SALALM 60 Finance Committee I, Minutes
Saturday June 13, 2015, 10:00am-12:00 pm
East Pyne 023, Princeton University

Minutes, submitted by Sarah Buck Kachaluba (UC San Diego)

The meeting began at 10:05 am

In Attendance: Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez (Princeton U.), Barbara Alvárez (U. Michigan), Sarah Buck Kachaluba (UC San Diego, Incoming Chair), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane U.), Angela Carreño (NYU), Paloma Celis Carbajal (UW-Madison), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt U., Chair), Daisy Domínguez (CCNY/CUNY), Melissa Gasparotto (Rutgers U.), Luis González (Indiana U.), Adán Griego (Stanford U.), Peter Johnson, Taylor Leigh (Brown U.), Nerea Llamas (U. Michigan), Molly Molloy (New Mexico State U.), José Morales (El Colegio de México), Alma Ortega (U. San Diego), Wendy Pedersen (U. New Mexico), Daniel Schoorl (HAPI-UCLA), Craig Schroer (West Georgia U.), John Wright (Brigham Young U.), Mary Jo Zeter (Michigan State U.)

I. Opening Remarks/Welcome (Paula Covington)

P. Covington welcomed committee members and new member Wendy Pedersen. The 2014 minutes were approved and will be posted on the SALALM website.

II. Treasurer’s Report (Peter Johnson)

Preceding the meeting, P. Johnson sent out a report to committee members and to the membership at large reviewing SALALM’s financial health over the past fiscal year (Money Matters 5). The report is on the SALALM web page in the members- only section.

The endowment is now managed by TIAA-CREF. This has been an excellent decision for SALALM’s financial health.  The endowment is now close to $1,000,000.

SALALM is now operating with Quickbooks which allows for a better interface with the IRS long form (990) – the form required to submit for SALALM to retain its 503 C (non-profit/charitable) status.  Maintaining a healthy balance/ratio between the organization’s income and offerings/services is critical to maintaining 503 C status.

In general, SALALM is in very good financial health.  We do, however, need to monitor conference budgets carefully to ensure a balanced budget. This will affect our ability to launch new initiatives, such as scholarships.  Donations and revenue are also important for such new projects.

Finding support staff like Carol Avila who are competent and affordable is also important.   As Treasurer, P. Johnson has had to spend hours balancing the budget because we were off by 1 penny.  SALALM is a business and requires the financial precision of a business.

We no longer have the Investment Working Group (IWG subcommittee) that we used to have to monitor investments.  P. Covington remarked that the healthy endowment is largely due to careful management in the past by the IWG and especially to P. Johnson’s sage advice over time. In 2013, SALALM began using TIAA-CREF to manage the endowment and this has proven to be a good decision.  SALALM also holds a number of treasury bonds.  We reached the 1 million dollar mark a few weeks ago (note: this has decreased slightly in the past few weeks).  As of 5/31/15 the endowment balance is $994,291.

III. Secretariat Report and Proposed Budget (Hortensia Calvo)

SALALM’s personal membership has grown in the past few years.  In 2011 we had 208 personal members and we now have 250.  During this period our sponsoring members have stayed approximately the same, but we do have three more than last year.  This helps with our revenue and indicates that SALALM is going against the trend for similar organizations since every subject group in the Association of College and Research Libraries except Women’s Studies has experienced declining membership. SALALM has also attracted many new young members – both librarians and archivists – providing the organization with new energy and dynamism.

H. Calvo reviewed the financial report (noting that the fiscal year will end August 31) and highlighted the following issues:

Publications: Publication sales are an important source of revenue. Costs for publication production were higher a few years ago.  We are thankful to Orchid Mazurkiewicz and the Editorial Board for catching up on the preparation of the yearly papers and keeping each SALALM president on track with his or her conference’s manuscript, allowing for a more balanced, gradual expenditure. Institutional memberships include postage for publications so this saves money.

Insurance: This has not yet been paid for FY 2014-2015.  The Secretariat is in conversation with an insurance company in New Orleans.  SALALM needs less than $3 million coverage, so the organization is ensuring that it is not overpaying.

Presence at ALA annual meeting. When we have had a booth presence at ALA this has resulted in the recruitment of new members.  Those present discussed whether we should have a booth at ALA in the future and whether the Executive Secretary should be the one who attends to represent SALALM. P. Celis Carbajal (SALALM president-elect) argued that in addition to recruiting new members SALALM’s presence at ALA helps to correct the misconception that REFORMA is the only Latin Americanist library group and to demonstrate to SALALM members’ library administrators who SALALM members are and thereby articulate our role in the profession.  No decision was reached.

Telephone: Tulane never charges SALALM for the telephone but it is included in the budget anyway.

