We are so excited that Marley Dias, the witty and purpose-driven 16-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooksand author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!, is promoting the value of library cards this month. She’s such an impressive young person, and she is a passionate advocate for diverse books and lifelong reading. In other words, we are totally fangirling over here. Here are six things you should know about the American Library Associations Library Card Sign-Up Month’s Honorary Chair:
1. She launched #1000BlackGirlBooks when she was just 10 years old.
As a student, Marley noticed that the books she was assigned to read didn’t feature many protagonists that looked like her. As she told American Libraries magazine, “So I told my mom, and she said, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’ So that’s really how [#1000BlackGirlBooks] started. I wanted to collect 1,000 books where black girls are the main characters and donate them to the high school in St. Mary, Jamaica, that my mother attended, so I would be able to give back to her community.” Her campaign succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Marley has collected over 13,000 books to date.
2. You can check out her book Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! from your local library.
Marley is many things, and in 2018 she added “author” to her list of accomplishments. Well-known for her activism and commitments to social justice, volunteerism, and equity and inclusion, Marley wrote her book to show kids how they make positive changes in their communities and to encourage kids to become lifelong readers. Use your library card to check it out today!
3. She’s so committed to diverse books, she made a Netflix special about it.
Ever want to go to a storytime where Tiffany Hadish, Karamo Brown, Common, Lupita Nyong'o, and Misty Copeland read their favorite books to you? Well Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices on Netflix is for you! Hosted by Marley, the series features famous faces sharing children's books by Black authors to spark kid-friendly conversations about empathy, equality, self-love, and antiracism.
4. She says “The most important and valuable resource in your library is a librarian.”
And we agree! In an interview with an Orlando news station, she said, “They are the kindest and most supportive people … If you want to go on the computer and play games, if you want to look up something about your town’s history, or just borrow a book, they will support and help you along the way.” She also introduced us to her own local librarian Jane in a video she posted from West Orange Public Library in New Jersey!
5. She has her own READ® poster
Joining the ranks of Oprah, David Bowie, Miss Piggy, and, most recently, Baby Yoda, Marley unlocked next-level library cred when she became the star of her very own READ® poster. ALA's READ® campaign, supported by ALA Graphics, celebrates the joy of reading and the importance of lifelong learning. For more than 30 years, the iconic READ® posters have featured celebrities, musicians, award-winning authors and illustrators, and library advocates who’ve lent their star power to support our nation’s libraries. Not too bad for someone who just got her driver’s license!
6. You can join her in promoting the power of a library card on social media this September
Send her a picture of you with your library card! Make sure tag @iammarleydias on Instagram. She’ll be sharing your photos throughout the month!
Visit the Library Card Sign-up Month website for more ways to celebrate.