.Aula Máxima es la biblioteca y también lugar de recreo del espíritu. - José Vasconcelos
SOL 80 Contents:
Flaco, MLIS has the oddball hobby of going out on library job interviews. Like any good hobby, trainspotting and the like, it eats up huge chunks of time and has a touchingly pathetic futility about it.
Take his recent interview for a gig at the East LA Library, where nobody on the panel spoke Spanish. My—wasn't that a comical experience! East LA, where half the 125,000 residents are foreign-born, and 96.5 thousand speak Spanish at home. The non-Spanish-speaking interview panel included the library's new director, Janet Fattahi, who asked the slender jobseeker, "If someone came to the reference desk with a question, would you look for the answer in a book or on the Internet?" She even kept a straight face!
Under such capable guidance, surely great things are in store for that branch. Flaco, meanwhile, gets skinnier every day.
So he's shamelessly abandoning all propriety, and asking: Have you got a job for this character?
You wanna talk? Call me, or email me...we could even hook up at the FIL in Guadalajara if you want.
To: "REFORMA NW (E-mail)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 9:31 AM
Subject: English Class fraud.
Hay unas personas andando por la communidad diciendo que hay una clase para aprender inglés en la Biblioteca y que necesita inscribirse y pagar $20 a ellos.
¡Este es un engaño y ellos son criminales!
La Biblioteca no tiene ninguna clase para que es necesario pagar.
Todas nuestras clases y funciones son gratis, sin excepción
Si usted encuentre estas personas, llame a la Policía de Beaverton: (503) 629-0111.
¡Por favor, dígales a sus amigos y parientes que no hay ninguna clase en la Biblioteca para que es necesario pagar!
[ABC News also ran a story this week on scam artists who prey on immigrants all across the country, and that report is worth reading.]
GCF Aprendizaje Global es un programa de capacitación gratis en computación y está a su disposición en la Internet. Estudiantes pueden recibir las clases - MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint y Access - guiadas por un instructor. En este momento, estamos registrando estudiantes para Excel 2000, que comienza el 28 de Octubre de 2002. La clase termina en tres semanans.
Visite nuestra Página: www.gcfaprendagratis.org
Si tiene preguntas, por favor envíelas a: email@example.com
GCF Aprendizaje Global es administrado por Industrias Goodwill del Este de Carolina del Norte, Inc. corporación sin ánimo de lucro. Este programa gratis es consolidado por las donaciones a nuestras tiendas.
Se recomienda realizar los cursos Introducción a las computadoras, Introducción al correo electrónico, Introducción a la Internet, Word 2000, o contar con una experiencia equivalente. Es necesario tener el programa de Excel 2000 para realizar satisfactoriamente este curso.
Jorge Ramos, that Univision anchorman with those dreamy blue eyes, has added a monthly book feature to the morning program Despierta América. Check local listings, because he does it the first Friday of every month, and that's today. If you missed the program, don't worry: his booklists and plenty of related materials are posted at the Univision website; that's how we know that La reina del sur (see Item 6, below) was spotlighted last month.
The current Criticas (Sep/Oct; p. 9) and its online version have a Q&A with Jorge Ramos about this new segment, called "Despierta Leyendo" ("Wake Up Reading"), in which he says, naurally, "If Oprah did it in English, we can do it in Spanish."
This week brought detailed and profusely illustrated Spanish-language guides to plumbing, electrical work, construction techniques—in all, some 600 different topics—to the Web at the Lowe's home-improvement stores' laudable website.
This is big news, folks. Libraries have long recognized the demand for such materials; now, suddenly, a huge and well-executed online library of trade and craft information in Spanish appears. Lowe's stores, by the way, also use a telephone translation service to assist customers who speak Spanish and other languages not covered by local staff.
What's more, we can all learn something from the preposterous reaction of rival Home Depot. PR flack Don Harrison, evidently an idiot, is quoted in an article dismissing Lowe's online library because
...he doesn't think the site addresses the different dialects and types of Spanish such as Puerto Rican-Spanish, Mexican-Spanish and Cuban-Spanish. "We learned from scratch that there are different dialects of Spanish," Harrison said.
Watch for Home Depot to discontinue all advertising and promotion once they discover the existence of different dialects of American English.
We've talked here about narcocorridos before, but now there's an amazing literary twist to the drugrunner ballad. Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the Spanish novelist who's a bestselling favorite in many languages, has a big new book called La reina del sur which he describes as a "500-page narcocorrido." Flaco, who's read it, says the novel's got a good beat and is full of music.
Pérez-Reverte claims the catalytic moment that led him to begin the novel happened in a Mexican cantina when Los Tigres del Norte came pumping out of the jukebox. The song he heard that day and many others are mentioned in the book, and one attentive reader has even compiled a list of the tunes.
Now here's the amazing part: things have come full circle. The current hit by the Tigres is called "La reina del sur," a danceable distillation of Pérez-Reverte's novel; you can, and should, listen to it online.
The Spanish novelist and the brilliant musicians have become fast friends. "I love those guys," Pérez-Reverte said of the Tigres in an interview with a Spanish newspaper. "They're the best." And the band from Sinaloa, Mexico just wrapped up their first-ever tour of, dig it, Spain. The crowds went wild.
