Created in June 2011 by Executive Board decision, the SALALM Scholarship is for Master degree candidates in ALA accredited institutions that offer programs in information and library science, as well as for students in archival studies programs at the Masters level. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of study in one of these programs in order to apply, and interest in academic and research libraries or archives is required. The amount awarded per scholarship is $1000. For FY 2011-12 SALALM members contributed  $2,029, and in the current FY (as of 30 April) $405 are received for this important project. For FY 2012-13 the Executive Board approved the recommendation of the Finance Committee and allocated $4,000 for four scholarships. Expenses last FY were $548.15 for the design and printing of two posters. This FY the expenses are $430.

The task force consisted of Alison Hicks, Jesús Alonso Regalado, Paloma Celis Carbajal, Gayle Williams, Nathalie Soini, Mary Jo Zeter, and Peter T. Johnson (chair). It met at the annual conference in 2012 and subsequently via e-mail throughout 2012 and 2013. Substantial discussion focused on evaluative criteria, categories and weight of importance. New ideas arose, the principal one being how to link the award to an opportunity to participate in a SALALM conference. A separate proposal addressing this objective was prepared for the Finance Committee’s consideration. A mentorship program also emerged as an initiative to consider for the organization. Also discussed was the recommendation that the task force become formalized within the SALALM structure, procedures for rotating off the task force, and means of stimulating interest in Latin American area specialization among current MA-level students for whom the scholarship is targeted. This last topic would involve presentations to MA candidates by SALALM members.

During the fall semester 8 applications arrived (2011: 17 and for spring 8 (2012: 11). Many candidates presented excellent qualifications and records of accomplishment. Selection was difficult, and in fall two candidates were judged to merit the scholarship: John Kroondyk (Indiana University) and Bruce Bachand (University of Kentucky). For spring D. Ryan Lynch and Betsaida M. Reyes (both at SUNY – Albany) received the scholarship. For biographical information see: http://salalm.org/tag/salalm-scholarship-winners/ . We will endeavor to track the placements of all awardees.

The task force is indebted to Melissa Gasparotto for setting up, monitoring and problem resolution of the JotForm software; the efficiency of the application process would not have been feasible without her assistance. She also created an archive for past applications. We also benefitted from Daisy Domínguez’ handling the web postings and details related to them. Carol Avila was once again indispensible with the publicity, mailings and inquiries from applicants and references. To all three SALALM, owes its appreciation and thanks. Alison Hicks and Jesús Alonso Regalado handled the internal record system for recording evaluations and deriving rankings, thereby bring efficiency to the process.

The task force believes that these scholarships are effective measures for bringing SALALM’s existence and work to the attention of graduate students, and therefore recommends that funding at a similar, or slightly greater (i.e., $5000) level continue for the 2013 – 2014 academic year.

Peter T. Johnson
04.30.2013

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