...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
"Happy Librarians' Day!"
Bruce Jensen



It was only a couple days ago--September 25, but in 1539--that the first printing press in the Western Hemisphere was set up.  That was in Mexico City.  

Tomorrow you might want to close your eyes and quietly, solemnly sing Happy Birthday to Víctor Jara, the Chilean singer/songwriter/theatrical director born in 1932 and killed 41 Septembers later by Pinochet's goons.

Saturday marks the birth in 1765 of another dashing human being of conscience, the same José María Morelos whose bandanna'd head is on the Mexican 50 peso bill.  He was born in Valladolid, Michoacán.  Never heard of it?  That's because nowadays the city bears his name; they call it Morelia.  

Y'all struck out on the quiz in SOL 35.  The hometown of famed Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela is tiny Etchohuaquila, Sonora.  El Toro began his pro career with the Pacific League team of nearby Navojoa, which by the way is the only town in Mexico where eight streets meet.  

SOL 36 Contents:

September 27 , 2000
1. Online library survey needs your input
2. How to obtain Oregon's excellent Bienvenidos a las Bibliotecas... video

3. Library cart drill team: Ready for Rosie
4. A well-deserved holiday  



1. Make your voice heard in online survey

Prudence Cendoma has been a Spanish-language cataloger for more than five years, and with an eye toward improving the way we all do our work she has built an easy-to-use online survey.  The few moments you'll take to fill it out may well pay dividends to Spanish-speaking patrons and the librarians who serve them.

From: Prudence Cendoma,

I am a graduate student enrolled full-time in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Pittsburgh interested in Spanish language subject headings. There has been very little library literature published on this topic. I've been working on a related project and need your help. I've posted a research survey on the web at:
Since all of the fields are optional, responses to any of the questions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you ~ Muchas gracias!

2. Oregon video welcomes Spanish speakers to libraries ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Roger Ebert's thumbs would surely join Flaco's in the upright position for Washington County Cooperative Library Services' "Bienvenidos a las Bibliotecas del Condado de Washington."  The nine-minute video follows a Spanish-speaking family through their introduction to the public library courtesy of a librarian very much like the ones they'd be likely to encounter in real life, and features professional narration that clearly and succinctly explains the workings of the library.

From: BJ Doty  

Thanks for your kind words about the video.  It was our first video project, and the whole thing, including desktop publishing/printing of the color video sleeve, reproduction of 50 copies, and all filming costs, came to about $6000.  We're grateful to the folks at TVCA (Tualatin Valley Cable Access) for all their technical expertise and filming.  The folks at Centro Cultural provided actors, and Sarah Denney-Garcia, our resident bilingual librarian, all appeared on their own time.

We've had many requests from the social service agencies in our county for copies of the video to use with their Latino clients.  and we're having to print another batch.  Even got some requests from the earlier SOL note on the list.  I sent copies to Texas and our neighbors at Multnomah County Libraries. We hope that through local agencies, as well as outreach efforts by the individual libraries, we will reach our intended audience, and encourage families to use their public libraries. I would welcome any feedback you might give me after viewing the video.   We have two professional collection copies that are available for loan.  If any library outside Washington County wants a copy to keep, $5 would cover our costs of shipping/handling/reproduction.  The video is geared to Washington Co., as it features our computer system and how to search online.  But other libraries who've seen it tell me it is a good template for their own local production.  We're happy to share.  Please contact me directly if your libraries are interested.

Thanks and best of the autumn to you.
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

3. Not yet an Olympic sport, but if beach volleyball can make it, well... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you've read about this crack cadre of cart wranglers at,2110,302863,00.html you might feel good to know that they work alongside one of your SOL mates. 

From: Claire Johnston   Hi Bruce:

Behind in e-mail, I can finally get back to, I'm not on the drill team at Ocean County Library, but I know some of them, most of them energetic circulation ladies who Rosie O' Donnell would like, no doubt! 

We are all hopeful that they may make it on the show which is taped in New York. 

Our other most recent national publicity was a blurb about OCL in People Weekly.  We had a Toyota Corolla in our lobby for a year--this is a car crazy area of NJ!  The blurb was actually a Toyota ad which advertised our fund raising stunt (we sold $2 raffle tickets for almost a year to raise money for a building expansion).  I think it was the 8/14 issue- Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on the cover.  No, I'm not in the photo but my two bosses, with whom I get along quite well are there. So check that out, and one could say that it's a small world...

On long postings in SOL issues, I agree with Pamela Conroy.  It might be faster for us to just read the brief mention of Spanish-related articles and see the URL which we could use as a link than to scroll through entire articles. All of it would be available in the SOL archives on the web site too.



4. "But every day is Librarians' Day!"

Flaco, who enjoys holidays as much as the next person, grew up with a chip on his shoulder asking when the heck it was ever gonna be Children's Day.  Sometimes he wonders how we in the U.S. can dare call ourselves civilized when we celebrate a day for bosses but not for educators.  Kids and teachers are honored with holidays in Latin American countries, but it gets even better than that:  Argentina celebrates Librarians' Day every September 13 and, as you'll see from the posting below (pulled from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions list at, parts of Mexico pay tribute to their noble bookslingers on the last day of this month:

Date:  Thu, 14 Sep 2000 08:22:36 -0400

Dear Colleagues:

I will appreciate it if you could send me information about the Librarian's Day in your countries: when it is celebrated and the reason for a particular date. In Mexico there are states where the Librarian's Day is celebrated on September 30 because of a religious tradition in the devotion of Saint Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius) and other states where it is celebrated due to a government decision.

This request is in order to let know our local librarian community the ways this celebration is carried out in different countries and cultures.

Please, send your answers to my personal e-mail address ( bamaya@TUNKU.UADY.MX ). Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

Yours Faithfully

Armando E. Burgos-Amaya
Regional Research Center
Autonomous University of Yucatan

President of "Southeastern Librarians, Civil Association"
Yucatan, Mexico


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