Miguel González, an English teacher in Spain, has assembled a tremendous index of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works available via the Internet. It's classified according to subject areas and has more than 400 links. You can choose between two versions of his index: one for Spanish speakers at http://home.worldonline.es/migonzal/diccionarios/ and the other for English speakers, at http://pws.prserv.net/esinet.migcc/diccionarios/
We've been getting tons of comical email from Puerto Rican cartoonist Enrique "Kike" Estrada, whose Planeta Kike website is a real trip, and been thinking that some of our greatest storytellers and social commentators throughout history have said it with pictures.
This time of year we always see a lot of José Guadalupe Posada's work, of course; he's one of the many expressive graphic geniuses the Spanish-speaking world has given us. The upcoming Guadalajara book fair will pay tribute to Sergio Aragones, of MAD Magazine and Groo, the Wanderer fame. The works of Rius and Quino certainly belong in anyone's library. You can learn a lot, in English, about these two and many other important Latin American cartoonists at Mark Rosenfelder's wonderful site.
Perhaps you've seen the sloppy translation of the Born to Read brochure on the ALA website. Of course there's good information and sound advice there for people raising wee readers. The same could be said of many of the nine Ratón de Biblioteca columns now up on the PLUS website, presented in handy bilingual format and yours to use as you wish.
[We're impressed with the effectiveness and simplicity of this price comparison tool. If you do any online book pricing at all, give it a try.]
It's a free service, allowing you to easily compare prices of any book in over 60 bookstores, and find a price which is 30% - 80% off the market list price.
As this service is new, I'm striving to improve it and make it better. If you have any feedback about it, please feel free to send it!
A recent article about the growing prominence of Spanish in everyday life around the U.S. is chock-full of intriguing data like this:
It might surprise people to find out the majority of the 300,000 ATMs nationwide are multilingual. "About 90 percent offer Spanish and English" says...an Atlanta-based consulting firm...
Speaking of ATMs, Bank of America has some that show mini-movies in color, with sound. Better still, its branch in Los Angeles's Chinatown has an ATM equipped with a Chinese-language interface. And a few days ago, with much fanfare, B of A rolled out its new Spanish-language website.
Connecticut reporter Kristen Daley's October16 story gives a different take on who's served by the public library's Spanish-language collection:
When I saw a flier at
the Guilford library about their recent additions to Spanish
resources, it was like a breath of fresh air. The Hispanic population
is now the fastest growing minority in the U.S., and I recently
learned that there is an extensive Hispanic population in Guilford.
The material now available at the library could serve that population
as way to get in touch with their language and culture, at a time when
knowledge of the English language has become so crucial.
Last Issue's Contest: First Mexican in Space
From: "Dana Peeler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 10:16 AM
Subject: i know the answer!
> My research indicates that Rodolfo Neri was the first Mexican in
Space. He flew in 1985 on the shuttle Atlantis. Rodolfo Neri
Vela is from Chilpancingo, Guerrero.
She's in Vidalia, a town that lends its name to the sweetest onions this side of Walla Walla, WA. The kind of onions that Flaco's dad used to eat out of hand, like an apple. "Eating raw onions guards against communicable diseases," snickered the Old Man, "because nobody'll come near you."
This Issue's Prizes
The New Contest
Of course nobody is powerful enough to sidestep the cemetary, hence the gut-level populist satisfaction of these poems. You can read more about them in Engish and see some (poorly) translated calaveras, or look at Spanish-language examplesto get the feel for this thing before submitting your own work.
Remember: these don't have to be artful. Our judges will be looking for topical wit, biting humor, cleverness, but not poetic technique. Your calavera could be as short as a couple lines—a haikulavera—or as long as Chente Fox's skeleton there. English-, Spanish- or Spanglish-language entries all accepted till November 11.
Two winners will get Raven Tree press bilingual picture books, a $16.95 value, and we'll post the winning calaveras on the site...maybe some of the unwinning ones, too.
Nobody beats the National Library of Medicine when it comes to health information on the Web. We've sung the praises before of the powerful interface and rich Spanish-language content of MEDLINE, and things just keep getting better.
The NLM recently struck a deal with A.D.A.M. Inc., which over the years has compiled an enormous and graphically rich database of health information in Spanish, and whose "toggle" function enables quick switching between the two languages.
The next two items demonstrate yet again that exemplary work goes on in some of the unlikeliest places.
Witness last week's story, "Library Serves Hispanic Community" from Rogers, Arkansas. A Latin American library worker there asserts that "Our library is doing a great job...The library here is much better than libraries in California."
And then there's this children's librarian, the acting library director in American Falls, Idaho—population 4,111—who claims she has one of the two largest Spanish-language collections in the state. Uhhh...okaaay...anyway, you can read for yourself her remarkable claims in a recent article about a small-town library doing good stuff.
Despite the big mid-term elections coming up, those hardworking staffers at the Library of Congress have found the time to catalog SOL and assign us an ISSN, prominently displayed in the upper-left portion of this page.
Come to think of it, the election's probably not as big a deal for LC as it may be for you—I mean, it's a safe bet that their library's not a polling place...
Bruce Jensen email@example.com