Reforma: The National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking

This is the website for Reforma, the Latino and Spanish Speaking Library caucus. Reforma describes itself as:

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.

The Reforma website has links to professional information for librarians and others who serve Spanish speakers in US libraries. There are additional links to pages about various initiatives of the organization, including Mentoring, Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros, the prestigious Pura Belpre children’s book award, a Reforma scholarship, and the ReformaNet listserv.

This website is a significant professional resource for library and information professionals whose jobs and personal convictions motivate them to help connect Spanish speakers in the United States with the best possible library service.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 6:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Palabra: A magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art

This is the website for the Palabra: A magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art. Palabra is a relatively new magazine that began publication in 2006. As of November 2007, 2 issues have been published, and the magazine is actively seeking submissions for future issues. The website describes the magazine like this:

“Its purpose is to provide a portal for new threads of pensamiento, language and story, to reach from the past and present and dive headlong into the future of Chicano & Latino writing—to push it, stretch it, keep it fresh, vibrant, honest and at the thumping edge of literary creativity and innovation.”

The website provides an About page, as page giving directions for authors wishing to submit work, and links to the two issues published so far.

This resource is valuable to librarians, writers and educators involved in Chicano literature, and those involved with helping readers and aspiring writers. It helps all information professionals stay in touch with current trends and upcoming writers.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Latino Stories

The Latino Storieswebsite describes itself as “The credible source for Latino Literature.” It is compiled by John S. Christie, Ph.D and Jose B. Gonzales, Ph.D, both respected scholars, who co-edited a book on Latino literature called Latino Boom: An anthology of US Latino Literature.  Christie and Gonzales state that the website is for: “Students conducting research on Latino literature, faculty who have incorporated Latino Boom into their classrooms and readers who are eager to learn more about literature written by the largest minority group in the U.S.”

The website contains list of resources divided into the following categories: Latino Statistics & Facts, Latino Literature Resources, Latin American Statistics, Best Latino Works, and Latin American Literature Resources. Under each of these headings there are a number of excellent pages expertly compiled and updated by the authors.

This website is an invaluable, professionally executed resource. Christie and Gonzalez did an excellent job identifying part of their potential audience, but librarians will find this resource incredibly helpful for readers’ advisory, selection and reference work.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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La Bloga

La Bloga is one of the liveliest, best and most current resources available on everything pertaining to Chicana/o literature today. In 2006 La Bloga won the “Best Blog” award from Los Angeles’s Tu Ciudad magazine. The blog describes it’s scope as: “Chicano Literature, Chicano Writers, Chicano Fiction, Children’s Literature, News, Views & Reviews. [También de Chicanas.]”

La Bloga’scontributors, though their credentials are not listed, are amazingly knowledgeable and articulate about the subjects they cover. Writers from many cities across the U.S. and “Aztlan” contribute to the blog. Posts are always current, entertaining and informative. The blog also features links to an enormous number of Chicano authors’ websites and other blogs on the topic of Chicano literature.

I strongly recommend this blog to anyone with an interest in contemporary literature in the United States, but especially to anyone at all wishing to learn more about the Chicano literary scene. Librarians and teachers will want to take special note of this blog for making recommendations to readers and students.

Published in: on December 1, 2007 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicano Literature Index

This is a general website about Chicano literature created and maintained by Patricia Portales, M.A. from the San Antonio College in San Antonio, TX.  Portales describes the site as an “index of authors [that] will provide bilbliographic information for each author, including links to other World Wide Web resources. It is also my hope that this site will serve as a forum for students; thus, papers on Chicano Literature will be considered for publication on this site.”

The resources on the site are divided up into the following categories: General Resources on Chicano Literature, Chicano Resources, Upcoming Multicultural Events (mostly in the San Antonio area) and Authors. The site does not seem to be updated very frequently, but it is still a valuable resource. The most useful part of this website is the extensive list of Chicana/o authors, linking to brief bios and external sources for each one.

