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Message from the Secretariat August 8, 2017

Message from the Secretariat
August 8, 2017

Hello to all from the sweltering heat of New Orleans. Thank goodness for mint juleps!
Following the annual meeting in Ann Arbor, I’m writing with some updates on all things Secretariat-related.

  1. SALALM 62. First and foremost, a huge round of applause to our local arrangements team chaired by Barbara Alvarez, as well as to our Presidenta Daisy Domínguez for a job well done! Everything went very well, including the surprise tribute to Peter. Another highlight for me was Ken Mills’ keynote address. A truly inspired meditation on New World missionary narratives, how worldly experience is couched in these writings as a spiritual journey and how a reader who is centuries removed from that experience teases out its meaning. The topic and the delivery were masterful. Thanks to everyone who ensured things went off without a hitch, and to our host institution, the University of Michigan.
  2. Membership News. We have added a few new members since I last reported at the conference in May.
    Current tallies as of today are 327 total members:
    249 Total Personal Members (includes new members, emeritus, students, and honorary)
    78 Total Institutional Members (includes 25 sponsoring members)
    In 2016 we ended the fiscal year (August 31) with 335 members:
    251 Total Personal Members (includes new members, emeritus, students, and honorary)
    84 Total Institutional Members (includes 22 sponsoring members)
    Thank you to all the institutions who support us year in and year out as sponsoring members. Once again, I want to especially thank three very generous libreros for stepping up to the plate and becoming sponsoring members: Books from Mexico, E. Iturriaga y Cía., and Digitalia.
    Parabens to Sonia Silva who joins the ranks of our honorary members as the most recent inductee. Honorary membership is conferred to members who have retired from the profession and who have made significant contributions to the organization. Well done, Sonia! Thank you for all your years of service to SALALM.
    I also want to report that we are getting ready to launch a new initiative to recruit new personal members among college librarians. Stay tuned for more on this…
  3. Parliamentarian/Rapporteurs/Archivist. At Ann Arbor, the Executive Board voted in Roberto Delgadillo as our Parliamentarian. This is not an easy job, as it requires not just knowledge of parliamentary procedures but the ability to translate them, on the spot and in real time, to the way we conduct our meetings at SALALM, our “corporate culture,” if you will. This position had not been filled since Jane Garner’s retirement from SALALM many years ago. A former archivist at UT-Austin, Jane served as both Archivist and Parliamentarian, and although she continued to assist the organization for a while, it was important that we find another member willing to serve. Thank you to Roberto for agreeing to do this.
    I also want to report that Craig Schroer and Nelson Santana will remain on as co-rapporteurs. This is also a job that requires a lot of work—recruiting and scheduling rapporteurs for sessions, gathering everything together, taking the minutes at the two Executive Board meetings, and then ensuring that the text is flawless and accurate, since so many decisions are based on those reports. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
    Also, the newly appointed SALALM Archives Working Group will be gearing up soon to develop a retention schedule for all the documentation we produce as an organization, whether as officers, in committees, task forces, local arrangements and conference activities and more, and to also develop a job description for the position of SALALM Archivist so that one may be appointed. Christina Bleyer is chairing the group; members are Paula Covington, Paloma Celis Carbajal, Melissa Gasparotto, and me. This is something we have been wanting to do for years, since Jane Garner retired (see above), and I’m glad it’s finally getting off the ground.
  4. A huge thank you to Melissa Gasparotto, who has served as SALALM Web Master since 2010 and as Chair of Communications since 2013. Melissa deserves special recognition because she really took on some hands-on endeavors for the organization. She was head troubleshooter and communicator with the IT crew at Tulane for seven years (not a small task), even working through the current redesign and migration, ensuring that the transition to the new webmaster, Lara Aase, is a smooth one. As Chair of Communications, she has demonstrated initiative and the ability to think ahead. Thank you so much, Melissa, for all you have done, and congratulations on your new position at NYPL.
  5. Code of Executive Board Decisions. The summary for 2016-2017, including the Ann Arbor meetings, is attached to this message. As always, the entire set of Executive Board decisions from time immemorial can be consulted here by category and by a keyword search as well: http://salalm.org/about/organization/code-of-executive-board-decisions/ This is an enormously helpful document for referring back to all kinds of matters
    voted on by the Executive Board as we build on past work and move forward with new ideas and initiatives.
  6. Future Conferences. Preparations are already well underway for SALALM 63 in Mexico City, 1-4 July 2018. This year will be a bit different than most. Hotel reservations will take place beginning in mid-September to take advantage of very low room rates for attendees. Conference registration will take place, as always, in the spring. We are working with President Suzanne Schadl and our Mexico City hosts from El Colegio de México, Micaela Chávez and Víctor Cid Carmona, and further details are forthcoming soon. Stay tuned.
    SALALM 64. Thanks to the Benson Collection at the University of Texas-Austin for stepping up to the plate to host us for 2019. One thing’s for sure, we won’t have to worry about jet lag or travel costs for the 2018-2019 president Melissa Guy who will be working in tandem with her colleague AJ Johnson at the Benson, serving as local arrangements. I am sure they have a special program planned.
  7. Secretariat at Tulane. At the Ann Arbor meeting, Tulane presented its proposal to continue serving as headquarters for the Secretariat. EB voted to accept. It is our pleasure to continue doing so for another three years, through FY2020. We are all lucky to count on Carol Avila who has agreed to remain on board for these next three years. If you haven’t already, you will be able to meet Carol in person next year in Mexico City as she joins us at the conference.
  8. This past spring marked the passing of two towering figures in the Latin American book world. Lee Williams, longtime bibliographer at Yale (1967-1986), passed away in May. Though not active in the organization for decades, he was among that generation of bibliographers who built one of the foremost collections of Latin American research material in this country, as attested by the many tributes posted on LALA-L. And we all missed Klaus Vervuert from Iberoamericana/Vervuert Ediciones in Ann Arbor. Klaus’ untimely death just days before the conference was a surprise to all of us, but surely most especially so for his family and staff. As the founder of one of the most prestigious editorial firms in the world devoted to Latin American scholarship, Klaus was a true leader, disseminating the work of scholars from the region, ensuring their reception in the U.S., Europe and beyond. He knew more than most about the Spanish language book trade, and I learned a great deal from him in that regard. At the Secretariat we are working with his family to honor his memory by donating the equivalent of a one-year membership to a charity or cause of their choice. I will let everyone know once we have that information.

Sometime before the Ann Arbor conference, many of us shared on LALA-L the number of years we had been members of SALALM and what it was like to attend our first conference. I, for one, was touched reading so many heartfelt stories of expectations, first encounters, and welcoming colleagues. And so in a couple of
weeks we begin another cycle, another year at SALALM, shepherding projects, devising new ones, debating the upheavals and directions of our profession, always planning towards the future. Along the way, we never really say goodbye to old friends, as they remain with us. But every year we are all enriched with the prospect of new faces, new ideas, and the promise of new friendships. I’m already looking forward to this brand new year.
Hortensia Calvo
Executive Director

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