increase the effectiveness of
ALSC’s current collaborative efforts.
Objective 2: Increase opportunities to work in
coalition with other related groups.
• Objective 3: Increase public awareness of the
value of library service to children.
Leadership Opportunities for ALSC
Members @ the National Level
We must do the things we think we cannot do. The
future belongs to those who believe in the beauty
of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt ( 1884-1962) Humanitarian,
U.N. Delegate
National Partnership
Children’s Defense Fund
Reach Out and Read
First Book
Web Presence
Colorín Colorado
Reading Planet
Reading Rockets
Courage happens when
people unite. Anonymous
Partnership Opportunities
at the National Level
 The Library Profession
PLA, Ethnic Caucuses, OLOS,AASL
 National Council of La Raza-NCLR
 RIF-Reading is Fundamental
 NAEYC-National Association for Education of
Young Children
 Head Start
Strategies for Implementing
Día at the State Level
Through State Library or State Library
• State-wide Steering/Planning Committee
Example: Ca. Planning Grant-LSTA
• Partnership with State Division or Round Table
• Partnerships with local REFORMA Chapters
Other State Partnership
Teacher Organizations
International Reading Association-IRA
National Education Association-NEA
NCTE –National Council Teachers of English
State Teachers’ Associations
State Bilingual Educators’ Associations
 State Affiliates of NAEYC
 Head Start, NCLR
Developing a Culture of
Literacy in the Community
Through Día
Día helps libraries to:
Celebrate cultures and traditions
Outreach to underserved populations
Develop strategies for increased library use
among traditionally under-utilized populations
Develop library collections that mirrors the
communities that they are/should be serving
A community that embraces reading as
the key to a better future
Children who love to read and be read to
A library-going culture
A college-going culture
College graduates and beyond
An educated community
An educated citizenry
A Strong Democracy
“ The reader, much like the
writer before him will reach the
universe of words, “ not so that
everyone can become an artist”
as Rodari once said- but so that
no one remain a slave.”
El lector, igual que antes lo consiguío el
escritor, acederá al universo de las
palabras ‘no para que todos sean
artistas’ decia Rodari-sino para que
nadie sea esclavo.”
na María Machado in Antonio Ventura.Prologue. Lectura, escuela y creación literaria.
adrid: Grupo Anaya, 2002. Quote translated from the Spanish by Oralia Garza de Cortés.
Illustration by Raul Colón from Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a
Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart. Random House/Knopf, 1995.

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