...una biblioteca es un gabinete mágico en el cual hay muchos espíritus hechizados. Despiertan cuando los llamamos; mientras no abrimos un libro, ese libro, literalmente, es un volumen, es una cosa entre las cosas.      - Emerson

Public Libraries Using Spanish


SOL 15   April 11 , 2000
SOL 15 Contents:


1. Venezuelan libraries; incredible names

3. Highly recommended book on library service
2. Want to help launch a journal?



1. The Strange Case of Mr. Robertoscarlosrodriguezalvarezde


 From: Teresa Pacheco

Bienvenido a Cesar - mi esposo es venezolano, y vivimos en Caracas por una corta temporada hace mucho tiempo. Me gustaría saber si la biblioteca pública en Caracas presta libros al público, como hacemos en los Estados Unidos, o si la biblioteca está abierta al público, pero permite solamente el uso de libros en la biblioteca propia.

Con respecto al uso de nombres y apellidos en español, aunque tratamos de usar siempre el apellido del padre para que esté conforme con los demás, me he dado cuenta que a veces el personal de la estación de circulación se confunde y pone increíbles apellidos! El otro día, encontre un usuario registrado como "Robertoscarlosrodriguezalvarezde". Siendo la única persona en nuestra biblioteca que hable español, me toca tratar de corregir dichos errores siempre cuando los encuentre.

Gracias por este foro!


Welcome, Cesar - my husband is from Venezuela, and we lived in Caracas for a while a long time ago. I'd like to know if the public library in Caracas loans books to the public, as we do in the United States, or if the library is open to the public but only allows the use of books in house.

Regarding the use of names and surnames in Spanish, although we try to always use the father's surname so that it is uniform with our other records, sometimes our Circ staff gets confused and puts down unbelievable surnames. The other day I found a patron registered as "Robertocarlosrodriguezalvarezde." Since I'm the only one in the library who speaks Spanish, I try to correct these errors as I am aware of them.

Flaco - Thanks for this forum.

Teresa Pacheco
Computer Services Assistant
Hall County Library
127 Main St. N.W.
Gainesville, Georgia 30501

 [Thanks to Teresa for submitting both versions of this bilingual posting]


2. Much-needed Librarians' Journal Proposed


 [The great idea that follows emerged on the REFORMA discussion list.  To find out how to join that discussion, see]

I'm going to throw out an idea, with the hopes that an enterprising Reformista (with more time on her/his hands than I have) can take this idea and run with it. I think this is an excellent time for REFORMA to take the lead in establishing a journal dedicated to the subject of library services to Latinos. Off the top of my head, the journal could be called "Bibliotecas: the REFORMA Journal of Latino Librarianship".

I'd like to recommend that it be solely a web-based journal, with no printed counterpart, and would further recommend that the journal be made freely available to all on the internet. The journal would be a clickable item on REFORMA's homepage.

I envision this as a quarterly "publication" covering theoretical, research-oriented, practical "how-we-do-it-bueno" articles, or opinion pieces on serving Latinos. We have a great deal of information to share with the outside world; a freely-available, web-based journal would be a wonderful mechanism for accomplishing this!

I would recommend that the journal NOT accept advertising dollars from vendors or other interests. (This frees authors to write critically about publishers, distributors, etc.)

An Editor and Editorial Board for this journal could be named by the Executive Board. The Editor could be assisted by an editorial board, made up of prominent Reformistas, retired "emeritus" Reformistas, and others outside REFORMA.

Lando Archibeque
Social Science Bibliographer
Auraria Library, Denver Colorado


3. Best Recent Book of Its Kind


 Mr. Archibeque, by the way, along with Camile Alire, wrote what is easily the most useful and comprehensive guide for librarians seeking ways to better serve Hispanic communities.  This one is worth having:

Serving Latino Communities: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians.  New York: Neal-Schuman  Publishers, 1998.

Bruce Jensen

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