Family Literacy

Family literacy involves the literate activities families engage in at home and in the larger community. These interactive routines might include reading and writing together, playing an educational video game, or simply talking to infants and responding to the sounds they make. In January 2010, ALA and then President Dr. Camila Alire initiated the Family Literacy Focus to promote family literacy across diverse communities.

Family literacy programming has a long history in public libraries. Family literacy @ your library probably started when a children’s librarian carefully selected a familiar storybook, gathered children and parents in a semi-circle, held the book so everyone could see the pictures, assumed her best storybook reading voice, and read the book from beginning to end. The children were drawn in by the words and images, the parents treasured the peace and quiet, and the librarian knew that she was reaching, engaging, and teaching her youngest patrons and their parents.

Día, an initiative of ALSC, the Association for Library Service to Children, highlights the importance of literacy for all children, from all backgrounds, and of linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. To mark the 20th Anniversary of Día in April, 2016, ALSC updated the National Día Program Registry, making it searchable by location and language; libraries, schools, and community organizations can enter programs aimed at celebrating diversity and literacy. ALSC also offers free Día resources for download.


We Need Diverse Books end-of-year lists: We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.