Seattle, WA—REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, is pleased to announce that Lynden Public Library of the Whatcom County Library System is the recipient of the 2012 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for exemplary efforts promoting El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day. Lynden Public Library is located in Lynden, Washington, approximately 95 miles north of Seattle.
The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora, and her siblings, in honor of their parents; the award promotes El día de los niños, El día de los libros/ Children’s Day, Book Day, also known as Día. Culminating celebrations of this year-long initiative that links all children to books, languages, and cultures are traditionally held on or near April 30. The Mora award is presented annually, in partnership with REFORMA, to the most exemplary celebration of Dia. Lynden Public Library will receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating their efforts.
The Lynden celebration featured a book giveaway for each child, craft activities led by bilingual teen volunteers, and several storytimes—held throughout the day—each followed by a game of lotería (Mexican bingo) with books as prizes. A disc jockey, piñata, and games of skill added to the festivities which were enjoyed by well over 250 attendees. Publicity for the event extended to putting up posters in laundromats, clinics and taco stands. Notably, the teen volunteers and families from the library’s literacy programs helped plan the celebration with the guidance of library staff.
“What resonated with the committee was the grassroots involvement of Lynden’s Día,” said Mora Award committee chair Beatriz Pascual Wallace. “There was a strong sense of community connection with this event, of everyone coming together to plan, celebrate and share.” Lynden children’s librarian Tina Bixby said, “We have learned to look to the strengths and resources in the Lynden Latino community to build strong relationships that create services, programs and library collections that support diversity, children and literacy. [Latino] Families realized that… that they have something to give the library.”
For the first time, Mora honor awards were named as well: District of Columbia Public Library; King County Library System, Wash.; and Sacramento Public Library will each receive $300. REFORMA will present the award during the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (A.L.A.) next January in Seattle. This family literacy initiative is now housed at the Association for Library Service to Children (A.L.S.C.), a division of the American Library Association (A.L.A.). The A.L.S.C. page lists planning resources and celebrations across the country at http://dia.ala.org/.
Details about the Mora Award application and guidelines for 2013 will be announced and posted by February 2013 at http://www.reforma.org and www.patmora.com/dia.htm which also offers additional award information, photos, a planning booklet and resources.