Daliyah Arana is a boss. According to her dad, she started reading very early. Before turning three years old, she read her first whole book on her own, a picture book called Ann’s Big Muffin. During that time, her mother Haleema decided to sign her up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program. The program is usually used as a tool to ensure young children are read to on a regular basis, but Haleema just wanted to keep track of how many books Daliyah was reading. Since then, the 4 year old from Gainesville, Georgia, has already read more than 1,000 books. Her favorite? The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems, which sounds like a great choice based on the title alone. On January 10, she became the Library of Congress’s first-ever Librarian for the Day. Given her reading prowess, she had already been given the job of honorary librarian at her local library.
Haleema wrote to the Library of Congress to tell them about her daughter’s enthusiasm for reading. She told Buzzfeed, “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.”
The visit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for young Daliyah. Over the course of two hours, she was shown around by the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. Hayden let Daliyah sit in her office chair, and the two talked about books before embarking on a grand tour of the building. According to Daliyah’s father, the young girl was especially enamored with the many underground tunnels that connect the library’s buildings. When Hayden posted pictures of the event on Twitter, the internet swooned. Not only are Daliyah’s accomplishments impressive, but she looks adorably at home walking the halls of the grand library with Dr. Hayden.
Of course, this is just the start of the Librarian for the Day program. Hayden plans on walking many more bright young children like Daliyah through the impressive library. Library of Congress Director of Communications Gayle Osterberg describes the goals of the program: “Among Dr. Hayden’s goals for the Library are growing young scholars and making the library and its resources more accessible to Americans of all ages, so she is establishing a Librarian for the Day program on a regular basis for students age 16 and younger.”
In the end, Daliyah’s parents are super proud of their amazing daughter. Haleema says of the experience, “It just feels good to know we’ve made history and that we’ll have an impact on a lot of kids’ lives.”