Posts by: daisilla

Panel 14, June 18, 2012, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Moderator: Angela M. Carreño (New York University)
Presenters: Barbara Chase (The University of the West Indies, Barbados); Valerie Clarke (The University of the West Indies, Barbados) presented by Elizabeth Watson, Campus Librarian; Ann Marie White and Jessica Lewis (The University of the West Indies, Barbados); Rapporteur: Jeffrey Staiger (University of Oregon)

Angela Carreño welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers.

First to give her presentation, “Representations of Love and Erotica in Caribbean Writings,” was Barbara Chase, Head of Book Acquisitions at the University of West Indies, Barbados, who focused on the example of Barbadian novelists. Chase proposed that it was a sign of these writers’ growing confidence that they had begun to lay claim to genre fiction, which she characterized as popular fiction written for mainstream consumption, with a less complex style, and fewer metaphors and similes, than its literary counterpart. Focusing particularly on the genres of romance and erotica, she enumerated a number of representative works: The Healing Tree by Margaret Knight; Song of Night and Fire in the Canes by Glenville Lovell; A Death in Panama by Robert Williams; Joy Cometh in the Morning by Herbert Reifer; Someone to Watch Over Me by Nailah Folami Imoja; and One Gentle Night by Ben Jordan. While these novels resemble the works of genre fiction from other nations – the speaker cited the precedent of Barbara Cartland – she stressed that these authors included elements that lent the novels in question a Caribbean flavor, such as the use of the plantation as setting, the theme of race, and the issue of beach and tourism culture. One of the distinctive features of genre feature, she stressed at the end of her talk, was that, unlike literary fiction, it always ended with a resolution of the plot.

The second presentation, “Echoes of the Caribbean: Documentation of Tradition and Identity in the Audio Visual Collection” was presented by Elizabeth Watson, Campus Librarian at the University of the West Indies, Barbados on behalf of Valerie Clarke. She related that the Learning Resource Center in her library harbored, in addition to a digital postcard collection documenting Caribbean life and culture, about 1,500 artifacts, realia, segments of oral history, and other items covering such regional topics as sports, women, and calypso music. Observing that audiovisual materials capture nuances of the historical record unavailable in text, and that they facilitate different kinds of learning about the region’s culture, the presenter particularly focused on the themes of women at work and political expression as represented in the collection. Addressing women’s roles in Caribbean culture, the speaker noted that 60% of Barbadian women are involved in the fishing industry. She played an audio clip consisting of women’s cries advertising their various fish as they competed for business in the market place. The speaker went on to observe that music was at the core of the enslaved society, and that the drum in particular was used to send messages in the period before emancipation. She played recent audio clips to illustrate how singers used calypso songs to make political points indirectly, noting that in Barbados, songs have been banned because they expressed political views contrary to powerful interests, but that some candidates have also used Calypso for campaigning purposes. In conclusion, the speaker noted that the audiovisual collections add diversity and depth to static print collections.

The final presentation, “Art, Space and the Caribbean Academic Library,” was given jointly by Jessica Lewis and Ann Marie White from the University of the West Indies, Barbados. They discussed the use of fine art in the library on the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. The present building, expanded in 1996 and again in 2012, currently holds approximately 70 pieces of fine art, pieces selected both to create a welcoming ambiance in the library and to foster culture awareness. The selections of art pieces were made according to a variety of factors, including theme, proposed placement, medium, size, artistic execution, and relevance to the Caribbean experience. They showed slides representing various examples of the pieces in the collection; some of these reflected the African heritage of the Caribbean people, others, such as a triptych painting by Cathrine Chee-A-Tow of brightly garbed men, illustrated, in the speaker’s words, “the bright atmosphere of the Caribbean.” They noted that fine art can also be used to highlight special collections. The response of library patrons to the integration of fine art into the space of the building has been quite positive. Summing up, the speakers maintained that the investment in fine art in the library was valuable for a number of reasons: it casts the library as a custodian of local culture; it supports the university’s creative arts program; it assists the development of the wider arts community and “last but not least, fine art, unlike other assets, appreciates in value.”

