The Dance Floor 
The uptight public librarian who shushes whispering patrons and sits at home listening to Vivaldi with the volume knob cranked all the way up to 3, is, like it or not, a historical relic. These days we recognize that pop music can lure new people--particularly young ones--in the door and help turn them into library addicts.

Good Latin music offerings could certainly broaden your patron base. In case you haven't noticed Shakira's face on a dozen magazine covers and in a few soda pop commercials, brace yourself for a news flash: there's a bit of a boom going on.

But música en español doesn't begin and end with Gloria & Emilio Estefan's $800 million entertainment/real estate empire. The other great but underhyped Spanish-language music that your collection needs is on more obscure foreign and independent labels, making it difficult to evaluate for purchase. And maybe you've never heard of terrific artists like Aterciopelados, Maldita Vecindad, Fito Paez, Tex Tex, Manu Chao, King Chango, Inspector, Amparo Ochoa, El TRI, Genitallica, Botellita de Jerez, Jaguares, Tijuana No, Molotov, Café Tacuba, Control Machete, Ely Guerra, María Fatal, Ricardo Arjona, Kinky, Tijuana No Julieta Venegas, or Ozomatli.

The PLUS Dance Floor is here to give you ideas about what's available and what your colleagues think of it. We all hope that you'll contribute your own reviews and suggestions for posting.

When shopping for unfamiliar music, of course it's vital to pay attention to the expressed desires of your patrons. If you've had some success encouraging purchase requests from Spanish-speakers in your community, or in promoting their use of your music collection, PLUS would love to hear about that, too.



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