Daliyah Marie Arana, who is only 4 years old, has read over 1,000 books, mastered college-level speeches, and, as of Wednesday, been “librarian for a day” at the Library of Congress.
Carla Hayden, the 14th librarian of Congress, posted photos on Twitter of Daliyah’s visit to the world’s largest library:
It was fun to have 4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, GA as “Librarian For The Day.” She’s already read more than a 1,000 books. pic.twitter.com/MQfwlUrakO
— Carla Hayden (@LibnOfCongress) January 11, 2017
Hayden became the first woman, African-American or professional librarian to serve as Librarian of Congress in 2016.
Hayden and Daliyah roamed the halls of the library and they attended executive roundtable meetings.
“[Daliyah] just kept saying how the Library of Congress is her most favorite, favorite, favorite library in the whole wide world,” said Daliyah’s mother, Haleema Arana.
Arana reached out to the Library of Congress to see if they might be able to increase Daliyah’s exposure to literature and libraries. The library invited the family to spend the day with Hayden.
Daliyah even made a suggestion for the library: to install whiteboards in the hallways so that children could practice their writing skills. As her mother told the Post, library officials said they would try to implement the idea.
And how did Daliyah become such a precocious reader at such young age? From the moment she was born she was surrounded by literature.
Reading was a large part of her and her siblings’s upbringing. Daliyah often heard her brother reading chapters of books aloud. By 18 months, she could recognize words in books, and when she was 2 years, 11 months old, Daliyah read her first book independently.
The Gainesville Times reports that Daliyah constantly visits her local library in Gainesville, Georgia, where she checks out books every day and wants to teach other children how to read.
Daliyah was even able to parse out pieces of scholar William L. Phelps’s speech “The Pleasure of Books,” an apropos text her mother gave her to read as a challenge:
Daliyah has a passion for learning about dinosaurs. Her mother told the Post that Daliyah can rattle off dinosaur facts and when she grows up she would like to become a paleontologist.
What’s Daliyah’s next challenge? To learn how to read in Spanish. Her father, Miguel Arana, is Mexican and speaks Spanish to Daliyah on a daily basis. She isn’t fluent though, but so far she can understand many words.
“She’s able to just absorb so much and retain so much so fast,” her mother told the Post.
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