...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


Normally the cumpleañeros we spotlight are from the Spanish-speaking world, but when Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey bounced into the world on this date in 1851 his proud parents would've been prouder still had they known he'd dream up a clever classification system that would one day be translated into Spanish and posted on the Web Link

How clever was Dewey? Hey, he's the only person so far who has successfully identified the next U.S. president! CNN still doesn't have a clue, but our man has known all along the winner would be 973.931, let the chads fall where they may. (See item #7 below). Mel's Web presence goes from the comical Link to the earnest: Link I / Link II / Link III / Link III



On December 12 millions will pay their respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas who showed herself to Juan Diego this week in 1531. She has a spectacular quatrilingual website at and if you want her story in brief you can check

SOL 44 Contents:

December 10, 2000
1. FIL 2000 scrapbook
2. NASA launches science site in Spanish
3. Central American library materials

4. Download Don Quijote: free e-book
5. Literary mag o' the month
6. Another take on outreach to Mexicans
7. What's the Spanish for "chad?"



1. FIL in the news

Welcome home, those of you who attended the best-attended Guadalajara book fair ever. We hope you brought back armloads of great books (and maybe some stories for your fellow SOListas--like, what about the reported rampant book thefts that prompted some stands to close?). If you want to relieve the experience of the Feria Internacional de Libros 2000, visit , the FIL section of Guadalajara newspaper El Informador.

2. Spanish-language sites: Science and fun for kids & families

NASA this month introduced an ambitious Spanish version of its flashy and authoritative site devoted to space and Earth science:

Other good educational sites in Spanish are assembled at ALA's Great Sites for Children page, of course:

And you'll find something for the whole family at

3. Vientos Tropicales

Does your library's Spanish-speaking community include a growing group with roots in Central America? You'll probably want to bookmark the site of a vendor called Vientos Tropicales with its vast, well-organized catalogue of hard-to-find popular Central American materials in many media. A lot of this stuff would be impossible to get without a long bus ride to San Salvador or Guatemala City...

4. What's next--a cyber-Sancho? A robotic Rocinante?

The first novel in the Western world is now available, for free, in several e-book formats thanks to the popular portal . Go to to download a reader and the text of Don Quijote.

5. Spotlight on belles-letres

A yucateca teenager in Quintana Roo, Meztli Vianey Suárez Mc-liberty (her given name is Nahuatl for 'moon'), publishes a lovely online literary magazine called Arrecife

6. Outreach feature on

Substitute the word "libraries" for "banks" and see if this article gives you any ideas: Why Mexicans Don’t Trust Banks, What One Bank Is Doing About It

7. Some concepts simply can't be translated...

Flaco, wondering how terms such as 'chad,' (hanging, pregnant, or otherwise) are rendered in Spanish, toured some of the world's newspapers and came up with little more than a handful of confetti. From El Colombiano, of Bogota: "los famosos 'chad', esos pequeños pedazos de papel rectangular". Almost as prosaic is the Buenos Aires daily La Nación, which avoids the ch-word in referring to the contested Florida ballots as "boletas mal perforadas." Only by going straight to the eye of the hurricane and El Nuevo Herald de Miami could we find anything resembling poetry in such phrases as "pestañas abultadas," and the rather charming "casillas burbujas" for dimpled chads.

Oh, and another of today's birthdays we forgot to mention above: Chad Stuart, of that 60s singing duo Chad & Jeremy...


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