School and Public Library Collaboration for Día Events

When we read Hope Crandall’s article “Community Collaboration for a Día Celebration,” co-authored with Mary Parra and Deeda Chamberlain and published in the Winter 2009 issue of OLA Quarterly, we knew we wanted to interview her for the blog. Her enthusiasm and support of Día is infectious.

Hope Crandall provides library services in English and Spanish at Washington Elementary School in Woodburn, OR. She loves multicultural celebrations for all
ages. Hope is a member of OASL, OLA, and REFORMA.

Left to right: Mary Parra, Hope Crandall and Deeda Chamberlain

1. You’ve been involved in creating and maintaining successful collaborations between public and school libraries to plan and hold Día events. What are three key factors that ensure successful collaboration?
a) begin planning together at least 6 months in advance
b) maintain the focus on family and children’s literacy
c) leverage your unique pool of resources and patrons to plan a wide variety of activities and entertainment appealing to all participants

2. Tell us about some of your favorite literacy-based activities.
a) family members write and illustrate favorite riddles, proverbs, or tongue-twisters with examples of culturally and linguistically appropriate books on hand to view
b) rent a book character costume to roam the event for family photos and promotion of his/her books
c) wheel of fortune with book-related questions and literacy-related prizes
d) origami or similar craft books and supplies for a make-and-take option

3.In your article you point out that Día can be customized to fit any community size or ethnic configuration.? How do you go about reinforcing that idea within your community?
Each year we get better at knowing the needs and wants of our community. At a minimum these include the basic considerations of culture, religion, language, parent work schedules, transportation, and major commitments the families may have such as sports. Everything we plan aims to maximize the benefit and appeal to all our families. The event activities feature print and audiovisual resources, performing arts, food, and games which represent the interests of our three major ethnic groups: Latino, Russian, and Anglo. Private, parochial, and public schools, as well as child care centers, pre-schools, and houses of worship are contacted to sponsor activities and promote Día with their children and families.

4.What are you most excited about for Día 2010?
greater involvement of our Russian community

5.What do you think can be done on a statewide or national basis to increase Día’s visibility in schools?
a) tie it to the school’s mandate for parent involvement and family literacy
b) configure it to the goals of each individual school or school district
c) know it is BookJOY, and a valuable break from testing mandates
d) give the school staff the necessary “release” time to plan and implement it

6.I always ask this question when interviewing for Pat. What’s your most memorable Bookjoy experience as a child or adult?
The whole arc: know the Spanish book needs and wants of my staff and students, go to the annual Guadalajara International Book Fair, find and buy the books, have them rebound in industrial strength bindings, process the books, and share them with my students, staff, and parents. The critical segment of this arc is finding and buying the Spanish books. The joyful segment is reading the books to the children, and handing the books to the patrons.

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