Saturday, October 4, 2008

Instituto Cervantes Library (Tour Continued)

Librarian Salvador Vergara (standing in the middle) explains some of the services that the Instituto Cervantes offers. The Instituto Cervantes trains many of the teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, offers an accredited diploma for teaching Spanish as a second language, and gives dance lessons. The library is one part of the center and it is open to anyone for free although to check out materials, there is a $25 fee to join as a member for students and seniors and a $50 fee for everyone else. The library has around 20,000 items including books in Catalan, Galician, and Basque. The sound recordings include interviews with writers. The library often fields questions for tourism for people planning trips abroad as well as provides assistance to specialized researchers. The library's online catalog links to a database in Madrid.

One unusual event that Salvador Vergara described is a partnership with a center in Hamburg, Germany for a live guitar performance with musicians collaborating via the Internet.

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