Bravo to the Chicago Public Library!

How fortunate I felt to participate in CPL’s annual book festival Book-A-Mania. Kudos to Bernadette Nowakowski who began the event for families fifteen years ago in 1994. Bernie said the celebration has grown in wondrous ways thanks to a dedicated and enthusiastic staff, city support, volunteers and the assistance of diverse funders including Target. This year’s art was based on Book Fiesta illustrated by the talented Rafael López. As children participated in all kinds of activities, they were earning a free book. I enjoyed chatting with volunteers including high school students in a service learning project and some employees of Kraft Foods. I chatted with Sonia Ocasio Bowman, librarian at Morton West High School in Berwyn, IL, who is working with community agencies to plan a Día event for her community. I’m always thrilled to see high schools participating in Día. I met student teachers Gissel Escobedo and Arlen Hernandez who are going to promote Día in Cicero, and I chatted with Kimberly-Celeste Boyd who’s going to promote Día in the Chicago Public Schools.
I left Book-A-Mania inspired by a library system committed to sharing bookjoy, to serving diverse families in creative ways.

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