...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


SOL 6   February 17, 2000
SOL 6 Contents:


1. Jimmy Santiago Baca, Poet of the Barrio

3. Luis Valdez Produces 'El Teatro Campesino' CD-ROM
2. Pathfinder Suggestion 4. Personal Introduction: Claire Johnston

1. Poet of the Barrio


He ran away from his orphanage at age 12, was in prison by 18, won the Pushcart Prize in 1988, the American Book Award in ’89--the year he held the Wallace Stevens Endowed Chair at Yale University--then came the International Hispanic Heritage Award, the Southwest Book Award…he’s Jimmy Santiago Baca, and this evening he spoke here in a big dark room at UCLA, reading some rousing poetry as well as a section of his novel-in-progress, set in a prison and in the head of inmate #32581.  You can study up on him at if you wish, and I promise that I won’t get any kickbacks if you decide to purchase his latest poetry collection, Set This Book On Fire (Cedar Hill Publications, ISBN 1-891812-23-8) for about $15 from Endeavor Books at (888) 324-9303.  If you or some of your patrons want to read about this amazing life, I encourage you to see his 1992 essay collection, Working In the Dark, available from Red Crane Books at (800) 922-3392.



2. A Suggestion for the Pathfinder


[In SOL 5, I offered to produce a Spanish-language reference pathfinder that will be freely downloadable and adaptable for use in your libraries, and I asked for your suggestions and requests.  That request still stands; here's the first response.]


Our patrons are especially interested in all things Puerto Rican (borinqueño). There is growing interest in Dominican "stuff" too.  These materials could be in English or Spanish.

There is a great need for homework assistance materials (I'm thinking of Web resources, here).  Biographical sites/sources.  SCIENCE!

Will you make the pathfinder freely available for us to adapt to our use? Perhaps you will list sources we don't own...we could substitute what we do.  We could fill in local call numbers.



Jean Canosa Albano, MLIS, Head of Youth and Outreach Services
Springfield (MA) Library
220 State Street
Springfield, MA  01103
VOICE: (413) 263-6800, ext. 291
FAX:   (413) 263-6825


3. El Teatro Campesino CD-ROM available



Subject: El Teatro Campesino CD-ROM

I hope many of you had the opportunity to listen to Luís Valdez at the ALA Midwinter Conference in January.  He gave the keynote address at the Presidential Program and spoke on "Multicultural Arts in the Computer Age." He is beginning to use digital media to capture the experiences of minority groups and has produced one CD-ROM: "El Teatro Campesino: From the Fields to Hollywood"  which I highly recommend.  Please consider buying it for yourself or your library.  For more information visit the ETC website:  

The El Teatro Campesino CD-ROM examines the contribution of this extraordinary company from a variety of viewpoints. Its multidimensional structure allows you to choose your point of entry into the material and to follow your interests. The disk is entirely bilingual, and users can set their language choice or dynamically switch between English and Spanish at any point.  $39.95  Educational pricing is available.


4. Meet Claire Johnston, Librarian and Latin Americanist


I am a Senior Librarian in the Reference Dept. of the Ocean County Library in Toms River, NJ. Last year, Lakewood, the town in the county with the greatest number of Hispanics, joined the county library system, so this year we have the challenge of trying to learn what holdings Lakewood has in Spanish and bilingual materials, and trying to buy more books in Spanish for the system as a whole. Lakewood is about 10% Hispanic and the rest of the county is about 3% Hispanic. I went to the Guadalajara Book Fair last December where I met Connie Bennett who started this list, as well as many others. Nancy Kranich, the current president of ALA, was at the Fair and she was really enthusiastic about what she saw us Hispanophiles doing down there! My background is that I studied in Mexico in college, completed a M.A. in Latin American Studies at NYU in New York and a M.L.S. at Rutgers. I think the list is a good idea and welcome the exchange of ideas. It was interesting to read of Martin Vera's activities at UNAM. Keep up the postings!


Claire A. Johnston

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

Bruce Jensen

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