...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



Saturday brings two big birthdays . Start in the morning with Mexico's Nobel laureate for literature, Octavio Paz, born in 1914. Gabriel Zaid's tribute in TIME and the Nobel page will help you celebrate in style. If you have the time read Paz's fascinating Nobel address, linked to the second site.

Then, go late into the night thanking the gods that someone as strong, humane, and brilliant as César Chávez appeared in 1927 to walk this earth. and tell his story, and the Holt Labor Library offers a good bibliography.

Chávez's birthday is finally an official state holiday here in California; schoolkids are marching today:, and you can read about the event's observance in the Los Angeles area at

SOL 56 Contents:

March 29 , 2001
1. Bilingual preschool storytimes query
2. Anybody got a video on library etiquette?
3. Comics, historietas, and fotonovelas

4. Labeling ethnic groups
5. Further Census complications



1. Bilingual storytimes: How to keep them going strong?

From: Linda Stiles-Taylor <>
Subject: Query for SOL about bilingual preschool storytimes

Hi Bruce & SOListas-
Our public library 30 miles west of Portland, Oregon, has been doing bilingual preschool storytimes monthly (3 sessions) since September. We use a dual language approach for a variety of reasons.We partially subsidize transportation for Headstart classes to attend these storytimes which has contributed dramatically to their success. The format includes stories, music, finger plays, dancing, poetry, crafts & an occasional magic trick all linked to a single theme and presented in alternating Spanish & English  by one person (me).

Our problem is this: it is time consuming and labor intensive to design the programs. We are rapidly running out of books which are available in both English & Spanish, short enough to read aloud in two languages to children from 3 to 6 years old, and pertain to an interesting theme. We have Spanish language early childhood theme bags available to us, but many of the books are only available in Spanish. Also, I have just ordered Tim Wadham's Programming with Latino Children's Materials (New York: Neal-Schumann,1999), because I heard it was one good resource.

My question for SOListas are: Who else out there has done bilingual preschool storytimes for more than six months? Have you got any great resources to recommend for source materials? Does anybody have any experience with resource sharing of specifically bilingual programming kits or scripts or hot ideas about how to do this well, if you are the only library in your system utilizing this format?

I attended the REFORMA conference workshop on this theme-which got me started-but what comes next ?
Linda Stiles Taylor
Forest Grove City Library
2114 Pacific Ave.
Forest Grove, OR 97116
(503) 992-3245

2. Searching for a bilingual library etiquette video

From: Cortes, Sherrill <>

We are wondering if you have ever seen a short VCT on library etiquette, available both in English and Spanish, of course, that might be shown to students, loaned to the schools, or whatever way we could get the message out.  It might cover such topics as how to behave (quietly, perhaps), how to treat the books, why the books must be returned, etc. 

Thanks for your input, in advance.
Sherrill Cortes,  Aurora Public Library, Aurora, IL

3. All about historietas

If you're curious to know more about those appealing Spanish-language comic books, you'll find some interesting background at

Here's a bit from that site: "The illustrated novel, or foto-novela (also known as historieta), has recently enjoyed a burst of mainstream popularity in the United States...The foto-novela, and its counterpart, the historieta, have had a long history and far-reaching impact..."

4. Those pesky labels

"Many Spanish-speaking immigrants define themselves by their country of origin" instead of as 'Latino' or 'Hispanic,' observes the article cited below: "There is no name widely agreed upon by Hispanics or Latinos, either, experts said. In fact, focus groups for the U.S. Census Bureau found the term Hispanic – which is considered to be an 'Americanized' version of a name for people of Spanish descent – is neither liked nor accepted by new immigrants."

Dig into this complex and touchy issue with the piece "Black vs. African American, Latino vs. Hispanic: What's In a Name?" at LINK


5. Still more on the Census

We've discussed the undercount at great length already. You might also want to be aware of other complexities that affect the picture of your community painted by last year's Census:

"Latino replies complicate census' 1st multiracial tally" LINK .

"No Longer Black, White, Brown: Census Paints Race in New Shades" LINK


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