Memorial donation: when a SALALM member passes away SALALM donates the amount of his or her membership to a charity of the family’s choice.

Go to meeting: some people have had problems with it but MOLLAS has used it successfully.  Should we create a survey working group to examine its utility/assess whether it is worth continuing?  After further discussion those present decided that those having trouble with Go to Meeting would benefit from training and that all Salalmistas should be encouraged to use Go to Meeting when appropriate for SALALM business.  It would not be necessary to create a survey working group.

IV. Conferences

2014 Salt Lake City Conference Final Report (John Wright)

The profit for the Salt Lake City conference was between $4000-$5000.  One positive and unprecedented initiative was charging advertisers for banners ($225).  T-shirts were also sold.  Attendees enjoyed these and the sale of t-shirts brought in some revenue.

2015 Princeton Conference Initial Report (Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez – Chair of Local Arrangements)

Princeton received a generous subsidy from Princeton’s library and its Latin American Center allowing SALALM to bring in two visiting speakers from Brazil.

2016 University of Virginia Conference Preliminary Budget (Paloma Celis Carbajal)

Paloma shared that SALALM has signed a contract with a hotel in Charlottesville, VA based on the budget approved last year.  The conference will be held Monday, May 9 through Friday, May 13, 2016.  Further discussion with budget details was deferred to Finance II.  Paloma and Miguel were advised to have the budget firmed up by Dec. 2015 for review by the Finance Committee and Secretariat.

2017 Conference Proposals

U Michigan (Barbara Alvárez and Nerea Llamas)

As with the current (2015) conference in Princeton, the 2017 conference could take place on the University of Michigan campus with a combination of dorm and hotel housing and the use of classrooms for meetings.  Detroit metro airport is nearby, facilitating travel.

There was some discussion about the pros and cons of dorms vs. hotels for housing.  Dorms are excellent for travelers on limited budgets.  But hotel contracts can provide blocks of free rooms for some officers and offer packages for meeting spaces.  The hotel also helps to foster community. The Michigan proposed budget was approved to be presented to the Executive Board.

El Colegio de México (José Morales)

This proposal was deferred to Finance II since additional information regarding hotel costs, etc. was needed.  The budget would be reviewed and then it would be determined if it could be forwarded to the Executive Board.

V. Fund Request for Scholarship Award (Mary Jo Zeter)

Last year the SALALM Scholarship transitioned to a conference travel award and the award amount was raised from $1000 to $1500 accordingly.

With last year’s balance, the committee was able to award five scholarships, which the committee deemed necessary due to the exceptional pool of applicants they received.  The committee therefore requested an increase of $500 for the scholarships (allowing the possibility of funding 5 scholarships of $1500 each).  In addition, the committee requested $500 for publicity costs to provide for the services of a graphic designer and printing and mailing of posters to library schools announcing the spring and fall competitions.  The proposal was approved by the committee to be presented to the Executive Board.

IX. Memorial for Dan Hazen

P. Covington explained that there has been recent discussion to create a memorial for recently-passed SALALM member Dan Hazen.  One idea would be to name the keynote address in his honor (i.e., the “Hazen Keynote address”). P. Johnson suggested an alternate idea requiring funding.  He proposed creating a research/professional development scholarship/fellowship, particularly to help out newer/younger members of the profession acquire funds for needed training, conference travel, or scholarly research.  Those present discussed having applicants enter two pools – one for those in the field for up to 6-10 years and another from 10 up and creating two tracks for applicants to apply to – one for a research scholarship/fellowship or one for a professional development scholarship/training fellowship.

P. Celis Carbajal pointed out that this is a good incentive to stay in the organization.  H. Calvo suggested requiring awardees to present the results of their research back to SALALM.

There was some discussion about whether or not the award would be exclusively based on merit or whether applicants should also demonstrate financial need.  One suggestion was to ask applicants if they are applying for other awards and if they have access to funds at their own institution or from other sources for the same project/event.

P. Johnson pointed out that this initiative would increase SALALM’s programmatic costs, strengthening its status as a non-profit/charity (503 C) organization.  SALALM could probably afford to dedicate $8000-$10,000 to this initiative by funding it externally from the endowment income.  IN FY 2015-2016, SALALM could raise the money from donations and take $5000 from the endowment.

P. Johnson suggested creating an ad hoc committee to work on this.  Paloma was charged with naming a task force when she becomes president at Executive Board II.

H. Calvo asked how the awards would be structured.  For example, would SALALM give out a flat $1500 or ask applicants to submit a budget.  Those present favored submitting a budget.  It was determined the ad hoc committee will propose the structure.

The committee voted unanimously to propose this memorial and the creation of an ad hoc committee to define it to the Executive Board.

Finance Committee Meeting I adjourned at 11:50 am.

 

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