FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Santa Ana and Springfield libraries win 2011 Mora Award
SEATTLE, Oct. 17, 2011 - REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, is pleased to announce that two library systems have been selected to be the recipients of the 2011 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for exemplary efforts in promoting El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The winning libraries are the Santa Ana Public Library in California, and the Springfield Public Library in Oregon. This brings the total number of Mora Award winners to 17, as “Día” celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents and to promote 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(s). The Santa Ana and Springfield library systems will each receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating their efforts.
The Santa Ana Public Library serves a population that is majority Hispanic and Asian. They hosted 1,000 children and parents at their third Día celebration which included presentations by four authors, book giveaways from the Friends of the Santa Ana Public Library and Consulado Mexicano, a book fair, and an information fair about services provided by community agencies. The Teen Library Club created an Alice in Wonderland Games Extravaganza. Multicultural entertainment featured a youth mariachi group, folkloric dancing, marionettes and a circus performance.
“The committee appreciated that the library and the City of Santa Ana both support Día as an event that is key to the city’s goal of positive development of its youth,” said Mora Award committee chair Beatriz Pascual Wallace. “Santa Ana Public Library delivered a great fiesta that informed, educated and entertained, with the broad support of their community.” According to library and city staff, “The Día event was effective in promoting the value of reading and education in the lives of children and we look forward to collaborating in presenting it on an annual basis.”
Springfield Public Library planned its Día celebration with the help of volunteers. Public school classrooms were invited to create milagros (artistic expressions of wishes and desires) which were displayed at the library. Bilingual author Amy Costales presented songs and stories. Craft activities included bookmarks, piñatas, creating favorite book characters out of clay and bookmaking with the help of a bilingual list of story-starting ideas. Notably, the event was inclusive of parents with lower literacy skills, who were invited to orally share stories during craft activities. Two hundred people attended and 70 Spanish and bilingual books were awarded in a raffle.
“Springfield’s celebration demonstrated to the committee that smaller Día events can have a big impact,” said Wallace. “We noted the heartfelt commitment for their Día to promote a community of inclusion and connect families to books and reading in a fun, positive, and empowering environment.” According to Springfield library’s Latino liaison, Emily Ziglinski: “Community connections are important to literacy; if children are comfortable in an environment, then they are able to relax and learn.”
REFORMA will present the awards during the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) next January in Dallas.
This family literacy initiative is now housed at the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALSC page lists planning resources and celebrations across the country at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/initiatives/diadelosninos/index.cfm.
Details about the Mora Award application and guidelines for 2012 will be announced and posted by February 2012 at http://www.reforma.org. Additional award information, photos, and links can also be found on Pat Mora’s website www.patmora.com/dia.htm.