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Latino Librarianship: A Handbook for Professionals   Edited by Salvador Güereña. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, N.C. 1990. ISBN 0-899-50532-5. 192pp. index; bibliography Not in print

Changing Latino Demographics and American Libraries
      Eugene Estrada

"The responsibility of librarians is not lessened because the Hispanic community is underutilizing the library. On the contrary, expanding populations and changing neighborhoods demand an appropriate, effective response to the obligation of service to the Hispanic." (p. 12)

Estrada draws a statistical sketch of the U.S.'s late-1980's Hispanic population, then outlines ideas about identifying and meeting its information needs. He mentions the important 1988 "A State of Change: California's Ethnic Future and Libraries"1 conference and lists some of the recommendations that came from that gathering:

"The library must change; it has no choice. It has to adapt to serve new populations. The library must pay for new programs and personnel to serve and attract these new patrons. It must be culturally aware and sensitive. The library must become more political. . . . [it] needs to mount vigorous public relations campaigns to market its services and to secure the necessary support from the community" (pp. 12-13)

Estrada notes, however, that Cuesta and Tarín made essentially the same recommendations a decade earlier in Library Journal.2 He contends that genuine innovation will come only as a result of the will and commitment of those desirous and needful of change. In a service economy, he concludes, "the question is who will be the served and who will be the servers?" (p. 14)

1California State Library Foundation, A State of Change: California's Ethnic Future and Libraries, Conference and Awareness Forum Proceedings (Stanford, Calif.: Planning Group for the "State of Change" Project, 1988)
2Yolanda Cuesta and Patricia Tarín, "Guidelines for Library Service to the Spanish Speaking," Library Journal 103 (July 1978)

Community Analysis and Needs Assessment
      Salvador Güereña

Effective information gathering requires the participation of a wide range of groups: an advisory committee could include service providers such as Migrant Head Start and job training agencies, farmworker organizations, employers, educators, activists, and bilingual health care professionals.

Güereña stresses that community involvement must be genuinely participatory, with the clear perception that the library is indeed responding to identified needs: "among the desired outcomes of a community analysis survey project is that it provide an infrastructure for the concrete involvement of the Spanish-speaking community in the library planning process." (p. 21)

One of the book's Appendices (pp. 166-185) is a comprehensive bilingual questionnaire, an eminently useful resource for libraries wishing to survey potential patrons; note, however, that the Spanish version as printed here requires serious proofreading to render it presentable.

Reference Service to the Spanish-Speaking
      Albert J. Milo

The author notes that many reference questions requiring knowledge of Spanish-language resources are handled through a kind of informal network to which librarians turn when faced with queries that call for special cultural or linguistic knowledge. This of course raises the point, What kind of reference service can a Spanish-speaker expect from a librarian who is unaware of this so-called "invisible college"?

Milo cites findings that Hispanics and African-Americans are far less likely than other groups to bring their questions to public libraries. He also points the reader toward two very helpful tools reprinted as Appendices: a Spanish-language reference intake guide and form (pp. 145-147), and a set of guidelines for library services to Hispanics (pp. 148-151).

Latino Reference Sources: A Bibliographic Essay
      Richard Chabrán

This contribution is now diminished only by its age: Chabrán lists some 300 items published prior to 1988 and divides many of them according to category: Fact Sources and Compendia, Directories, Folklore Sources, Fine and Performing Arts, Historical and Archival Sources , Serials, Social Science Sources, Women's Sources, and others.

Latino Databases
      Ron Rodríguez

Even with all the changes here in the last ten years, this article remains useful for at least a couple reasons: its background on the creation of key early databases, and Rodríguez's taxonomy of the labels applied to members of Spanish-speaking cultures. 'Latin American', for example, carries a different connotation in Texas, according to the author, than it does elsewhere.

Collection Development for the Spanish-Speaking
      Linda Chávez

Concise practical advice that serves as a good starting place for librarians unfamiliar with this field. Included in this article are at least two references worth highlighting here: the aforecited Cuesta and Tarín article, and Tarín's "Books for the Spanish-Speaking: Sí Se Puede," Library Journal 112 (July 1987).

One alternative collection development strategy not suggested by Chávez, but perhaps worth a try, is to ask patrons vacationing in Spanish-speaking countries to step into a bookstore and purchase some recently-published goodies for the library. Why not put up a sign in the travel book section inviting folks to help out? Even if you reimburse patrons for their purchases, acquiring stuff this way is sure to stretch your acquisition dollars.

Chávez also recommends turning to those with the experience and background in this realm, such as the innovative Bay Area organization Bibliotecas Para La Gente.

Collection Development on the Mexican American Experience
      Robert J. Trujillo and Linda Chávez

Reasons and techniques for building a collection around the experiences of the group that represents the largest segment of the U.S.'s Hispanic population. There's a large body of existing resources, and it continues to grow steadily. This article will help you begin to sort through it all.

Cuban American Literature: Authors and Resources
      Danilo H. Figueredo

The acknowledged sole focus here is on anti-Castro literature; the author identifies some of his favorite writers and novels.

Parenthetically, I'd like to know if you have managed in spite of the embargo to assemble a collection of materials published in Cuba. Pen pals have sent me a few good novels and periodicals from time to time, but I wonder how libraries around the U.S. are doing in acquiring Cuban publications.

Developing Hispanic Archival Collections
      César Caballero

Historical background and practical suggestions of use to those building such collections. Some timely questions here: Who is systematically engaged in documenting the work of farm labor unions such as PCUN and FLOC? Are Spanish-language media getting their archival due? Newspapers and radio are daily contributing to the culture in some surprising ways; is there a way to capture and document such development for the use of linguists, social scientists, labor historians, and other scholarly researchers?

The Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños Library and Archives
      Nélida Pérez and Amilcar Tirado Aviles

An entertaining account of the adventures and ongoing challenges faced by the builders of a pioneering Puerto Rican studies library in New York City. Worthwhile reading for anyone considering such a project and wondering about potential obstacles and rewards.

The History and Role of REFORMA
      Patrick José Dawson

REFORMA is the ALA-affiliated organization concerned with promoting library services and careers for Spanish speakers. The article draws on the group's archives to recount the efforts of founder Arnulfo Trejo and others since the early 1970's to build membership and win support for an important idea.
      Much of what Dawson wrote in 1990 holds true today: REFORMA has made significant progress, through its scholarship program and the dynamic work of local chapters, yet much remains to be done. He points out that the group lacks a national office, which "can be detrimental to REFORMA's communication and cohesion." (p. 129)

The English-Only Movement: A Selected Bibliography
      Salvador Güereña

Compiles some 200 bibliographic entries related to political, educational, and library management aspects of this topic. The bulk come from the mid-1980's; a handful of post-1986 entries appear, the most recent dated 1989.

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