...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



Prepared for the kickoff of Hispanic Heritage Month, our dirigible-sized SOL piñata (normally housed in a Tillamook, Oregon blimp hangar) is cruising the skies over  Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and of course Mexico as they all prepare for Independence Day celebrations.  Read all about HHM at, check a related bibliography compiled by the California Academy of Sciences at

and learn about prominent Hispanic astronauts and scientists at  

A dark date that we allowed to slip past was September 11, 1973, the beginning of the "Apagón Cultural" in Chile, which saw the burning of books, magazines, archives, and films, the sacking of bookstores and libraries public and private (including that of Pablo Neruda, who'd won the Nobel Prize only two years earlier), and other merriment certain to bring a tear to any librarian's eyes.  Isabel Allende's uncle Salvador was killed in the coup, and presiding over the festivities was a fellow who's been in the news recently, one Augusto Pinochet.  

SOL 34 Contents:

September 14, 2000
1. Two YA bilingual dictionary recommendations
2. Hey, western fans!  Solve the mystery of "El Halcón"
3. Spanish-language patron orientation video produced
4. More bestseller lists of books in Spanish
5. Latest quiz solution
6. First Latin Grammys
7. The phantom attachment
8. A wealth of Census Bureau data on Hispanics



1. Bilingual dictionaries for young adults
From: Margot Kavanagh
I want to respond to the list about the bilingual dictionaries:

We use two bilingual dictionaries in our homework assistance program:

1) Cervantes Walls Spanish and English Dictionary
   NTC Publishers $11.95  ISBN (cloth) 0844279749
Economical and compact, 500 pp, good sized print for grades 5 -12

2) Spanish Bilingual Dictionary: A Beginners' Guide In Words and Pictures
   Barrons' $8.95 ISBN (paper) 0764102818
Designed for both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking children; we use for grades 2-7; only 1400 words

70% of the children in East Palo Alto CA schools are Hispanic.  Would love to know what dictionaries other libraries are using.

Margot Kavanagh
East Palo Alto Library
2. A stumper for fans of Western novels
From: Antonio Arroyo
Hello Flaco,

I would like to request your help and that of your reading listserv members. I have a reference question that I can't find the answer to. A staff member wants to find out the name of the series of Western books he says he read some twenty years ago. He does not remember the name of the author nor any of the titles in this series. The only thing he does remember is the nickname of the main character of the series. The nickname is "El Halcon".
He thinks the series takes place in Texas. I talked to the staff person who asked the question and he said that the series was written originally in English.
I looked up for this nickname in the Dictionary of American Literary Characters / edited by Benjamin Franklin V ; associate editors, Gary Geer and Judith Haig (New York : Facts on File, 1990) but so far I have not found the answer. I would appreciate your help.

¡Gracias de antemano!
¡Hasta luego!
Antonio Arroyo

[The nearest Flaco could get was Louis L'Amour's Sackett family saga, in which Falcon Sackett plays a supporting role...then there was Western screen star Buster Crabbe's palomino, Falcon...]


3. Spanish-language library instruction video
From: B.J. Doty

We just finished producing a Spanish language video introduction to our public libraries.  It's 8:45 minutes in length, and we have copies available to agencies in Washington County (Oregon) that would find it useful as an education tool in working with their Latino clients.  The video explains the process of applying for a library card, looking for materials on the shelf, searching the online catalog, requesting materials from another library, checking out materials, and loan periods. 

B.J. Doty, Program Educator
Washington County Cooperative Library Services
111 NE Lincoln St., #230-L, MS 58
Hillsboro, Oregon  97124-3036
(fax) 846-3220

[Have your libraries produced or used such videos?  Any tips for the rest of us?  And please contact B.J. if you want to hear more about the Washington County project.]  


4. Bestseller lists of Spanish-language books
From: Phalbe Henriksen   Bruce, Hi!

Any possibility of asking the people who put this list [SOL 33] together to divide it up into fiction, non-fiction and children's for those of us with little Spanish?

Other than that, I love having the list available.  

[Good point, Phalbe; I have submitted that suggestion to, and perhaps if they hear from more of us they will make such a change.  Terra has several bestseller lists posted at

and they are updated frequently.  A less recent one, of bestselling books in Puerto Rico, is at ]


5. José Feliciano quiz solved by webfooted cataloger
We congratulate David Landazuri, first to submit correct answers to the latest quiz.  Informed of his good fortune, David was kind enough to invite Flaco for a visit when his Greyhound bus rolled through Eugene a couple days ago, and added, "Buen viaje, ojalá que el perro gris le trate bien."  If only it had.

> In honor of this versatile entertainer, our latest SOL quiz asks, first of all, the title of that 70's show on NBC for which Feliciano did the theme song.

- Chico and the Man.

>Part 2, the real tough part, is to name the 1996 movie in which Feliciano appears singing in the Celebrity Room to the delight of an addled & altogether weird Steve Buscemi.

- Fargo.

Do I win?
Para servirles,
  David Landazuri
Catalog Dept., Knight Library
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon .


