Last week on ALSC-L, librarians were posting ideas about Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s satisfying reading the various posts that encourage taking advantage of the resources available for Día de los Ninos/Día de los Libros when looking for programming ideas or relevant bibliographies because it reinforces that Día is not a one-day event. Día is our opportunity to link all children to books, languages and cultures every day — let’s celebrate Día all year long!
Here are some links to check out: Texas Library Association — http://www.texasdia.org/ ALSC list “Growing Up Latino in the USA” http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/alscresources/booklists/GrowingUpLatino.cfm Jamie Naidoo’s webjunction powerpoint and resources related to planning services and selecting materials for and about Latino Youth. Available at: http://www.webjunction.org/home/articles/content/455411
For many, September now means Hispanic Heritage Month which begins tomorrow and is celebrated from September 15 – October 15. It’s easy to forget that in September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim the first National Hispanic Heritage Week, an observance that was expanded in 1988 to a month-long celebration. Why begin a celebration mid-month? President Johnson was from Texas and grateful to the Mexican-American population that had supported him, and Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chile also celebrate their independence between Sept. 15 – Oct. 15.
Too often, as we know, celebrations = commercialization so companies use the events to sell their products. Educational publishers can do this too, and I know people can feel cynical about this. Latinos constitute 14% of the U.S. population. Of course, I wish that their voices and contributions were appropriately represented in our history, publishing, universities, sciences, and government, but we have a long way to go. In spite of our national rhetoric (and rhetoric is in season this fall), many in our communities still doubt the full worth of their fellow Latino community members. I see and hear this as I listen and observe Latino children, graduate students and professionals not to mention those Latinos daily facing the challenges of limited economic resources.
Do I wish we didn’t need celebrations like Hispanic Heritage Month and El /El dia de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day, that Latinos and Asian, Black, Native and Arab Americans were fully incorporated into our national fabric? Sure, but in 2008 I still think we need to make special efforts to promote pride in home languages and cultures. ¡Qué vivan las culturas! May cultures thrive! Let’s share and enjoy books by Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month and all year long.
Isn’t the logo above beautiful? I’m so grateful to talented Julie Paschkis for allowing us to use her work. Gracias, Julie. Savor her many talents at www.juliepaschkis.com I’m also grateful to my friends at The Seattle Public Library who showed me the work Julie had created for Seattle’s 2007 Summer Reading Program.
I like the way these two girls are connected as they read. That’s such a deep wish for a writer, connecting with those I may never meet and hoping my book can connect others: sisters to sisters, friends to friends, teachers to students, librarians to patrons, parents to children, etc.
Information about me and my books is available on my web site which we recently updated. This blog, though, is for creating a community of bookjoy sharers. Are you one? Do you love to read and enjoy talking about books? With whom do you do this and how?
Fall is in the air here in Santa Fe. It’s my favorite season in this high desert country. I’m finishing a manuscript and gearing up to start a new one.
What do you, my fellow book lovers, look forward to this fall?
Finally, huge, wonderful clouds in the blue Santa Fe sky. We’re all hoping for rain. Hot summer days here remind me of even hotter days in El Paso. When I was a little girl, my sister Cissy and I liked the Summer Reading Club and afternoons when we’d stretch out and enjoy our books. That’s the quiet pleasure—the bookjoy—I want for all young people. I look forward to seeing old friends next week in Anaheim. It’s always a particular pleasure to meet or re-connect with librarians who are ardent Día supporters. Last January, when I opened the envelope notifying me that I’d be receiving an Honorary ALA Membership this June, I was, quite frankly, amazed. I feel very humbled by this totally unexpected honor and am deeply grateful to the Texas librarians who nominated me. This recognition, like all honors, makes me want to work not only harder but more strategically with my partners to link all children to books, languages and cultures. Today is the summer solstice, the “longest” day of the year. Since I’m solar-powered, this should be a productive day. I’m off to make a Tres Leches Cake and wish I could invite you all over for a piece. Wishing you a summer that includes time to reflect on the question: am I creating a life I love? (written on June 21, 2008)