Children and their parents filled the kids’ reading area of the Logan Library on Tuesday evening. Librarians made balloon animals as children painted suncatchers, made Guatemalan worry dolls and ate cookies and candy.
“It’s fun and it brings children into the library,” said Becky Smith, the children’s librarian.
Tuesday’s activities were in celebration of El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros, Day of the Children/Day of the Books. This American Library Association initiative began in 1996. It is celebrated on April 30 in conjunction with El Día de Los Niños as a way to promote literacy and inclusion for children of all backgrounds.
“There’s literally half of the community here,” said 11-year-old Daniella Lopez, one of the children who attended the event.
Lopez said she enjoyed participating in the crafts and seeing people from so many different cultural backgrounds at the library.
“Then I get to know where all of our roots are from and to learn about diversity,” Lopez said.
Valeria Beltran brought her three children with her to the library event because she wanted them to learn about a holiday she had celebrated as a child.
“It’s important that they know how culture is in Mexico, and that way they know what we do over there,” Beltran said.
Zinthia Cornejo is a member of the library’s Latino advisory council and said events like this are to help community members embrace diversity.
“It’s important to learn about other countries,” Cornejo said.
Cornejo said participating helps keep traditions like these alive and helps people in minorities feel more like they belong in the larger community.
“You learn to be more open-minded,” Cornejo said. “And that’s what I am trying to teach my kids.”
Smith said she hopes events like these will lead to children wanting to continue to use the library.
“If children see the library as a place where they have fun, where they want to come, where they enjoy being, it makes it much more likely that they will become lifelong library users,” Smith said.