6. Best New Artist is older than you
The first Latin Grammy Awards were handed out last night here in the City of Angels, and somebody forgot to put ol' Flaco on the guest list.  In spite of that oversight, special SOL props go out to past quiz topic Café Tacuba whose Revés/YoSoy double disk copped Best Rock Album  (perceptive review at ); captivating Colombian Shakira Mebarak who was named Best Female Pop and Rock vocalist, a true Renaissance woman; and above all to Buena Vista Social Club hero Ibrahim Ferrer, a young man born in a Havana dance hall 70-odd years ago and winner of the award for, get this, Best New Artist.   Got some good music you want to recommend to other librarians?  Visit and write a review, why don'tcha.


7. Unattached
From: Marie Kaneko Commerce, CA P.L.   Hi Bruce,
I was unable to open the attachment to view SOL 33 after three tries. Could you please continue to send it out as a regular message? I'd really appreciate it!

  [That spurious attachment to SOL 33 is a mystery to me, too.  Sending an attachment with this software requires two separate commands but I didn't give either one; it's an empty phantom attachment and I'm sorry for any confusion.  We recently decided not to send any file attachments with SOL, ever.  Documents requiring special formatting will be hung on the (searchable!) website where all these SOLs end up,

and thus made available to everyone.   Which brings me to the posting that follows:  It is unusually long, but included here because it's so rich in timely, relevant data.  Please let me know if you would prefer to see long postings summarized in SOL and hung on the web in their entirety, instead of packed in your email box.]


8. Hispanic census data (great for the grantwriter)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~
From:  Amy Kinard  Medford Reference Department
Jackson County Library
413 W. Main St.
Medford, OR  97501  (541)774-8689  (541)774-6749 fax  

Subject: Census Bureau News
  Hola Bruce. This article on libs-or listserv has good news, and could serve to remind us that some of our less visible patrons, the Spanish speaking patrons, are becoming more and more a part of mainstream society. I don't know if SOL is a proper forum for this article so leave it to your discretion. If you can't use, no problema. I can't tell you how great it is to have this forum for librarians working with Spanish speakers.

Census Bureau Facts for Features: A product of the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office
September 11, 2000

Hispanic Heritage Month 2000: September 15-October 15
  Income and Poverty
- Hispanic households experienced their third consecutive year of rising income, going from $27,043 in 1997 to $28,330 in 1998, a 4.8 percent increase. <>

- Hispanic per-capita income rose 4.5 percent between 1997 and 1998, from $10,941 to $11,434. 


- The poverty rate for Hispanics declined during the same period, from 27.1 percent to 25.6 percent and the number of Hispanics who were poor in 1998 (8.1 million) did not change statistically from 1997.  <>         

- The 1998 poverty rate among Hispanic groups ranged from about 31 percent for Puerto Ricans and Mexicans to 14 percent for Cubans. <>

- Families of Hispanic origin had a significant decline in their poverty rate: 22.7 percent in 1998, down from 24.7 percent in 1997.

- The voting-age population of Hispanics in November 2000 is expected to be 16 percent greater than in November 1996.   <>

- The voter registration rate for Hispanics increased from 31 percent to 34 percent between 1994 and 1998.

- More than one-half million more Hispanics voted in the 1998 congressional election than in the previous one held four years earlier (4.1 million compared with 3.5 million). In contrast, the number of people overall casting ballots declined by 2.6 million. 


- The voter turnout rate among Hispanics remained unchanged between the 1994 and 1998 congressional elections, at 20 percent, in contrast to the turnout rate among all adults, which declined from 45 percent to 42 percent. If noncitizens had been subtracted from the total number of  persons of voting age, the Hispanic turnout rate would have been about 13 percentage points higher in 1998. 



- The proportion of the Hispanic population age 25 and over with a high school degree or higher increased from 51 percent in 1988 to 56 percent in 1998. The proportion of Hispanics with a bachelor's degree was 11 percent in 1998, not significantly different from the 10 percent at this level of education a decade earlier. <>

- The estimated proportion of the Hispanic population age 25 and over with at least a bachelor's degree in 1999 ranged from 25 percent for Cubans to 7 percent for Mexicans. 


- Hispanics were a more sizable presence in 1998 in our nation's elementary and high schools (14 percent) than they were in the general population (11 percent). 


- In 1999, about 68 percent of Hispanic families were married-couple families, while 24 percent were maintained by a woman with no husband present and  8 percent, by a man with no wife present.


- Eight in 10 Cuban families were maintained by a married couple in 1999, the highest percentage among Hispanic groups.  <>

- In 1999, 34 percent of Hispanics, age 15 and older, had never been married, while 55 percent were currently married, 4 percent were widowed and 7 percent were divorced.


Coming to America
- In 1997, 13.1 million (1 in 2) of the nation's foreign-born residents were born in Latin America, an impressive increase from the 1.8 million (1 in 5) who resided in this country as recently as 1970. 


- In 1997, there were four Latin American countries among the top 10 countries of birth of the nation's foreign-born: Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. 


