...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



C'mon, c'mon, let's go and celebrate the short, dazzling life of recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ritchie Valens.

It was May 13, 1941 when the Valenzuela boy came into the world in the San Fernando Valley town of Pacoima. Sadly we lost him before his 18th birthday in an Iowa plane crash, but his brilliant recordings keep him in our ears and hearts. Luis Valdez's fine film La Bamba and a number of websites pay tribute to the great rocker: shows wonderful photographs and a detailed biography, and features an animated timeline of Ritchie's life.

SOL 59 Contents:

May 11, 2001
1. A course in library Spanish
2. Elena Poniatowska wins Alfaguara Prize
3. Spanish-language legal forms
4. Census releases new report on growth trends
5. Hispanic Library Institute
6. Spanish-language library websites
7. Claire Johnston wins the SOL giveaway!
8. TyERA: Hard-to-find materials for libraries


1. Library Spanish course available for a low, low price

From: Nancy French

Sorry to be so long in responding to SOL 57, but have been on vacation.  I am writing in response to the request for library staff language training.  REFORMA Nevada Chapter realized there was a definite need for this in libraries in our state, and so we created and offered Spanish 9-1-1, a series of 3 classes aimed at providing staff with essential vocabulary and phrases staff would need to serve the Spanish speaking patron.  Vocabulary and phrases were presented by area of librarianship, with 10-15 phrases presented for each area.  Areas covered were:  Circulation, Reference, Readers' Advisory, Computers, Periodicals, Special Programs, Children's Services, Basic Library Lingo, and Communicating with the cleaning crew.  

To offer participants the opportunity for reinforcement, we produced a coordinating CD/Booklet set that is available for purchase for $7.00 plus $2.00 postage and handling.  We also videotaped the classes to make them accessible for library staff throughout the state.  Anyone interested in purchasing CD/Booklet sets can do so by sending payment, made out to REFORMA Nevada Chapter, to: 

Nancy French
Sahara West Library
9600 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV  89117
Tel:  (702)228-1963
FAX:  (702)228-2145  

Our chapter is also willing to loan the videos out to interested libraries after they have completed the instate routing.  Interested libraries should contact me at the above address.

2. Poniatowska's La piel del cielo wins Spain's biggest literary prize

The divine Elena Poniatowska (who's met Flaco; one of them hasn't stopped swooning since) recently won the huge Alfaguara award in Spain, with her new novel--submitted under the pseudonym 'Dumbo' so as not to unduly influence the judges. The Mexican chronicler, social critic, and all-around national treasure is currently on tour in the U.S., and you can read about her prize and new book at and (but don't be deceived by the second site: the novel's protagonist is not an astrologist but rather, like Poniatowska's husband, an astronomer).

3. Any ideas about legal forms in Spanish?

From: Becky Tatar

We had a request for copies of legal forms in Spanish.  Does anyone know who might carry these?  It would be something similar to the Business and Legal forms on File from Facts on File, and other companies. 

Thanks in advance,

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL   60505
PHONE: 630-264-4100
FAX: 630-896-3209

4. Population growth trends described in new Census report

From's 'Mexican Immigrants Count for Much of Hispanic Increase':

"But the real surprise in the report was the level of growth among all Hispanic groups, said Betsy Guzman, who authored the report. Although the greatest share of the growth was among Hispanics from Mexico, other groups experienced growth, as well.

"Overall, the number of Hispanics in the United States grew by 13 million between 1990 and 2000, to a total 35.3 million. The number of Mexicans increased by 7.1 million."

5. Hook up with Tammy Pineda in Mad City!

From: Tammy Pineda <>
Subject: [biblio-progresistas] Hispanic Library Institute
[Note: See the PLUS 'Library Links' page for info on the Biblio-Progresistas list]

I'm planning to attend this conference. Is anyone else going? I'd love to meet with someone and talk about Library Services for Latinos.  I'm a Spanish Outreach Liaison for Hennepin County Library in Minnesota.

[The 5th Trejo Foster Foundation Hispanic Library Institute will be held in Madison, WI this July 20-22 and the conference theme is 'Bridging Borders: Building Hispanic Library and Services in a Global Perspective.' See the site at]

6. Library sites in Spanish

You might've seen, in Library Journal's recent 'NetConnect' supplement, Walter Minkel's piece "The Web en Español." He mentions a few Spanish-language library websites (including the Hall County, GA site, tip o' th' hat to our good pal Teresa Pacheco). You can find more such sites listed at and Hal Bright has a much more larger, but still far from comprehensive, list at Send him your site and help him out with this worthy project.

7. Claire cops the big prize in Críticas contest

From: Claire Johnston

Hi Bruce Jensen:  Here's another try at winning free books. I think I may be slow on the draw, but it is worth a try anyway...Barbara Bibel reviews El porque de los gemelos and Las 3 inteligencias in the first issue of Críticas.

[Claire's absolutely right, of course, so some kids' books in Spanish are winging their way to New Jersey. And please take note of her new email address.]

Claire A. Johnston
Senior Librarian
Information Services
Ocean County Library
101 Washington St.
Toms River, NJ  08753
(732) 349-6200, ext. 835

8. TyERA: A book distributor focusing on Spanish and bilingual materials

I have been in business for 4 yrs. this month.  I started out with one self-published author, and now I represent over 100 US publishers, in addition to about a dozen from Mexico, South American, and Spain.  It has been a challenge and a great learning experience. 

My company name, TyERA (tierra), stands for Technology y Education Resources Alvarez.  Wanting to create a "name" for people to remember while conveying a message of what I wanted to accomplish, I decided that I primarily wanted to offer services related to "Technology."  Secondly, because I wanted people to know that I was focused on Spanish and Bilingual products, I included "Y."  Then, "Education Resources" because wanted to grow to be a viable resource not only to educators (schools) and librarians but to publishers as well. Finally, to complete "a name to remember," and adding a personal touch to my company, I added Alvarez, hence, I came up with "TyERA," which I choose to pronounce "tierra."

My experience has revealed to me that there is a great need for my services.  For publishers, one of marketing and giving greater exposure of their products to decision-makers, and for my customers, one of someone to call to help them find hard-to-find books, videos, software or programs to meet their current needs. I am finding that while one publisher may have a combination of  books, videos, and audios, another software, another books for women, etc.,  too often customers have several needs that no one publisher can provide. Instead of them having to do extensive research to find of what may be difficult to find to meet their needs, I do the work for them. For instance, in addition to traditional library books,  I have Bilingual Software for kids, Mexican movie videos, videos in English & Spanish, Parent Involvement Programs in English & Spanish, Language Learning programs, Best Sellers in Spanish, Western paperback Best Sellers, Math programs for recent immigrants, GED materials in Spanish, etc., etc. 

I guess you could say, that my customers can look to TyERA to find for them those items which would too often take considerable time to research and find. So, if they have a need for videos in English or in Spanish about health issues, I have them.  Or if they want a Bilingual program for parenting sessions, I can provide it.  I do not pretend to have it all by any means, but as I grow my business, I am becoming a viable resource to help my customers meet their constantly growing needs.

It is a long journey, my friend, but I am enjoying the adventure.


Octavio Xavier Alvarez
National Marketing Manager
TyERA (Technology y Education Resources Alvarez)
P. O. Box 310
Kingsville, TX 78364-0310

Toll-Free: 1-877-964-0644
Fax: 361-595-4303

Please Note: My New E-mail address is & my Web page address

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