.Aula máxima es la biblioteca, y también lugar de recreo del espíritu.   - José Vasconcelos

       ISSN 1542-0647



SOL 82   December 26, 2002

New! Text-only version available at

SOL 82 Contents:


1. Photos from Guadalajara

  8. Pacific NW library lauded for its Spanish-language services
2. Any tax books in Spanish?   9. In the Hoosier State, it's all good, and it's all free
3. Solina Marquis makes bilingual Dewey guide 10. Spanish-language book choices scrutinized in Florida library
4. TV news ignores Latinos 11. Library open mike in Oregon
5. SOL in  Punk Planet + Utne 12. FORO 2003 seeks presenters
6. G-Lo is God 13. Win bilingual books in SOL contest
7. New Lalo Alcaraz comic strip 14. Friends of Cuban Libraries, enemies of honesty

1. FIL photo album

We came back, reluctantly, from Guadalajara and the Feria Internacional del Libro.  The SOL photo essay at gives you one goofball's account of the 2002 Guadalajara Book Fair in 36 pictures and 5,000 words, plus a lot of links to the sights, sounds, and stories of an absolutely fabulous FIL.

2. Seeking US income tax guides in Spanish

From: Becky Tatar
Sent: Dec 23, 2002
Subject: Spanish-language tax guides

Sorry about the duplication - I have also posted this to PUBLIB and REFORMANET. I have had a few patrons asking for income tax guides in Spanish - along the lines of the Lasser books, the H&R Block books, etc.  I have checked several vendors of Spanish books, as well as Amazon, Baker & Taylor and Ingram, to no avail.  Do these books even exist in Spanish, and if they do, where can they be purchased?  Also, do they cost an arm and a leg, and would they arrive in time for this year's income tax season, instead of 2005's? 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

3. Bilingual subject list makes sense of Dewey

Solina Marquis, of Texas Women's University and Críticas magazine, has generously shared with us all a bilingual list she prepared of commonly sought subjects and their corresponding Dewey numbers.  This would make a fine poster or handout for Spanish-speaking library patrons, and it's all yours at

4. Network brownout

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists released its annual Network Brownout Report earlier this month, with the unsurprising conclusion that the four major national TV news outlets are systematically marginalizing Latinos and ignoring the issues that affect a lot of them.

Analysis of some 16,000 stories that aired in 2001 revealed that 0.62 percent (that's zero-point-six-two) were about Latinos, who now comprise about 12.5 percent of the US population.  There's a good reason, TV fans, that the Univision evening news with Jorge Ramos routinely stomps Brokaw, Rather, and Jennings in many major markets.

"The network’s dismal record of covering the nation’s fastest-growing minority group undermines the information needs of all U.S. residents and distorts the public discourse so necessary for any democratic society," said NAHJ President Juan Gonzalez, who's a newspaper columnist and the sometime co-host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now.  (The program's main host,  Amy Goodman, will be addressing the ALA at next month's midwinter meeting in Philadelphia.)

Read more details, and find out how to access the entire Network Brownout Report, at

5. SOL storms the newsstands

We here at SOL, on the other hand, recently flirted with media overexposureyou know, that whole burnout thing like what happened to Britney Spears.  Right, we're mentioned in some stories in a couple national magazines near you: the Nov/Dec issues of Utne ("Revolution at the Reference Desk," by Chris Dodge) and Punk Planet ("Liberating Information: Radical Librarians Shelve the Status Quo," by Alana Kumbier).  Both might still be at your hipper newsstands & bookstores; if not, check at your hipper libraries.

6.  "I know, huh?"

Another good-lookin' guy with knockout Nielsen numbers is the jocular George Lopez, whose new sitcom airs Wednesday evenings on ABC.  His TV mom (Belita Moreno) is the anti-June Cleaver, his TV pet is Mister Needles the adorable diabetic dog, and his TV wife (Constance Marie) is the Cuban daughter of rabid Castro-haters (see Item 14, below).  Tune in and with any luck you might catch the mighty Cheech Marin as George's gay "father" (it's hard to explain).  And try not to miss G-Lo's most recent big screen appearance in the acclaimed Real Women Have Curves.

7.  La Cucaracha in the funny papers

Even though Lalo Alcaraz ostensibly doesn’t think very highly of SOL, we’re still big fans of this over-the-top cartoonist and his tangy irony.  Lalo’s one witty güey, make no mistake, and his is funnier than hell.  Now he’s got a syndicated daily comic strip, "La Cucaracha," that might be in your local daily.  It debuted November 25, and one of the first strips alluded to projections that by 2050 Latinos will be the most numerous ethnic group in the United States.  A recent Washington Post profile of the Chicano cartoonista will show you just how funny is ese cabrón.

8.  Washington library offers a "welcoming environment"

Up in Washington state, the Everett Herald this month ran an article called "Libraries increase Spanish services" (12/01/02), that's well worth reading.  Dig what th' good Reverend Rick has to say:

"The library has a very welcoming environment for a person who only speaks Spanish," said the Rev. Rick Ortiz, pastor of Iglesia Santa Fe, an evangelical Spanish-language church in Monroe. "They know the resources in Spanish are just for them, and they're right there in front, not hidden in a corner. Even the sign outside says biblioteca, the Spanish word for library."

What's more,

"I feel very good here," said [Mexican immigrant Dora] Mujo, 30, as she clutched the hand of 5-year-old daughter Jackie in one of their twice-weekly visits to the library.

9.  Outreach in Indiana: It's all free

Meanwhile, a recent Indianapolis Star article, "Library to Hispanics: Hey, check us out" (12/11/02), describes promotion efforts in the Hoosier State, including Spanish lessons for library staffers.  An excerpt: 

"Many people from Latin America have never experienced the library culture," said Kemp-Tejeda, the immigrant outreach librarian for the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. "They need to be educated that this is available to them."

