...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 18   May 5 , 2000
SOL 18 Contents:


1. Hooray for the Fifth of May

3. Young readers:  Book/programming recommendations

2. Magazines: Chronicle of an intrepid search

1. Cinco de Mayo Sites

So, if it's not Mexican Independence Day (of course it isn't), then what IS today?  Here are a few sites you can show to curious patrons: 

Side-by-side bilingual account of the Battle of Puebla, with bibliography:


Plenty of activities and information aimed at kids (figure 2nd/3rd graders, roughly):


Flashy bilingual site showing all the fun in the jumpin' Tri-Cities area of Washington state:


Award-winning site, with additional links.  (Beware: most reliable sources spell General Zaragoza's name differently than you'll find it here, but it's an interesting take on the battle nonetheless):

2. Pre-teen Magazines: The Search Continues

Marge Fauver's question in SOL 16--about good revistas in Spanish for female readers younger than the target markets of  the fashion magazines--keeps gnawing at me.  I asked a librarian friend in Tijuana to do some investigating, and here's what he found (translation follows):

 *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

From: joaquin  lopez  <>

 Estimado Bruce, hoy salí a dar una vuelta al centro de la ciudad, para ver en los puestos callejeros de revistas las publicaciones de revistas juveniles y sus novedades.

 Está en circulación una revista llamada Teens, me dice el vendedor que la compran niñas de la 13 a 15 primaveras.

 No sé si estás enterado de la influencia covertura nacional que ejerce el monopolio Televisa en nuestra juventud, todo tipo de revistas sigue la misma línea; por lo regular podemos encontrar en sus contenidos algunas entrevistas con el artista mexicano del momento y  algunos consejos de belleza y el clásico tema de sexualidad o la reacción del adolescente ante el primer amor.

 Otros de los títulos:

15 a 20;  TV Notas; Notitas Musicales.

 Existen otras más en el mercado las cuales no pude investigar, cuando tenga los títulos y la edad de los lectores envio la lista.

 Si crees que sea necesario tener a la mano los ejemplares puedo enviártelos.

 Saludos y cuídate.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Today I went downtown to check out the sidewalk magazine stands and see what's on offer and what's new for young readers.

 There's one out called Teens which the vendor told me his 13 to 15-year-old female customers are buying.

 I don't know if you're aware of the influence the national media monopoly Televisa has on our youth.  All the magazines are pretty much the same: you can usually count on some interviews with Mexico's current flavor-of-the-month performing artist, along with a few beauty tips and something about the ever-popular topics of sexuality and the sweet anguish of first love.

 A few other titles:

15 a 20;  TV Notas; Notitas Musicales

 There are some other magazines on the market that I didn't have time to examine; when I have their titles and the ages of their target audiences, I'll send you a list.

 If you need to see some copies, I can mail them to you.

 [By the way, Flaco also asked sidewalk vendors here in LA what they had for younger female readers, and came up similarly empty.  Could it be that there is something published outside of Mexico and the US that meets the needs Marge expressed?]

3. Good Guide to Children's Programming

Subject: Magazines

From: Vona Van Cleef <>

 Did Marge Fauver get any replies to her question about periodicals in Spanish? I just did my order for next year and was delighted to find that the ever-popular Zoobooks is now available in Spanish. At a hefty price ($90-something), but available nonetheless. The kids will be thrilled! I have also ordered La Luz and Chispa. Just got a *great* book from Neal-Schuman: it's Programming with Latino Children's Materials by Tim Wadham. His first library job was in Dallas and this is the book he said he wished he had had then. So, he wrote it! Truly a crash course for the non-fluent Spanish librarian trying to keep his or her head above the bilingual waters of a changing nation.

 Vona Van Cleef, librarian, Alta Vista Elementary, El Paso, TX


Vona, the "library girl" (as my little'uns at school call me).

Quote of the year (until I find one I like better):   "It's simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren't any dragons."

--Sarah Ban Breathnach in the Simple Abundance Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Bruce Jensen
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