Sunday April 22nd 2018




Posts Tagged ‘Guadalajara’

Griego and Chávez Honored at FIL 25

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Feria Internacional del Libro, Guadalajara, and to celebrate the occasion, groups of 25 professionals in several different fields were awarded honors. In the librarian category,  our SALALM colleagues Adan Griego and Micaela Chávez Villa  were among the 25 librarians from Mexico and the United States honored for their contributions to FIL over the past 25 years. The ceremony was held at the opening of the Coloquio Internacional de Bibliotecarios on November 28th (…).

Teresa Chapa
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

SALALM Member Readies FIL Newbies Online

Last Wednesday, November 16, ALA’s International Relations Office and SALALM jointly hosted the first ever Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) Orientation webinar for first-time attendees and FIL Free Pass Program recipients. The webinar was led by SALALM member and Stanford librarian Adan Griego.  The ten-day book fair, which is held in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be celebrating its 25th birthday later this month.

The hour-long webinar was roughly comprised of 40 minutes of presentation and 20 minutes of Q&A.  The session opened with a brief history of FIL and an orientation to the city of Guadalajara.  Then, Griego quickly moved on to describe the kinds of questions book fair attendees need to address before embarking on a book buying trip:  the characteristics of the users they serve, how their libraries handle international purchasing and shipping, which vendors – in the US or Latin America – they intend to use, if any.  Griego explained how sorting out these details ahead of time will prevent headaches later on when attendees are surrounded by thousands of other FIL visitors.  Next, Griego described the state of the publishing industry in Latin America, emphasizing the challenges presented by large media conglomerates and small print runs in order to help illustrate the advantages of physically attending and purchasing books at the book fair.  Finally, the orientation finished with a virtual tour of the convention center and the resources available to librarians visiting from the United States.  After this “tour,” the 44 attendees asked questions – by phone or through chat.

The session was informative but focused, neatly tailored to address the needs of attendees who may have never gone on a book-buying trip before or may not feel comfortable with their command of the Spanish language.  This webinar assuaged these anxieties, and its online format lent the advantage of providing an orientation before attendees arrived to Guadalajara.  Griego also offers an in-person orientation once librarians arrive to Guadalajara, but the online orientation allows librarians to plan and prepare for the conference ahead of time and maximize their trip to its fullest.

The webinar was hosted through iLinc, provided and supported by the ALA’s International Relations office.

1996 Enlace Fellow Honored

Former Enlace fellow Dr.  Jesus Lau (New York, 1996) will be honored as Librarian of the Year at this year’s FIL-Guadalajara.   Since 2002, the Guadalajara Book Fair has honored librarians for their contributions to librarianship in Mexico (

For SALALM’s 20th anniversary in Santo Domingo, Lau noted “la labor de SALALM es la mejor labor diplomática continental que hay en campo
bibliotecario, porque ha tendido un puente de conocimiento entre las culturas hispano-parlantes y la anglosajona de EUA, a través de los
materiales editados en la región para que los académicos y pensadores americanos tomen mejores decisiones económico-políticas que definen y
permean nuestro continente.”


Adán Griego
Stanford University

Heard it at the 2009 Gudalajara Book Fair

I had just left the Larousse stand, immersed in nostalgia at seeing the red dictionary I remember from high school. I had memorized many of the Latin phrases in the “pink section” and wrote them on the back of my general biology exam.I got an “F” and the teacher called me in to say that if I could learn those words I could pass my next exam.

¿Para qué sirven los libros?The questioning voice was loud enough I could hear it clearly over the echoes of those from the hundreds who had opted to spend a Sunday afternoon book browsing. When I turned around to see who could utter such an aberration at a book festival, I caught a glimpse of the young boy. He was probably not much older than 12 or 13 and for a moment I felt transported hundreds of miles away when I filed a similar complaint: ¿para qué sirve la doctrina?

My many quejas were in vain. I had to stay after Mass for Sunday school. But the Spanish cognate gives a much better sense of what it all was, indoctrination. My brother, five years older than I, responded to my protest: para ir al cielo.

paraíso. I was hungry and could care less about paradise, but my mother had already decided for me. One hour of doctrina… and at 12 (going on 13, I always corrected everyone) I had no say in the matter.

Perhaps I stared at the boy with such intensity that his mother held out her arm to protect him from my penetrating gaze while he questioned out loud again,
¿para qué sirven los libros? I wanted to reassure him: para ir al paraíso ….son el paraíso. I wanted to tell him that books had saved my life those endless summers when the never ending smell of onions permeated my soul and my sole refuge were the words of Steinbeck and Hemingway (which I encountered first in Spanish at the local public library). Later those of Lorca and Machado gave solace to the scorching days after toiling in the onion and cotton fields. Their lulling metaphors gave me the fortitude and comfort lacking in that Church indoctrination.

¡Para eso sirven los libros!


Photo (c) Juan Boites, EL UNIVERSAL, 2009

Posted by Adán Griego.

Space Still Available for ALA-FIL Pass Program

[Cross-posted from LALA-L]

Dear Librarian,

We still have a few ALA librarian rooms available if you have not applied for the Free Pass and you still want to come to Guadalajara. You need to be an individual member of ALA and be involved in collection development. Airfares are still quite reasonable, but we need to hear from you immediately. The application is herewith attached; please fill out and email it back to me ASAP.

If you have already applied, your application is being processed. Please be patient with us.


David Unger, U.S. Rep
Guadalajara Intl. Book Fair
Division of Humanities NAC 5225
City College of New York
New York, NY 10031
Tel: (212) 650-7925
Fax: (212) 650-7912 or
Exhibition Manager: Veronica Mendoza at
Rights Center: Pablo de la Vega at


Posted by Martha Kelehan.

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