1. INS kiosk offers information at St. Paul library
The kinder, gentler Immigration & Naturalization
Service (?!) is working with the St. Paul Public Library, writes
Lourdes Medrano Leslie in the St. Paul Star Tribune of Oct
31 2000, hosting an electronic "information kiosk that dispenses
many of the immigration forms that people routinely seek at the
office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS),
where long lines are a staple of any visit." (Flaco shouts,
"Simply by touching a screen," the story
goes, "users can obtain application forms for citizenship,
permanent residency and work permits. The kiosk also offers answers
to basic immigration-related questions and access to other local,
state and federal government sites."
Find the whole article at http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/795426.html,
and if you want to get in touch with the Lexington Outreach branch
you can call 651-642-0359 or write to SPPLWeb@ci.stpaul.mn.us
2. A SOL exclusive! The "lost"
review from Críticas
The new Críticas (#4, Winter 2001)
is just out, and as always it's full of great stuff. You'll
find bestseller lists on p. 17, tips on making the most of the FIL
on p. 8 (but, since when do librarians need to be reminded
to wear comfortable shoes? Times are changing, evidently,
and come to think of it Guadalajara is the Footwear Mecca
of North America) and more than 150 reviews of Spanish-language
books, magazines, videos, and--dig it--music.
A review you won't find, even though it's promised
right there on p. 7, is the one of Victor Villaseñor's new novel
Trece sentidos. The book's important enough to be HarperCollins'
first release under its new Rayos imprint, which publishes titles
simultaneously in both languages--and that right there is the rub.
Críticas sent a review copy to your buddy Flaco, then decided
that the Spanish version's a translation so must be reviewed by
someone else in a separate section...but it never happened, so if
you want to read Flaco's review, here it is:
Villaseñor, Victor. Trece
sentidos. (Thirteen Senses) New York: Rayo
(HarperCollins). 2001. ISBN 0-06-621160-3. $26.
Like the best-selling Rain of Gold (Arte Público Press,
1991) and its prequel Wild Steps of Heaven (Dell, 1996),
this final part of the trilogy mines the author's family history
and polishes its narrative nuggets with magic, myth, and fable.
Trece sentidos follows Villaseñor's parents-Mexican immigrants
from families making new lives in California-through the early years
of their marriage. It's the Prohibition era, and he's a bootlegger,
card shark, and smuggler; she's a God-fearing young beauty prepared
for heroic sacrifice on behalf of her man. The couple is bonded
by a lyrically described love and a mutual regard for their mothers,
one of whom, doña Margarita, is a truly fabulous character who chats
regularly with the Virgin Mary and arranges a détente between God
and the Devil. The novel's title derives from the tenets of
Margarita's earthy plainspoken spirituality that runs from the sublime
to the comical; Villaseñor gives us a female counterpart to Carlos
Castañeda's don Juan, with an indigenous holiness whose erratically
reverent take on Catholicism might discomfit some readers. One of
the strongest motifs of Trece sentidos is its feminism,
reminding us throughout that it is the women who hold these families
together. Issues of assimilation and cultural identity surface
as well. Villaseñor's writing occasionally comes unbridled
in fits of sheer enthusiasm for his themes and characters, and so
readers who disliked the unrestrained sentimentality his earlier
works will have the same complaints here. The author participated
in this translation, launched HarperCollins' new Rayos imprint,
and the text is richly colored with Mexicanisms. Recommended
highly for all libraries and bookstores.
3. Speaking of Rayos, here's another book you
You don't need to run your turntable backwards in
order to hear the drug references in Mexican 'narcocorridos,' popular
outlaw ballads about doughty smugglers. National Public Radio
yesterday ran a nine-minute feature on the genre (available for
your listening pleasure at http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/me/20011119.me.06.ram)
and for it tapped the brain of Elijah Wald. His new book Narcocorrido:
A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas is available
in both English and Spanish editions from Rayo. If you'd like
a taste of his work, Wald has a nice narcocorrido website up at
4. Detector de Tretas
A well-calibrated B.S. detector is a key survival
tool in any language, and now there's a fully downloadable bilingual
one courtesy of the folks at Miami's Radio Progreso. It's
a section of RP's site "where we decipher the B.S., or Bilingual
Scamthe art of reporting differently in English than
in Spanish, so often practiced by The Miami Herald and El
Nuevo Herald." The B.S. Detector, or Detector
de Tretas if you like, is itself published in both languages
and furnishes an alternative take on current events and reportage.