Saturday,  June 16, 2012      9:00-10:00 a.m.
Flamingo Room, Hilton-Trinidad Hotel, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

** Thanks to Sarah Leroy (University of Pittsburgh), for kindly offering to take notes for the minutes. **
Attending: Claire-Lise B’enaud (University of New Mexico), Peter Bushnell (UFl-Gainesville), Nancy Hallock (Harvard), Ellen Jaramillo (Yale, Chair), Sarah Leroy (University of Pittsburgh), Sara Levinson (UNC-Chapel Hill), Ferolyn Meyer (Library of Congrses), Carlos Olave (Library of Congress), Wendy Pedersen (University of New Mexico), Stephanie Rocio Miles (IADB), Brenda Salem (University of Pittsburgh), Cecilia Serc’an (Cornell University), John Wright (Brigham Young University)

At last year’s meeting, John Wright described the RDA beta testing at Brigham Young University Library, including how they prepared staff and equipment for RDA implementation.  When we asked on LALA-L for agenda items for today, several members suggested that we use this meeting to find out what each of our institutions’ plans are for moving (or not) to using RDA.  They asked to hear specifics—what training plans they may have, when they hope to begin, etc.

  • Yale has been participating in the numerous ALCTS webinars and very recently, the Library of Congress webinars.  A home-grown training program began in late April 2012 (4-6 hrs/wk, 8 weeks in duration).  Catalog librarians are beginning to create RDA records, which will be reviewed and then exported to OCLC (they catalog in Voyager).  They’ve just begun RDA NACO training.  RDA training for non-Roman alphabet catalogers will take place during the summer.
  • University of Florida has had a few webinars already and will switch when the time comes.  (P. Bushnell has been learning RDA by reading the manual).
  • Cornell  has a training committee that has watched and edited the ALCTS webinars, then showed them to staff.  They catalog in RDA one day per week.  The training committee revises the work of others and has their own records revised as well.  Everything will be cataloged using RDA as of September or October, once the NACO training is done.
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill  has had webinars for a year or so and has been discussing RDA.  NACO training will take place this fall, after which all authority records will use RDA. After that, everyone will be trained to do bib records using RDA.
  • Library of Congress  training began in June with supervisors and reviewers.  Once trained, a person works in RDA and everyone’s work is reviewed.  Training involves classes three days a week, and those being trained can’t take leave for the entire month of July.  It has been quite stressful.
  • Brigham Young  training started early, as they were an RDA test site.  They never stopped using RDA after the test phase, and production is back up to normal now.  The learning curve is several months in duration.  Everything is cataloged in RDA except the occasional special project, such as the Chiapas anthropology project of around 5,000 items.
  • University of New Mexico cataloging staffing has diminished steadily over the years.  Many of their catalogers will be retiring within the next few years, and will not be replaced.  Plans for RDA are unclear.

Ellen brought up the possibility of hosting/creating a pre-conference workshop at next year’s conference to explain RDA to our non-cataloger colleagues.  This will be discussed in the Libreros Workshop taking place this afternoon.
Committee members then said whether they were still doing priority cataloging of materials from assigned countries.  Harvard is still concentrating on Colombia; Cornell on Peru and Brazil; the University of Florida on the Caribbean; and the University of Pittsburgh on Bolivia, Brazil and Cuba.  There was discussion about how in all of our institutions, catalogers are generally not being replaced as they retire/depart, and cataloging staffing is diminishing at an alarming rate everywhere.

Brenda Salem (University Pittsburgh) has agreed to serve as Subcommittee Chair for 2012-2015.



June 19, 2012, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Facilitator: Lynn Shirey, Harvard University
Rapporteur: David Block, The University of Texas at Austin
Incoming officers: Stephanie Rocío Miles of the Nominating Committee announced the results of the 2012 elections:

  • Vice President/President Elect: Roberto C. Delgadillo

  • Members-at-Large: Paloma Celis Carbajal and Daisy V. Domínguez

Remembering Alan Moss: Gayle Williams reminded us of our recently deceased friend and colleague, Alan Moss. The Secretariat will make a donation in his memory, see below.