- Although U.S. residents born in Latin America can be found all across the country, most live in only a few areas. The difference is the place of birth of their Latin American-born residents. For example, in 1997, about 3 out of 4 U.S. residents born in the Caribbean lived either in the New York or the Miami metro areas. And more than half of the  Mexican-born population lived in the Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas and the state of Texas. 


- In the Miami metropolitan area in 1997, people from Latin America made up the overwhelming majority (87 percent) of the foreign-born population. <>

Population Distribution
- On July 1, 2000, an estimated 32.4 million Hispanics lived in the United States. They comprised 11.8 percent of the total population on July 1, 2000, up from 9.0 percent on April 1, 1990. (These totals do not include persons living in Puerto Rico, estimated at 3.9 million as of July 1, 1999.) <>

- The nation's resident Hispanic population increased by 10.1 million people between April 1, 1990, and July 1, 2000.  <>

- The nation's resident Hispanic population is young, with an estimated median age on July 1, 2000, of 26.6 years.  <>
  - Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the nation's Hispanics in 1999 were of Mexican origin. People of Puerto Rican origin accounted for 10 percent of the total Hispanic population, while people of Cuban origin, Central and South American origin and other Hispanics accounted for 4 percent, 14 percent and 7 percent, respectively.


- According to projections, the Hispanic population will triple from 31.4 million in 1999 to 98.2 million in 2050. Under this scenario, the percentage of Hispanics in the total population will rise from 12 percent to 24 percent over the period and by 2005 they would become the nation's largest minority group.   <>

- It is estimated that between April 1, 1990, and July 1, 2000, Hispanics accounted for 38 percent of the nation's resident population growth.   According to projections, between July 1, 2000, and July 1, 2050, Hispanics will account for the majority (51 percent) of the nation's population growth.

<>   <>

As of July 1, 1999, according to population estimates:
- The Hispanic population of seven states totaled at least 1 million each:  California (10.5 million), Texas (6.0 million), New York (2.7 million),  Florida (2.3 million), Illinois (1.3 million), Arizona (1.1 million) and  New Jersey (1.0 million). Combined, California and Texas were home to  more than half of the nation's Hispanics. 


- The states with the highest concentration of Hispanics were New Mexico (where Hispanics constituted 41 percent of the total population), California (32 percent), Texas (30 percent), Arizona (23 percent), Nevada (17 percent) and Florida, Colorado and New York (15 percent each).  <>

- The 10 counties with the largest Hispanic population were Los Angeles, Calif. (4.1 million), Dade, Fla. (1.2 million), Cook, Ill. (930,000), Harris, Texas (910,000), Orange, Calif. (800,000), Bexar, Texas (780,000), San Diego, Calif. (750,000), Maricopa, Ariz., and Bronx, N.Y. (about 580,000 each), and San Bernardino, Calif. (570,000).  


- All six counties where at least 90 percent of the residents were Hispanic were in Texas. These counties were Starr (98 percent), Webb (95 percent), Maverick (95 percent), Jim Hogg (93 percent), Brooks (92 percent) and Zavala (91 percent).   <>

Between April 1, 1990, and July 1, 1999, according to population estimates:
- California (2.8 million), Texas (1.7 million), Florida (760,000), New York (450,000) and Arizona (400,000) added more Hispanics than any other states. <>

- There were six states where the Hispanic population more than doubled:  Arkansas (where it increased by 170 percent), Nevada (145 percent), North Carolina (129 percent), Georgia (120 percent), Nebraska (108 percent) and Tennessee (105 percent).

- The 10 counties that added the most Hispanics to their populations were Los Angeles, Calif. (790,000), Dade, Fla. (300,000), Harris, Texas  (260,000), Maricopa, Ariz. (240,000), Orange, Calif. (240,000), Cook, Ill. (240,000), San Diego, Calif. (240,000), Riverside, Calif. (210,000), San Bernardino, Calif. (190,000), and Bexar, Texas (190,000).

The Spanish Language
- The percentage of U.S. public high school students taking Spanish courses more than doubled between 1982 and 1994, from 12 percent to 27 percent. <>

- In less than a decade's time, the number of registrations in Spanish courses at U.S. colleges and universities climbed by nearly 50 percent from 411,000 in fall   1986 to 606,000 in fall 1995.

- As of 1998, the United States had 20.2 million Spanish-speaking adults age 18 and over 10 percent of the total adult population.

The preceding facts come from the Current Population Survey, the Statistical Abstract of the United States and population estimates and projections. The data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.  Previous Census Bureau Facts for Features this year: 
African American History Month (February), Valentine's Day (February 14), Women's History Month (March), Census Day, 2000 (April 1), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Mother's Day (May 14), Father's Day (June 18), the Fourth of July, Back to School (August) and Grandparents Day (Sept. 10). Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau's Public Information Office (Tel: 301-457-3030; Fax: 301-457-3670; E-mail: <>)

[Originally posted to libs-or by:
Craig A. Smith
Oregon State Library
250 Winter St NE
Salem, Or  87301-3950
503-378-4277 ext 238

Information about libs-or, and a searchable archive of libs-or messages is available at: ]


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