February 17, 2018

Guadalajara Fair Attracts 245 Librarians

By LJ Staff

As the Latino publishing market expands, Guadalajara’s Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL), the Spanish-language world’s most prominent book fair, is attracting an increasing number of U.S. book professionals. This year’s show, held November 26 – December 4, drew an unprecedented number of U.S. publishers, agents, translators, and librarians. Over 245 librarians came to Mexico, many paying their own way – the American Library Association covered three nights’ lodging, free registration, and $100 toward airfare for 150 of them. "This was my first trip to FIL and it was very different for me than the BEA and ALA shows," said Jane Mirandette of Colorado, president/treasurer of the Hester J. Hodgdon Libraries for All Program. "The access to Spanish materials is, of course, phenomenal, and everyone was very tolerant of my simple Spanish."

Among the U.S. attendees, librarians got the royal treatment. On the night before the professional activities began, a group of publishers and U.S. book distributors, including Océano, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Baker & Taylor, Santillana, and Críticas, hosted a free gala dinner for U.S. librarians at the Hotel Intercontinental. Other publishers and distributors courted librarians. On the floor, for the past 15 years, Linda Goodman, director of the Bilingual Publications Company (BPC), has supplied librarians with an up-to-date guide of publishers she distributes, which lists each publisher’s specialty and contact person. Lectorum offers an automated system of purchasing featuring PDAs that enable librarians to scan the ISBNs of books they want to purchase–and to adjust their orders on the spot. FIL’s Salón del Libro (Book Room) offered a display of 4000 recently published titles selected by a committee of veteran ALA members and Mexican librarians.