Mora Award Winner, San Francisco PL, Pt. 2

We’re continuing our interview with Barbara VanderBorght at the San Francisco PL, one of the winners of the 2009 Mora Award.

4. Tell us about some of your plans to celebrate Día in April 2010.
This coming year, for the first time, all of the Día events, including the big citywide celebration on the last Sunday in April, will be held at the Library. We are very excited about this opportunity to welcome many of our Dolores Park Día participants to the Main Library. Unlike many Día celebrations, the one in S.F. was not begun as a library event. Members of the library staff have become more involved over the years and we are pleased to be able to offer our site during the renovation of the Park where it has been traditionally held. We will also have programs in our branches during the month leading up to the big Día.

5. What advice would you give to a library planning a Día event for the first time?
Do some research. Determine who the target audience is and who your community partners might be. See if there is anything similar going on in your community already. Take a look at other Día celebrations around the country.

6. Please share 3 Día suggestions. (These can be ideas you’ve implemented, ideas you’ve heard about and like, or pie-in-the-sky wishes.)

We have found it is important to continue to bring in new community partners over the years, especially those who are interested in working on the steering committee responsible for putting on the event, and are bilingual with ties to the Latino and other diverse communities. We have also found that in addition to all the volunteer hours each of us put in, it is necessary to fund a part time paid position to act as a coordinator.
If you are having a large event with lots of activities, set aside a quiet space for babies and toddlers (and their families) where they can enjoy having stories read to them, or just hang out for awhile.
Seek out local authors/illustrators and performing groups that include children, especially those from different ethnic communities. Include as many bilingual books as possible for give-aways. Also, we designed magnets with a Día graphic and a few tips for families to help with the development of early literacy skills, as give-aways. They were available in English or Spanish.

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