...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 71    February 12, 2002

Valentine's Day?  There's finally a bilingual twist on that grand gradeschool tradition of exchanging little tiny hearts bearing blurry messages. This year, for the first time ever, you can share th' luv with your media naranja using chalky candy in two languages, all for less than a buck.  Find out how in  Item 7.

SOL 71 Contents:

February 12, 2002
1 User surveys in Spanish? 7. Another holiday institution takes Spanish lessons
2.  Rick Mendosa's diabetes directory
A wealth of links in Spanish and other languagese
8. Chilean DDC
3. MEDLINE's multi-ethnic pages 9. Ezra Jack Keats grants
Forty thousand dollars for library programming
4. Multilingual legal info kiosks
Making difficult infomration easy to get
10. Dig the NewBreed, baby
5. Knowledge River
New MLIS program at U. of Arizona with Latino and Native American services focus, attractive scholarships
11. New TV show: American Family
6. SOL giveaway!  Win book on library services to indigenous communities 12. Cuban Library Tour

1.  Looking for user survey models

From: "Tatar, Becky" <
Subject: Patron survey

 HI!  I am interested in doing a patron survey next year to find out what  users of our Spanish language collection would like to see in it - in all  formats.  If you have done such a survey, could you send me copies, both the  English AND the Spanish versions?  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

2.  Multilingual diabetes resources

One of the most notable  recent additions to the Librarians' Index to the Internet is Rick Mendosa's Diabetes Directory, a truly magnificent storehouse of online resources about all facets of living with diabetes. The near-epidemic  incidence of type II diabetes among Latinos and other people of color makes Mendosa's  list of 93 non-English sites, many of them in Spanish, posted at, a great place to look for links of importance to your Spanish-speaking patrons.  Diabetes is a condition that places a premium on knowledge and information, one in which enlightened self care makes the difference between a healthy life and one of pain and suffering.  Below is the site's LII entry:

Rick Mendosa's Diabetes Directory -
Resources here include practical information for patients; Web pages of patients; charitable, educational, government, and research institutions; and a great deal more. There is also a special section of non-English sites. The site creator is a freelance writer "specializing in writing about diabetes, which both my wife and I have." Site includes many of his articles in addition to the annotated links to outside resources.
Subject: Diabetes

3. MEDLINE Plus serves Latinos, Blacks, Asian-Americans

The National Library of Medicine's comprehensive MEDLINE portal has sections devoted to Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and, at, Latinos.  The directories offer a special focus on health issues affecting each group. 

A currently posted article at the site outlines a study from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation, New Survey Shows Language Barriers Causing Many Spanish-speaking Latinos to Skip Care.  The MEDLINE site also presents a well-chosen list of Spanish-language health information sources at

4. Electronic self-help legal info kiosks in Orange County

SOL 68 tipped you off about the INS's electronic help stations, set up cooperatively with the library in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The infobooth idea has recently spread to an area with big, dynamic multilingual communities in California, and you can read about this new service at

Below, an excerpt from that story:

Legal Aid Society of Orange County Draws National Attention to 'I-CAN!' Self-Help Computer Kiosks

SANTA ANA, CA--From Sacramento to Washington, D.C., officials advocating greater access to legal services for low-income residents are keeping a close watch on Orange County, Calif. and its technology-based solution.

Free to the user, it is one of the nation's first computer kiosk and web-based legal service systems. I-CAN! provides software-based instructions for preparing small claims forms and restraining orders in domestic violence cases. Other modules include paternity petitions and answers, fee waiver, license denial review, wage assignment review and eviction defense. Many modules have been translated into Spanish and some into Vietnamese...

5.  Knowledge River

From: Pat Tarin
Subject: Please spread the news about Knowledge River!

Do you know of people who have been considering getting their library degree?  Please help us spread the news that Knowledge River at the University of Arizona's Library School (SIRLS) is accepting applications for its inaugural class! 

The deadline is April 15, 2002, so applicants would need to start the process soon.

Knowledge River graduates will receive an MA in Information Resources and Library Science. Successful applicants will receive:

---Full tuition support for one year
---A fellowship of $12,000 for one year
---Customized academic advising
---Academic support when needed
---Full orientation to the school, the campus and the community
---Peer support from fellow students

Knowledge River is looking for people who want to:
---Bring the benefits of the Information Age to American Indian and Hispanic communities.
---Study library and information science with others who are committed to providing information, educational resources, the latest technology and relevant library materials to Hispanics and Native Americans.
---Participate in an innovative graduate level curriculum that incorporates cultural authenticity into newly designed courses specifically geared to the needs and interests of Native Americans and Hispanics.