Find it weekly at http://www.rprogreso.com/
5. New book and website for REFORMA
Maybe we're biased, but we heartily recommend the
recently released REFORMA book The Power of Language/El poder
de la palabra, published by Libraries Unlimited (see http://www.lu.com/fall7.html and http://www.lu.com/showbook.cfm?titleid=731).
Not because it contains some musings by Flaco--which you usually
get for free anyway--but because it is well-edited and embraces
a remarkable range of articles about library services to Spanish
speakers and Latinos.
As a matter of fact, if you can identify the author
of its fascinating article subtitled "Applying Whiteness Theory
to Our Profession" you'll be entered in a big prize drawing
to win Seix Barral's recent reissue of Guerra en el paraíso
by Carlos Montemayor--a $16 value, yours postage-paid if you submit
your answer by Dec 10 and get lucky.
And while we're on the subject of REFORMA, you might
want to check out its handsome new look at www.reforma.org as Web genius Francisco Garcia-Ayvens
reworks the site.
6. Latino day laborers featured
Gustavo Arellano--journalist, scholar, and bilingual
ethnographer--wrote a fine piece about jornaleros for the
Orange County Weekly ("Diary of a Day Laborer: A human drama
in 5 parts"):
Your fellow SOListas, of course, are still interested
in hearing about what you and your library have done to address
the information needs of these hardworking folks, so share your
story right here.
7. Young readers of Spanish the focus of upcoming
From: Chisato Uyeki firstname.lastname@example.org
2002 SUMMER WORKSHOPS: BOOKS IN SPANISH FOR YOUNG READERS
The Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children
and Adolescents at California State University San Marcos announces
three three-day workshops:
June 24 and 25- Books and Reading Strategies for English Language
Learners in Grades K-8. This workshop will focus on
reading, selecting, and using appropriate literature to teach reading
strategies for English language learners. Activities will include:
Selecting appropriate literature for language proficiency, cultural
learning style and reading ability, using literature to teach reading
strategies such as reader's theater, reciprocal teaching, SQ3R,
vocabulary strategies, and the directed reading thinking activity.
We will also design lessons using a variety of strategies for the
English language learner using quality literature. (Two-day workshop
to be conducted in English. Noncredit only. $75.)
July 8-10 - Current Issues: Books in Spanish for Young
Introduction to and analysis of current practices and problems
in selecting and using books in Spanish for children and adolescents.
(Three-day workshop to be conducted in English. Noncredit only.
July 22-24 - Literature in Spanish for Children and Adolescents/
La Literatura en Español dirigida a los Lectores Infantiles y Juveniles.
Introduction to the literature in Spanish for children and
adolescents including selection criteria and reading promotion strategies.
(Three-day workshop to be conducted in Spanish. Noncredit only.
Workshop sessions will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students
will be free to use the resources of the Center in the afternoons.
Enrollment is limited; early registration is definitely recommended.
For further information, please call or write:
Dra. Isabel Schon
Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and
Centro Barahona para el Estudio de Libros Infantiles y Juveniles
California State University San Marcos
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 USA
Tel. (760) 750-4070
Fax: (760) 750-4073
8. KC makes the news again
Katie Weeks reports in the Nov 10 Kansas City
Star that a number of suburban libraries are redoubling
their efforts to come up with Spanish-language materials, signage,
and OPAC interfaces ("Library collections adding more books
in Spanish"). The article's not available for free, but the
lead goes like this:
"Sylvia Castro, an immigrant from Lima, Peru,
volunteers her time at the Oak Park branch of the Johnson County
Library in hopes of improving her English skills.
" 'It is very useful for me to have the opportunity to talk
to American people,' said Castro, whose husband's job transfer led
them to Kansas City almost two years ago."