I recommend this website as a good starting place for students, readers, librarians and educators who are interested in learning more about a broad range of Chicana/o authors. The strength of this site is the breadth of its focus, and its links to other websites.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Calaca Press

This is the website for California based publisher Calaca Press, which describes itself as “a Chicano family-owned small publishing house dedicated to publishing and producing unknown, emerging, and established progressive Chicano and Latino voices. With a commitment to social justice and human rights Calaca Press strives to bring about change through the literary arts.”

This is by far the most FUN of any of the publishers’ websites I evaluated. This website also contains pages for the “Red CalacaArts Collective,” a “CalacaVision” page containing videos related to the activist work the Press performs, and even a link to the Press’s MySpace page. The beautifully constructed, colorful site is full of links and pages and looks like it could be hours of entertainment.

I have only one criticism of the site, but unfortunately it is a fairly major one. The link to the “CalacaCatalog” takes visitors and potential shoppers to a page where they can download a PDF of the print catalog, rather than allowing for searching and shopping online. There are search functions and a title list on the website that allow visitors to view some of the Press’s offerings directly from the site, but for visitors used to the ease of Amazon may have trouble slowing down enough to download the catalog.

I highly recommend this site to anyone wishing to learn more about the activist aspects of Chicana/o literature, and Calaca Press’s offerings are worth searching out, but librarians, educators and readers may want to request a print catalog if they are serious about ordering.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bilingual Review Press

This is the website for the Bilingual Review Press, which is affiliated with Arizona State University’s Hispanic Research Center. The press describes itself as follows:  Bilingual Review Press publishes literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics under the name Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

The website acts as a catalog for individuals, universities and libraries purchasing materials for their collections. The titles and authors are indexed and searchable, and there are also pages for recent releases, upcoming titles, and the complete backlist of the press. Additionally, the press website serves as a distribution and ordering point for “Commemorative Posters” depicting various events in the history of Hispanic Civil Rights, and the journal The Billingual Review/La Revista Bilingue. 

This website and its large catalog of Chicano/a books is an excellent resources for library selectors, librarians providing readers’ advisory service, educators and individuals with an interest in this literature.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Arte Publico Press

 This is the website for Arte Publico Press, which is an affiliate of the University of Houston. The press describes itself as a “publisher of fiction, poetry, drama, literary criticism, and art by writers of Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and US Hispanic literature.”

In addition to functioning as a searchable, well-indexed catalog, this website features the Pinata Press (for children’s books), a link to the Recovery Project which is a research and teaching initiative intended to recover the “lost” literary heritage of the United States, and a section on the press’s Hispanic Civil Rights series.

The “Quick Links” options on the website connect visitors with pages for ordering, submissions, an FAQ, and study guides for educators teaching the literature of Hispanic people in the United States.

This website is invaluable for librarians and educators looking for a source for Chicano/a literature. I think the Arte Publico Press has a qualitative advantage, in that it is an affiliate of a university press.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cinco Puntos Press

This is the website for El Paso based publisher, Cinco Puntos Press, which describes itself as “a nationally-known, independent, NOT non-profit, literary press that specializes in publishing the literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and books for kids) from the U.S./Mexico border, Mexico and the American Southwest.” The site functions as an online catalog, with the books divided into audience-based categories including: Books for Kids, Young Adults, Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, On Sale and Coming soon.

Book descriptions include reviews from external sources and “You May Also Like” suggestions, making this a very helpful resource for anyone wanting to know more about books written by and about Chicanas/os.

This publisher’s website is recommended librarians, collection development officers and library selectors looking for sources for Chicano/a books. Readers and gift-shoppers will also find this site enjoyable and informative for shopping or just browsing.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Floricanto Press

This is a website for Floricanto Press, a Californian publisher of Mexican and Latino/a books, including literature, poetry, non-fiction and reference books. They are known for publishing the Bilindex, an index to bilingual resources for librarians. Floricanto Press organizes their online offerings into subject guides, but their entire catalog is searchable as well. The site contains an excellent links page, with web resource links on Mexican American and Latino/a arts and culture organized topically.

 This publishers website is essential for librarians, collection development officers and library selectors looking for sources for Chicano/a books not available in mainstream publishing houses.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment