...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


Juan, with a rose
Alberto Aguilera Valadez was born in Michoacán one fine January 7 fifty years ago. His mom moved to Juárez and worked as a housekeeper in a mansion which her little boy now owns. Alberto changed his name to Juan Gabriel, by the way, and has sold some 30 million records. /



José, with a nose

It was in Santurce, Puerto Rico, that José Ferrer made his first flamboyant entrance on January 8, 1912. His immortality was assured in 1950 with his screen portrayal of Cyrano, but TV trivialists will also fondly recall his 1985-87 run as Arthur Vanderkellen on Newhart. One of his nephews is George Clooney (José married Rosemary...twice). /,+Jose
SOL 46 Contents:

January 6, 2001
1. Two ways to add accents to email
2. But what about accents on capital letters?
3. The Census undercount and you
4. Hydroelectric power to Chiapas library (from Correo Bibliopolítico)
5. ALA Midwinter meeting on reference services to Spanish speakers
6. A final word from Carlos Monsiváis


1. Accented characters in email: Two techniques

[Sherrill's question in SOL 45, about using accents in email programs, brought good suggestions from Pam and Teresa:]

From: Pam Conroy

I just tested sending and receiving an email through Hotmail with the attached system for accents. Hope this helps.

I think there are more symbols, or there used to be more, but these are the most important ones.

160 á 132 ä 133 à 131 â 134 å
130 é 137 ë 138 è 136 ê
161 í 139 ï 141 ì 140 î
162 ó 148 ö 149 ò 147 ô
163 ú 129 ü 151 ù 150 û
  142 Ä     143 Å
144 É      
168 ¿      
  153 Ö    
  154 Ü    
164 ñ 165 Ñ    
  145 æ 146 Æ 152 ÿ
    135 ç 155 ¢
156 £ 157 ¥ 159 ƒ  


From: Teresa Pacheco
[Teresa submitted this posting in English and Spanish:]

Hi, Bruce - this is in answer to Sherrill Cortes, and for others struggling with accent marks in mail programs. It's a little more trouble, but if the letter is typed in Word, it can then be copied and pasted to a Hotmail message, and it does keep all the accent marks. I get lazy sending e-mail because there is no automatic "insert symbol" in my list of Outlook tools. But, if it's important, or just to get into the good habit of using accent marks where required, this works. One more suggestion-- if the user cannot keep the chart of key combinations handy, the newer versions of Word have a symbols chart that is pretty neat. The user highlights the letter requiring a symbol, goes to "insert" on the toolbar, clicks "symbol", and double-clicks on the symbol needed.

The website "CyberSpanglish" at talks about using English or "Spanglish" terminology for technical or computer terms.

Para contestar a Sherrill, y para otras personas en la lista que quieran mandar correo electrónico usando acentos ortográficos: es un poco mas complicado, pero si el usuario escribe primero su carta en el programa "Word" por ejemplo, luego podrá copiar la carta a su correo "Hotmail."  Otra manera de insertar acentos:

Resalte (o highlatee) la letra deseada, haga clik en la barra de herramientas "inserte", y después haga clik en "símbolo". Aparece una carta de símbolos, donde podrá elegir el símbolo que necesite para insertarlo.

Un sitio interesante que quisiera recomendar es "CyberSpanglish". Este sitio habla del fenómeno de usar palabras en inglés o "Spanglish" para hablar de conceptos técnicos (vea "highlatear" arriba).

Teresa Pacheco
Computer Services Assistant
Hall County Library
127 Main St., NW
Gainesville, GA  30501

2. What about accents over capital letters?

From: Teresa Pacheco

Question for Cecilia - On the subject of accent marks - even though I know that capital letters do not generally carry accent marks, I've started using them on our website in titles. Is this just absolutely not done? If so, I'll get rid of them. Thanks.

3. In case you still harbor illusions about accurate tallies...

One of the interesting decisions facing the new US President is the question of whether to officially adjust the raw 2000 Census data in order to compensate for over- and undercounts identified by the Census Bureau in its followup surveys. It's crucial to remember that Spanish speakers in your community were almost certainly undercounted, so if the adjustments are not allowed you'll have to take the Census numbers with a grain of salt. A story in the Dec. 28, 2000 Christian Science Monitor ("Bush faces a different fight over counting," by John Dillin) explains some of the issues at play, and sounds out the agency's director:

Kenneth Prewitt, director of the Census Bureau, notes that in 1990, the estimated nationwide "net undercount" was 4 million people, or 1.6 percent. That includes an estimated 8 million people who were missed (mostly minorities) and 4 million people who were apparently counted twice (mostly whites).

4. Electricity comes to Chiapas library (from Correo Bibliopolítico)

Felipe Meneses Tello is a Mexico City librarian who compiles a terrific review of Spanish-language library news called Correo Bibliopolítico. Below is a translation of a one recent item; if you'd like to receive the newsletter on a regular basis contact Felipe at

Hydroelectric turbine to light up Zapatista library in La Realidad

Thanks to a number of Italian social and political organizations, the residents of La Realidad, a town in Chiapas held by indigenous Zapatistas, will soon have electric power. It's the realization of a promise made some time ago by a group of Italian visitors to this Tojolabal community: bring electricity to the settlement, celebrated worldwide as a bastion of the Mexican rebel movement.

A convoy of Italians and Mexicans brought the humanitarian aid of the Turbina en la Realidad project in early December. The electric generator was build by teachers and students of Rome's La Sapienza university at a cost of $250,000. Its 50,000-watt generating capacity will bring power to" homes, the church, the school, the library, the dwellings of Aguascalientes, and the streets of La Realidad."

Sources: Gil Olmos, Jose. "Se instalará un generador eléctrico en La Realidad". La Jornada. [Mexico]. 24 November 2000, p. 14
Aviles, Jaime. "A más tardar dos meses La Realidad contará con energia eléctrica". La Jornada. [Mexico]. 2 December 2000, p. 24

5. Meeting at ALA Midwinter: Reference services to Spanish speakers

[From the REFORMAnet listserv:]

Are you going to ALA midwinter? Do you want to improve reference services to Spanish speakers in your community? Come share your experiences and ideas at our meeting in the West room at the Wyndham Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 11:30. Hasta pronto!

Ina Rimpau, Chair
RUSA Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee

6. Even Monsiváis internetea y emailea

We'll let formidable cultural historian Carlos Monsiváis underline Teresa's point (#1, above) about IT neologisms, in this excerpt from an interview in Mexico City's Excelsior:

Q: ¿Internetea?

A: Me entero. Sobre todo emaileo. Sí, es indispensable. Y procuro enterarme así de algunas publicaciones sobre todo lo que publica The New York Times.


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