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On February 2, we honor Pura Belpré, renowned author, storyteller, and first Puerto Rican/Afro-Latina librarian at the New York Public Library in 1921. Born at the turn of the 20th century, Belpré dedicated her career to serving the city's low income and Spanish speaking communities by performing bilingual storytimes and puppet shows, and introducing families to library services with her expansive outreach efforts.
You can learn more about her life and work in the books, Planting stories: the life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar and The Storyteller's Candle
by Lucía González and illustrated by Lulu Delacre.
Every year since 1996, Pura Belpré’s legacy is honored by REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, the Association for Library Services for Children, and the American Library Association in the form of the Pura Belpré Medal for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. This prestigious award is given to "to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."
The Sacramento Public Library is proud to support her legacy. Below are selections from the Pura Belpré Medal Award and Honor Books.
Pura Belpré Medal Booklist