You can find out more at the Knowledge River website:

Questions?  Contact the program's Director, Pat Tarin, at (520) 621-6428;

6. Book giveaway

Esteemed compañero Martín Vera of Mexico City, one of the leaders of the Mexican Progressive Librarians' Study Circle, generously sent us an important book and he wants you to have a copy, too.

In November 2000, IFLA and the CUIB (UNAM's Center for Library Science Research) convened the first conference to examine library services to indigenous communities in Latin America, drawing scholars and practitioners from Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere in the hemisphere, including the host country of Mexico. 

The book contains 13 articles describing programs and research involving culturally appropriate information services, literacy, indigenous language publishing, and other topics.  Win yourself a copy by being the first SOLista to email me the name of the most famous novelist and poetry slammer to come out of Wellpinit, Washington on the Spokane Indian reservation.  Extra points if you can name his new movie, the one that made such a splash at Sundance this year.

Here's the data on the book:  Encuentro latinoamericano sobre la atención bibliotecaria a las comunidades indígenas, edited by María del Rocío Graniel Parra.  Mexico City: UNAM, 2001.  ISBN:  968-36-9419-5.

7. Valentine hearts now speak Spanish

NECCO churns out eight billion Sweethearts Conversation Hearts each year, and this season a whole lot of them are imprinted with more than 30 sayings in Spanish.  For the first time, the company is selling its Spanish-language hearts ("the new language of love," according to the press release) nationwide in the U.S.  "The latest census shows that the Hispanic population is growing in all sections of the country, so we decided to go nationwide with the Hispanic Sweethearts in 2002," said Lory Zimbalatti, Marketing Manager for NECCO.

Corazones Dulces is what they call 'em, and you can read about this national launch at

Flaco, that big killjoy, wants to alert his vegan friends that the cute little hearts contain gelatin, i.e. rendered bones, skin, and hooves of his personal pals the pigs and cows.

Other fun facts from the New England Confectionary Company:

--NECCO Wafer rolls contain 8 flavors and colors: lemon (yellow); orange (orange); lime (green); clove (purple); cinnamon (white); wintergreen (pink); licorice (black); and chocolate (brown).

--In very low humidity NECCO Wintergreen Wafers spark in the dark when broken.

8.  Detailed DDC in Spanish

Our table of the Dewey Decimal Classification System in Spanish, over on the PLUS site at, breaks it down into the thousand sections.  But for even finer detail, take a look at what the Chilean Association of Publishers, Distributors and Booksellers has mounted at  There are gaps in both listings, so using the two together will serve you nicely.

Another useful feature of that Cámara Chilena del Libro site is its current ranking of the top half-dozen fiction and non-fiction bestsellers at

9. Ezra Jack Keats grants

  1005 East 4 Street, Brooklyn, NY 11230
  Tel: (718) 252-4047 (For more information)

      The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has just announced that, in celebration
of  the fortieth anniversary of the publication of  The Snowy Day, $40,000 will
be awarded in the Fourteenth Annual Minigrants in December 2002 for
innovative and imaginative programs, in public libraries and public school libraries,
designed to combat illiteracy.  Minigrants of $350 are available for such   programs. 
     The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2002.

      "This is a momentous celebration," said Deborah Pope, Executive
Director of the Foundation.  "The Snowy Day, when it was published forty years ago, 
broke the color barrier in mainstream children's literature.  It depicted

African-American Peter enjoying the snow, as does every child. From that
point on, the black child  appeared more often in mainstream literature."
      Minigrant applicants must be from the United States, and proposed
projects must be exclusively sponsored by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Programs that will be considered include storytelling, innovative or
noteworthy workshops, and festivals.  Those targeted at parents are also
considered worthy.  Programs featuring  the works of the famed
author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats will be given special attention.
      "We have a long history of minigrant awards totaling $400,000 to
libraries and schools in every state of the union, as well as territories,"
said Ms. Pope. "Programs have been diverse and outstanding, ranging from
writing books to making patchwork quilts.  Some have developed friendships
with pen pals in different schools and different ethnic backgrounds.  The
librarians who initiate these outstanding programs make a significant
contribution in advancing the fight against illiteracy.  We are proud to
have provided the grants making their work possible."
      Applications for proposals may be downloaded from the new Keats
website: , which also provides information of value to
librarians and teachers.

10. Ain't no drag...

That cutting-edge webzine out of Eugene, Oregon, NewBreed Librarian, much loved for its fabulous design and its trenchant, genuinely informative take on contemporary librarianship, just marked its first birthday.  NBL is going stronger than ever, despite publishing a feature by your friend Flaco in the anniversary issue.

11. American Family TV show

As if Wednesday Night Reading weren't already in trouble, what with The West Wing pulling lots of discerning noses out of books and toward the small screen, now there's another compelling humpday distraction--this one, just like WW, starring a venerable Latino actor/activist.

Edward James Olmos plays Jess González in American Family. Jess is a barber in East Los Angeles, recently widowed, and the story revolves around him and the other Gonzalezes as they make their way through a demanding, complex, and sometimes magical  interplay of cultures and languages.  The series is directed by Gregory Nava, whose flicks include El Norte, Selena, and Mi Familia.  American Family is the first broadcast television series written by, directed by, and starring Latinos--including regular cast members Esai Morales and Raquel Welch.

Olmos describes his character as "a cross between Zorba the Greek and Archie Bunker.". A choice exchange between him and a customer points this up comically when the two are railing against an educational model they don't trust:

"Bilingual education!  Give me a break!  This is America!  ¡Tenemos que hablar inglés!"

"Es exactamente lo que digo yo."

(It's the same amazing reasoning used by Michael Bloomberg, new mayor of New York, who'd like to deprive 160,000 students of bilingual education.  On February 3 he declared in a public statement, "This is an English-speaking country, like it or not."  You can read about that if you want in one of those scary, dime-a-dozen opinion pieces in which columnists who know diddly about research and practice in pedagogy, language acquisition, and other boring fields indulge themselves in ill-informed attacks on bilingual education:

12. Cuba tour

Library Program to Cuba
April 19-May 3, 2002

Organized by Rhonda L. Neugebauer
University of California, Riverside

You are invited to join a Library Program to Cuba, organized for April 19-May 3, 2002.  We will meet with Cuban library professionals, scholars and educators, and visit libraries, archives, universities, cultural institutions, and other places of historical and cultural significance.  In addition to visiting libraries, program participants will attend the International Congress of Information (INFO2002 Conference) to be held in Havana April 22-26, 2002, sponsored by several Cuban libraries, library and information professionals and organizations.  At the conference, we will join ALA President John Berry and President-Elect Mitch Freedman, as part of the official ALA delegation to this historic meeting.  INFO2002 Conference organizers have extended to US librarians a special invitation to participate in this conference by organizing sessions, presenting papers, or contributing to the conference in some other way.  To register for the INFO2002 conference and to find out ways to participate, please see the conference website at

After the INFO2002 conference, participants in the Library Program to Cuba will stay another week to visit other cities and more libraries. You can attend the conference only, or you can attend the conference AND stay an additional week and visit more libraries and librarians in Cuba, including travel to Santiago and perhaps another city.

Flights, Cuban visas and U.S. Treasury licenses will be arranged for this delegation by Marazul Charters.  If you have specific questions about travel to Cuba, you can talk to travel coordinator Bob Guild at 1-800-223-5334 ( or visit the website at 

INFO2002 information is posted in Spanish at and in English at

Tentative pricing for this trip: estimated $2000, depending on accommodations, city of departure, duration of trip, single or double housing.  Price includes airfare from the US (Miami, New York or Los Angeles), Cuban visa, internal transportation, daily breakfast, selected
entrance fees, and guide and translator for 2nd week of travel.  Some expenses not covered include Airport tax ($50 Miami; $20 Havana); conference registration ($200/$180 speakers); meals, optional excursions.

This is an exciting opportunity to return to Cuba and visit the librarians we met on the previous programs in 2000 and 2001 and/or to make new professional contacts and friends.

I hope you will join us!

Rhonda L. Neugebauer
Bibliographer, Latin American Studies
University of California
PO Box 5900
Riverside, California 92517-5900
(909) 787-3703
(909) 787- 3285 (FAX)

Bruce Jensen
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