REFORMA in Denver

Luis Herrera, Ramiro Salazar, Pat Mora, Carmen Peña Abrego

I felt so fortunate attending REFORMA’s fourth national conference, also its 40th Anniversary, two weeks ago. REFORMA was founded by Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo in 1971. An ALA affiliate, REFORMA is the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking. As I said in my luncheon presentation, many groups talk about diversity, but REFORMA lives that commitment so though the focus is “Elevating Services to Latinos,” the members are, like our country, of varying ethnicities.

Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo

On a personal note, it was so exciting for me to have my wonderful son-in-law, Dr. Roger Martinez, a historian, and my co-author, my older daughter Libby, at the lunch. The librarians were quick to take her photo which made me smile.

How energized I was by library students and experienced librarians so excited about Día. Dr. Jamie Naidoo, a professor at the University of Alabama, organized a Día Showcase and provided a helpful PowerPoint. He and I read Book Fiesta!, I spoke about Día’s history, Linda Mays, from ALSC shared information about the upcoming Día web site, and Beatriz Pascual, chair of the Mora Award, spoke about the award process. Energetic Jamie had organized a poster session and various Día librarians brought posters and information about their events. So inspiring!

Beatriz Pascual


Dr. Jamie Naidoo


Kathleen Barrett Dusenbery

In my remarks, I said that some people immediately “get Día.” They understand that linking all children to books, languages and culture is actually patriotic work since literacy is essential for a true democracy. So many committed librarians bring so much creativity and energy to their Día work. I smiled when one such librarian, Kathleen Barrett Dusenbery from Longmont Public Library in CO, later e-mailed and said , “I do get Día!”

I hope you “get Día” too. Culminating celebrations of the day-by-day commitment to link children and books will be celebrated next April, Día’s Sweet Sixteenth Anniversary. Be part of extending the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day tradition to Children. Join us in sharing bookjoy and annually celebrating Children’s Day/Book Day, El día de los niños/El día de los libros in many languages. We want Día celebrated in homes, libraries, schools, colleges/universities, museums, community centers, etc. For more information about Día including a planning booklet for your Día year, visit

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