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Evanston Librarian Attends Guadalajara International Book Fair

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Daylily Alvarez, Latino Outreach Librarian at the Evanston Public Library (E.P.L.), recently attended the Guadalajara International Book Fair 2013, on a mission to bring Evanston's Spanish-speaking community more books that fulfill their needs and wants. While there, Ms. Alvarez had access to more than 400,000 books in Spanish under one roof, books that might otherwise be impossible to procure in the United States. She made useful contacts with Spanish book distributors, providing access to translations and original materials that will be used to develop the EPL's collections in the future.

The 2010 Census revealed that Evanston's Hispanic population grew 91% since 1990. Said Ms. Alvarez, who began working at the EPL last spring, "Evanston's Latino community needs a more relevant collection than we currently offer. Many of our patrons want to see children's and young adult books originally written in Spanish, so this is what we will have! Our adult patrons can look forward to some self-help books, exciting novels, and graphic novels. Once we have all of our new books processed, they'll be showcased in the Library lobby."

The Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara (Guadalajara International Book Fair), also known as the FIL Guadalajara, is the largest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world and the second-largest in the whole world after the Frankfurter Buchmesse, known in English as the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), which is the largest trade fair (also known as a trade show) for books in the world.

The Universidad de Guadalajara (University of Guadalajara) founded the Guadalajara International Book Fair twenty-seven years ago, in 1987. Founded by Bishop Antonio Alcalde y Barriga and granted a royal charter by King Carlos III in 1791, the Universidad de Guadalajara is the second-oldest university in Mexico and the fifth-oldest in North America. It has the second-largest student body after the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico).

Guadalajara is also home to a Jesuit university, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), known in English as the Western Institute of Technology & Higher Education.

In 2013, a total of 750,987 members of the public attended the FIL Guadalajara, an increase of nearly 50,000 over 2012, when 701,857 attended, and 20,386 book professionals of one kind or another attended, an increase of twenty-three over 2012. The total number of published houses represented was 1,932, an increase of four over 2012.

Forty-three countries were represented, one less than in 2012. There were 120 companies in the Rights Center, a loss of two from 2012, but there were 297 rights directors, which was an increase of forty-one.

A total of 2,283 registered journalists attended FIL Guadalajara 2013, an increase of 225 over 2012, when there were 1,958 registered journalists. There were 552 book presentations, an increase of two over 2012; sixty-two literary forums, an increase of two over 2012; and twenty-one academic forums, which was an increase of one over 2012.

There were ninety-three artistic and musical events at FIL Guadalajara 2013. This was a decrease of thirty-five from 2012.

The number of professional events remained the same at 139. The same goes for the number of prizes and awards at fourteen.

At sixty-three, the number of sponsors increased by one over 2012. Although there was a sizable increase in the number of people who directly participated in the event, there was a drastic decrease in the number of Web site hits during the nine days of the book fair: 4,005,404 in 2013, as opposed to 4,750,602 in 2012.

The FIL Guadalajara features thirty-four square meters (8.4 acres) of exhibit space. An average of 1,900 publishing houses from forty-countries attend.

It generates $330,000,000 for Guadalajara. According to the Universidad de Guadalajara, “In its three main areas of activity (publishing, academic and cultural), FIL has become the meeting point for discussions and debates on contemporary culture. Authors, scholars, artists, intellectuals and many other individuals interested in the exchange of ideas on cultural issues take part in FIL each year.”

Since 1993, FIL Guadalajara has had a guest of honor: Colombia (1993), New Mexico (1994), Venezuela (1995), Canada (1996), Argentina (1997), Puerto Rico (1998), Chile (1999), Spain (2000), Brazil (2001), Cuba (2002), Quebec (2003), Catalonian Culture (2004), Peru (2005), Andalusia (2006), Colombia (2007), Italy (2008), Los Angeles (2009), Castilla y León (Castile & León) (2010), Germany (2011), Chile (2012), and (2013).
In 1991, the Universidad de Guadalajara founded the FIL Literary Award in Roman Languages. The Civil Association of the Juan Rulfo Latin American and Caribbean Literature Prize presents the FIL Literary Award in Roman Languages, which includes an award of $150,000.

It is given in recognition of “the lifetime achievement of an important literary writer.” Winners include Nicanor Parra, Juan José Arreola, Eliseo Diego, Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Nélida Piñón, Augusto Monterroso, Juan Marsé, Olga Orozco, Sergio Pitol, Juan Gelman, Juan García Ponce, Cintio Vitier, Rubem Fonseca, Juan Goytisolo, Tomás Segovia, Carlos Monsiváis, Fernando del Paso, António Lobo Antunes, Rafael Cadenas, Margo Glantz, and Fernando Vallejo.

Created in 1993, the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize recognizes an important novel by an authoress. It was named for Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross (1651-1695), the Hieronymite nun and poetess.

The Publishing Merit Award has been bestowed on exemplary editors—those who serve as a bridge between the manuscript and the reader—and since its conception in 1993 it includes Arnaldo Orfila Reynal, Joaquín Díez-Canedo, Neus Espresate, Jack McClelland, Kuki Miller and Daniel Divinsky, Jesús de Polanco, Beatriz de Moura, Antoine Gallimard, Alí Chumacero, Jorge Herralde, Francisco Porrúa, Roberto Calasso, Morgan Entrekin, Inge Feltrinelli, Christian Bourgois, and Manuel Borrás. During this book fair, other awards presented are the Fernando Benitez National Cultural Journalism Award, founded in 1991; the ArpaFIL Prize, which is given to a young architect; the Tribute to a Bibliophile, created in 2001; and the Tribute to a Librarian, created in 2002.

The Guadalajara International Book Fair 2014 will take place from the 29th of November to the 7th of December. The Guest of Honor will be Argentina.

The EPL thanks the American Library Association (A.L.A.) for providing paid registration for the FIL Guadalajara, AeroMexico for providing a free round trip flight, and Casa Mexico-USA for their continuing support.

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