And she just became the Library of Congress’s first Librarian for the Day.
Meet Daliyah Arana. The little girl – from Gainesville, Georgia – is 4 years old, and has already read more than 1,000 books. Yes, that many.
The young bibliophile could recognize words by the time she was 18 months old and read her first book – Ann’s Big Muffin – a month before she turned 3. Since then, Daliyah has read Mo Willems’ Pidgeon and Elephant, books about dinosaurs, as well as college-level texts.
About a year ago, her mother, Haleema, decided to sign her daughter up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program in order to keep track of how many books she was reading. Wanting to further encourage Daliyah’s passion, she wrote to the Library of Congress in November, and Carla Hayden responded with an invitation for a shadow day.
Haleema explains: “I thought, why not enhance her experience and get her in the largest library in the world? I sent an email explaining her accomplishments; she’d already been on the local news and in our local newspaper. They responded right away and invited us all.” On January 10, the 4-year-old met with Hayden – the 14th Librarian of Congress – and the duo talked about books, of course.
They also networked with library staff members, toured the Jefferson building and participated in a reading program at the Young Readers Center. And it’s safe to say Daliyah had an amazing day. Haleema concludes: “She just kept saying how the Library of Congress is her most favorite, favorite, favorite library in the whole wide world.”