...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



Argentinian author Manuel Puig, best known for The Kiss of the Spider Woman, was born this day (or rather, "at 2:00 a.m. on a hot summer night," according to his biographer Suzanne Jill Levine) in 1932.

Treat yourself to here essay, posted by the good people at the Center for Book Culture, at or to the variety of fine stuff on Puig at where you get the added bonus of a Raul Julia photo.
SOL 45 Contents:

December 28, 2000
1. Accents in Hotmail?
2. Selling the post office to Spanish speakers
3. Correo Bibliopolítico: Interesting newsletter with a catchy name
4. Cinco Puntos Press: Interesting newsletter, but no catchy name
5. Libraries & a linguistic minority of one
6. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies
7. Havana book fair



1. Help! Anybody know how to generate accented characters in these platforms?

From: Sherrill Cortes,

I am enjoying exploring your PLUS & SOL sites.  I would like to know how to use the accents table you made up []

in Hotmail or AOL. It doesn't work in either of those nor in our Outlook mail.  My niece writes me from Mexico all in capitals, leaving out the accents, but I prefer not to do that and it would be great practice for my Spanish writing skills. 
Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Sherrill Cortes,  Bookmobile Clerk/Driver, Aurora Public Library, Aurora, IL

2. Marketing the USPS in Spanish

It won't make those new 34-cent stamps any easier to lick next week, but the Postal Service's promotion strategy for its new Spanish-language website might have some valuable lessons for your library:

The USPS site was mentioned in SOL 35

3. And speaking of "correo"...

...which is "mail" to you & me, Felipe Meneses of Mexico City publishes Correo Bibliopolítico, an informative, provocative electronic newsletter for librarians. Recent issues have included news about books and databases in the Americas, as well as Vicente Fox's appointment of a new director of Mexico's national public library system. If you read Spanish, contact Felipe to receive the CB:

4. Here's a newsletter looking for a snappy name

From: Susie Byrd,

Several people have mentioned to me that they would like regular notices of Cinco Puntos Press publications and happenings so I am instituting the Cinco Puntos Press email newsletter. It probably needs a snappy name, but I can't think of one right now. If you are interested in the newsletter, I will email you 4 or 5 times a year to let you know about new books and all the CPP news. To sign up, just write to me at the address above. Also, if you would like to receive our yearly catalog through snail mail, please indicate that by including your address in your reply.

We have a bunch of great books out this year. You can check them out at We plan to have ecommerce up and running on our site within the next couple of months. In the meantime, look for our books at your local bookstores or get in touch with Eddie to order ( or 800-566-9072).

Susie Byrd
Director of Marketing and Publicity

5. How the library feels to a foreigner

Your friend Flaco just returned from an emergency trip to distant shores where this here alphabet is alien and where books open left-to-right instead of right-to-left. The place is also home to some delightful libraries (pardon the tautology) and my visits to those put me in the shoes of the sometimes-confused patron not well versed in the local language. Why, you might well be asking, did I feel right at home in some of those libraries, but uncomfortable in others?
--Signage: Remarkable how one or two placards in my native tongue carried the immediate message that a library was ready and waiting for people like me. Particularly comforting were signs written in non-fractured English, and those bearing genuinely useful orientation clues.
--Brochures: Ditto for in-house flyers and other printed matter that served to show me around. Funny that my tolerance for bloopers and typographical errors (probably due to their presence in, for example, this very issue of SOL) was higher here than in the item above, and that being handed a halfway-decently written brochure was usually preferable to enduring an earnest staffer's uncomfortably terrible spoken version of my mother tongue.
--Collections: You know what was really great to see, especially during the last couple weeks while the election was being decided? Any recent English-language newspaper or newsmagazine. I was avidly chewing on ones that normally I wouldn't even look at.
--Sisterhood: It's powerful. One library I stumbled into was in a municipality boasting a sister-city connection with a town in my natal state. I got a nice feeling from a hanging tapestry showing a historical scene. Nothing more than a square of woven kitsch, but hey, it was like coming home to the warm glow of the fireplace. Better still was a small but well-chosen collection of gift books from the stateside library. The 'sister library' or 'twinning ' relationship /

is one of those beautiful ideas that more libraries really ought to get hip to.

6. A journal worth knowing about

[Thanks to the work of Francisco García Ayvens, one of this planet's truly great librarians, back issues of the journal mentioned below are available online and indexed at]

From: Elias Wondimu,

Our web page sells publications of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and features an index to thirty years of our Chicano studies journal, which may be of interest to your clients. Our web page is at

Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies is an interdisciplinary, refereed journal dedicated to scholarly research relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. First published in 1970 and still the premier journal of Chicano studies, Aztlán is issued twice a year and edited by Chon A. Noriega of the University of California at Los Angeles. Aztlán welcomes submissions in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Aztlán was partly responsible for the founding and flowering of Chicano Studies in the 1970s. Through the struggle of the activists who birthed it, the careers of many young academics who could not find mainstream publishers were launched. Quite a few of those who first published in Aztlán have gone on to be renowned academics and many of Aztlán's early articles are consistently anthologized. For over thirty years Aztlán has remained at the forefront of the field.

7. Cuban book fair

This conference announcement distributed by
E-mail enquiries:

10th International Book Fair of Havana, Cuba
January 30 to February 10, 2001

The book fair will be held at the San Carlos de la Cabana fortress in Havana.  The sponsoring institutions have developed a program of educational activities related to book publishing in Cuba, to be held January 30 through February 1 prior to the book fair itself which will take place February 2 through February 10.  The educational program is specifically designed for international participants in the fair. This call for participation is being issued to publishers, distributors, vendors, printers, literary agents and professional associations connected with the publishing world (university and commercial) as well as authors, representatives of the press, and other professionals.

The price for individual participants ranges from $1118 to $2479 (U.S. dollars), depending on the type of accommodations the participant selects.  The price includes 13 nights and 14 days with breakfast in the hotel selected; two lunches in Old Havana; registration, program fees and entrance fees for all the activities; all ground transportation in Cuba; and the services of guides, translators, and teachers in the educational program.  The fee does not include air travel to and from Havana, dinners, or lunches not mentioned.

Organized by: The Cuban Institute of Books and the Center for Development Studies of South Carolina


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