April 23, 2015 Young Readers Center to Hold Symposium on Diversity in Children's Literature

Using Books and Stories to Strengthen Families: A Multicultural Perspective

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.

The Center for the Book and the Young Readers Center of the Library of Congress will host a symposium exploring diversity in children’s Literature, titled “Using Books and Stories To Strengthen Families: A Multicultural Perspective.”

The symposium will be held on Thursday, April 30, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Mumford Room of the James Madison Memorial Building, located at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, which is free and open to the public, coincides with the American Library Association’s month-long DIA (Diversity in Action) celebration, which highlights literacy efforts for children of all backgrounds.

Five renowned authors will address the topic of teen literacy and family representations in young-adult literature. Deborah Taylor, the 2015 Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award winner, will moderate. Taylor is from the Enoch Pratt Free Library of Baltimore.

The panelists are:

  • Kwame Alexander, 2015 Newbery Medal recipient for “The Crossover”
  • Gigi Amateau, two-time recipient of the Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year award and children’s book correspondent for the Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Meg Medina, 2014 Pura Belpré recipient for “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass”
  • Ellen Oh, founder and president of We Need Diverse Books and author of the young-adult fantasy trilogy “The Prophecy”
  • Tim Tingle, author, storyteller and winner of the ALA American Indian Young Literature Award

The symposium is inspired by El día de los niños/El día de los libros (children’s day/book day) – traditionally celebrated on April 30. This American Library Association initiative emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Support for this program has been provided by the Virginia Center for the Book at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities with additional support from the Maryland Center for the Book at the Maryland Humanities Council.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a public-private partnership. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, through collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.


PR 15-071
ISSN 0731-3527