The first question she is often asked: How much does it cost to join? The second question: How much to rent a book?

It's all free.

10.  Florida grant spurs controversy

But as a lot of you know from experience, crafting library services is no simple matter.  A frank, not idealized take on things is what makes "Advocate questions bilingual book buys" in the Daytona Beach News-Journal (12/02/02), examining the use of a $47,000 grant, such a valuable read.  Excerpt: least one Hispanic advocate is questioning whether the books -- novels and self-help books, most of them translations of books published in English -- will hold any appeal for the Spanish-speaking community.

[Librarian Lisa] Doig, whose father is from Peru, speaks fluent Spanish. She says she has gotten to know many of the Hispanic readers at the Pierson branch in the past three years and believes she knows the books they want to read.

[Advocate Blanca] Hernandez, however, says she would like to see the county's library system delve deeper into the Hispanic community in the future.

"Talking to people in groups and really learning about them is the way to do it," Hernandez said. "Who better than Hispanics would know what we want to read?"

11. Oregon library hosts challenging community discussion

The Salem Public Library a couple weeks ago hosted an exemplary community forum.  "Open mike event draws crowd," in the Salem Statesman-Journal (12/11/02), tells the story:

The 10th annual event commemorated the 54th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Moderated by Paul King and sponsored by the city’s Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission and other local groups, the event [gives voice to] those who often feel ignored...

Maria Rojas related her story through a translator. She spoke in Spanish of being ignored by the cannery she worked at when she was hurt on the job. And she recalled receiving less than ideal service when she went to a local hospital seeking medical help for another work-related injury.

12. The Cross-Border Library Forum is set to go in Texas
From: Lisa Furubotten
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002
Subject: FORO 2003 Transborder Library Forum

We would like to issue a special invitation to our colleagues and friends for the 2003 Transborder FORO.  
FORO, the Transborder Library Forum, works to provide a venue for the cooperative exchange of ideas and discussion of experiences and efforts concerning library services in the binational border regions between the U.S. and Mexico, and Canada, the presentation of cooperative projects to preserve historic materials of border region interest, and other information projects.  The scope of the FORO has grown to include  presentations on providing library services to multicultural user groups, and overcoming cultural as well as
geographic borders in our services to patrons, and to also to welcome participants from other countries besides the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The origins of the forum date from 1988, when librarians from Arizona and Sonora acknowledged a need to improve communication between libraries in Mexico and the United States. In 1990, librarians from Arizona and Sonora invited their colleagues from those two countries to help organize the first FORO, which took place in Rio Rico, Arizona. The following year, librarians in Hermosillo, Sonora were the hosts. Subsequently, the FORO conferences have been held in El Paso, Texas (1993); Monterrey, Nuevo León (1994); Mexico City (1995); Tucson, Arizona (1996); Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (1997); Riverside, California (1998); Mexicali, Baja California (1999); Albuquerque, New Mexico (2000), and Hermosillo, Sonora (2001).
Texas A&M University Libraries is pleased to host the 2003 FORO and to extend a cordial invitation to join us in College Station, TX, March 28-30, for the 2003 Transborder Library Forum, whose theme will be "Freedom Beyond Borders:  Information Networking in Action." 
This year's FORO conference will precede the Texas Library Association's Annual Meeting in Houston, TX, April 1-4, enabling those who wish to attend both meetings to do so easily.
The 2003 FORO Website can be found at:  The deadline for submission of program proposals and abstracts for presentations and poster sessions has been extended. 

The SOL site mentions many wonderful projects and interested library workers; we hope that some of them will be inspired to attend, as well as make presentations about their projects at FORO 2003.
Lisa Furubotten
Head, Serials Cataloging
Texas A&M General Libraries

13. Win some books!

Our pals at Raven Tree Press in Wisconsin produce lovely bilingual kids' books packed with  full-color illustrations on 32 quarto-size pages between hard covers.  But don't take our word for it—view their online catalog to get an idea of what you might win if you nail this issue's quiz. 

The question's easy, and it goes like this: Sergio Aragonés has been filling the margins of MAD Magazine with wordless cartoons for 40 years, and he's spent 20 on his Groo, the Wanderer comic what was Sergio's country of birth, and what's the name of Groo's dog?   That's a two-part question.  First correct respondent gets a pair of Raven Tree Press Spanish + English books: a $35 value.

14. With "Friends" like these, who needs enemies?

Their hearts might be in the right place, but the Friends of Cuban Libraries' poignant obsession with, uh, "regime change" on the island has soured many potential alliesdue in large measure to the group's imaginary, oft-exercised License to Lie.  The latest target is Yours Truly, who's grateful that in this case the fibs are simple to spot.

The Friends, you see, had been cluttering the Reformanet listserv with their take on an incident at the Guadalajara Book Fair; Flaco posted some links to press coverage of the event and suggestedarchly, he admitsthat the Friends' version might not be the only possible interpretation.  Their version is, after all, contradicted by a reporter who closely covered the FIL for a major mainstream, not leftist, daily.

Radamés Suárez, a Friend indeed, responded by saying Flaco was wrong, wrong, wrong, and went on to allege that "Reporters for La Reforma...were also in attendance, and they identified Eliades Acosta as a leader of the assault."

Trouble is, Flaco's original message had already linked to La Reforma's coverage (the Guadalajara daily El Mural is part of the Reforma newspaper group), which did no such thing.  But, heyour Friend didn't link to any of his "leader of the assault" stories, so who was to know that Radamés is waaay full of beans?  He's ignored several personal invitations to explain his deceptive message.

This one's for Joe Strummer

Bruce Jensen

Anti-copyright @ 2002 Not-for-profit use encouraged All other rights reserved.