...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 17   April 27 , 2000
SOL 17 Contents:


1. Bookmark tip

4. Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies in Librarianship
2. Magical Realism Quiz: Our Final Answer 5. Latin American Materials Conference (SALALM)

3. More on Venezuelan libraries

6. Another Audio Book Source

1. Cinco de Mayo bookmark

to Laurie Willis,

If you would be interested in ready-made bookmarks, the American Library Association has one in their current catalog which might work for you.  It's a bilingual bookmark that reads "Literacy begins at home. Read with those you love."  Their phone number for orders is 1-800-545-2433.  

B.J. Doty, Program Educator
Washington County Cooperative Library Services
111 NE Lincoln St., #230-L, MS 58
Hillsboro, Oregon  97124-3036
(fax) 846-7755

2. Answer to the SOL Magical Realism Quiz

 [SOL 16 challenged you to name the Venezuelan author, educator, and politician who introduced the term 'realismo mágico' in reference to an emerging style of uniquely Latin American literary expression.  The winning entry got here within a couple hours, followed by a number of thoughtful educated guesses (Gabriel García Márquez was frequently mentioned--he is after all the most shining exponent of magical realism, but he didn't dream up the label) and well-researched replies.]

 *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Hi, Bruce!

 Interesting question.  According to an internet summary of MAGICAL REALISM: Theory, History, Community, edited by Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, the term was first coined by Franz Roh in 1925, when he used it in an essay.

According to them, the term was introduced in the Americas in 1949 by Alejo Carpentier, who seems to have been from Cuba.

 However, Arturo Uslar Pietri seems to be the Venezuelan that you are actually asking about!   It pays to continue surfing until the right answer is found!

 Laurie Willis

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *   *

 [Laurie's right about persistence.  Roh, yes, applied the term "magical realism" to a group of German painters. Carpentier came up with the close-but-no-cigar phrase "real maravilloso" in 1949; he was indeed Cuban, but after spending six months in prison there for criticizing the dictator he decided a 1928 move to Paris wasn't such a bad idea.  In France he hung out with a young Venezuelan writer who had read Roh and stored the art critic's catchy phrase in his subconscious...]


Okay, I'm stumped. I was going to guess Gabriel García Márquez, colombiano.  Who was it?

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


The Winning Answer:


         Arturo Uslar Pietri!

         Henry Georget <>

 [Yes indeed!  Henry sent in that answer only hours after SOL 16 went out, and his prize is on its way to his home in Washington, DC: Obra humorística completa, by Venezuelan satirist Miguel Otero Silva.]

3. Venezuelan libraries redux

[Teresa's question in SOL 15 drew another response, this one from Cesar who currently works in the central public library in Caracas:]

 Yo no sólo soy venezolano sino que trabajo en la Biblioteca Metropolitana, el préstamo circulante sólo se hace con la colección de literatura, el resto de la colección sólo puede ser leida en sala, esto se hace debido a la gran demanda y a la pequeña dimensión de la colección: unos 90.000 volúmenes para atender aproximadamente a 3.500.000 usuarios de la capital.



I'm not only a Venezuelan, but I also work at the Metropolitan Public Library in Caracas.  We circulate from our literature collection only.  The rest of our books stay put and can only be read in the library, due to high demand on our small collection: about 90,000 volumes for approximately 3.5 million users here in the capital.

 Lic. Cesar G. Alvarado-Lopez

Licenciado en Biología.

Biblioteca Metropolitana "Simón Rodríguez"

Servicio de Acceso a Internet (SCAI)

Av. Universidad. Bolsa a San Francisco.

Caracas, 1010 Venezuela

Tel. 582-4829218,,

4. Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies in Librarianship launches listserv

[A message from Martin Vera in Mexico City <>]

This is to inform you of the creation of a new progressive librarianship discussion list in Spanish.

 The Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies in Librarianship has created this list with the main objectives of:

 --supporting democratic library structures and questioning the trend toward turning libraries into mere markets of information.

--facilitating a public forum for the development of critical issues in librarianship, closely linked with social, political, economic and cultural problems.

--fostering  unity, solidarity, and organization between activist librarians and other library workers of resistance social movements

--supporting acts of resistence against antidemocratic trends and practices of library administration, mainly in Latin America.

Discussion of these issues is very important because there are currently very few resources in Spanish that deal with progressive and/or alternative librarianship.

 While this list is primarily devoted to discussion of situations within Latin America, we certainly expect to reflect on events in an international context in order to communicate closely with other progressive organizations around the world.

Although Spanish is the main language of the list, all your messages in other languages are welcome and you can be sure that we will be glad to have your participation.

 Please send subscription requests to:

 You will receive a message of welcome. Any problems or questions should be sent to our administrator, Lorena Torres, at 

 Thanks for your attention, and we look forward to hearing from you very soon!!

 Martin Vera: ,

 Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies in Librarianship

(please see our statement at <>)

5. SALALM in Long Beach at the end of May

[Note: SALALM stands for Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials]

 For those of you who might be interested, SALALM is having its annual conference in Long Beach this year which is being co-hosted by both the UCLA Library and the Latin American Center.  Although the pre-registration deadline has already passed,  on site registration for the 5 days of workshops, tours, and lectures is  only $115 for both members and non-members, and $20 for students.  For more information, visit the conference web site at

 Claude H. Potts, M.L.I.S.

6. Still Another Source of Audio Books in Spanish

Try the website <>.  Some of the links are iffy but the company's contact info is there, and if the title Días de combate is indeed Paco Ignacio Taibo II's novel, Flaco recommends it unequivocally.


Bruce Jensen

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