Rebekah Manley

Coordinator, Texas Center for the Book

Texas Center for the Book/ZACH Theatre Celebrate Diversity in Literature with Special Performance

Monday, January 11, 2016 • Austin, Texas • News Release

 Join the Texas Center for the Book and Children’s Author Pat Mora at a special performance of Tomás and the Library Lady Saturday, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. at ZACH Theatre to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Día – Children’s Day, Book Day. After the performance, attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the book, hear the author speak on literacy and enjoy refreshments.

The play is based on Mora’s book, Tomás and the Library Lady, which tells the true story of Tomás Rivera, son of a migrant farm worker during the 1940s in the Midwest. Feeling lonely and out of place after his family’s move from Texas to Iowa, Tomas stumbles into a library, is welcomed and encouraged, and through the librarian’s patience and understanding, develops a lifelong love for books and learning. Tomás Rivera later became the first minority Chancellor of the University of California System.

Mora, a native Texan, founded Día de los Niño’s, Día de los Libros (Children’s Day, Book Day) in 1996 which is celebrated nationally as Día – Diversity in Action - which seeks to link all children to books, languages, and cultures, and to make reading an integral part of children’s lives. Mora chose the Mexican observance of Día de los Niño’s (Children’s Day), April 30, since promoting literacy went hand in hand with supporting the well being of children.

The Center for the Book is kicking off its observance of Día’s 20th anniversary with this special performance and will honor local librarians – the foundation of Tomás Rivera’s success story. In addition to meeting the author and having her sign their complimentary copy of Tomás and the Library Lady, attendees will also receive special Día bookmarks and posters in commemoration of Texas’ statewide celebration of Lone Star Día.

Tickets may be purchased at ZACH Theater’s performances of Tomás and the Library Lady will run January 15- February 14, 2016 in the Whisenhunt Auditorium.

Later this winter, the Center for the Book will send Día posters to Texas public libraries. School and local libraries are encouraged to register their own Día celebrations on a searchable database at www.Dí and spread awareness of family friendly events that surround the nationally recognized initiative emphasizing the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds.

One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center for the Book is a nonprofit organization under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and is guided by library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature to the more than 26 million residents in the Lone Star State. For more information contact Rebekah Manley at 512-936-2505 or visit