Treasurer’s Report: Peter Johnson highlighted several issues:

  • SALALM endowment (1993- ) the endowment, managed by the Investment Working Group, is intended to support SALALM’s activities as the organization faces an uncertain future. The endowment currently holds investments valued at $736,000 and has an annual payout, which has normally been reinvested, of $20,000 per year;

  • SALALM scholarship (2012- ) This scholarship, funded by donations earmarked for it and from the SALALM budget, awarded 3 grants of $1,000 each this year. The recipients are students involved in an information-oriented curriculum at any ALA-accredited institution who have expressed interest in a career that involves Latin America. Johnson announced that our advertisement was well received, producing 25-30 applicants, and that several runners-up received encouragement from the selection committee in the form of a complimentary SALALM membership for the coming year;

  • Johnson concluded by thanking the members of the scholarship task force and the SALALM Executive Secretary and her assistant, Carol Avila, for their advice and assistance over the year.

Executive Secretary’s Report: Hortensia Calvo reported:

  • At his family’s request, SALALM will make a donation to the Barbados Cancer Society in the name of Alan Moss

  • Memberships stand currently at 204 personal members, 101 institutional members (23 of whom are sponsoring members), and 13 student membership

President’s Report: Lynn Shirey reviewed conference issues:

  • By popular demand, SALALM LVII was a four-day meeting; Shirey announced that a follow-up survey soliciting observations on the conference will be distributed soon. At this point, she opened the floor for members to comment on the conference;

  • Speakers supported both the four day (on the basis of economics and member commitments) and five day (citing the difficulties in conducting necessary business on a reduced schedule).

  • Meeting with book dealers – some libreros expressed frustration with their inability to capture adequate attention from SALALM librarians. As with past meetings, the difficulties of scheduling and conflicts with panels reduced the time available for conversations and the lack of private space deterred some from raising necessary issues. Several possible remedies surfaced in the discussion—setting aside a period with no activities other than bookseller time, staggering activities to open spaces with the meeting among them.

    • All agreed that while there is no single solution to this issue, paying attention to scheduling and reducing competition for librarians’ attention is something that future schedulers should consider.

The meeting closed with Paula Covington’s appeal to members to share their memories of Howard Karno for a memorial that she has been asked to post on the SALALM website.

The Policy, Research & Investigation Committee (PRI) held its annual meeting on Saturday, May 28, 2011, 2:00-3:00 pm.  Its chair, Cecilia Sercán (Cornell University) was unable to attend.  She asked John B. Wright (Brigham Young University) to act as chair at the meeting.  Attending the meeting were PRI members Mark Grover, Ellen Jaramillo, Gayle Williams and John B. Wright. Wright reported that at the previous Constitution & Bylaws Committee meeting, he and Rafael Tárrago began work on reconciling the Constitution and Bylaws into a single document.  This process will undoubtedly have some ramifications to the organization that will be sent forward to PRI for consideration.  Gayle Williams reported hearing that there will be some comments made at the Executive Board meeting by a Member-at-Large regarding the length of the conference.  Some members believe the annual conference is too long.  The group discussed a deadline for receiving resolutions from the membership.  It was agreed that the deadline will be Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at 12:30 p.m.  The meeting was adjourned. The group met again on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 and drafted the following resolutions to be submitted to the general membership for a vote at the Closing Business meeting.


At the 56th Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 28-June 1, 2008, be it resolved:

1.    That SALALM thank Temple University Libraries; and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries;     and Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Pennsylvania; and Department of Romance     Languages, University of Pennsylvania; and The Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies     Consortium (GPLASC) for sponsoring this year’s meeting.

2.    That SALALM gratefully acknowledge Dr. Paul C. Smith for his sponsorship of this year’s meeting.

3.    That SALALM extend its thanks to Joseph Holub and David Murray as Co-Chairs of the Local     Arrangements for their dedicated and capable organization of SALALM LVI.

4.    That SALALM thank the following individuals for their efforts in assisting with Local Arrangements activities: Carmen Febo-San Miguel (Taller Puertorriqueño), Jlia Zagar (Eyes Gallery), Pamela Harris (Swarthmore College Library), Aleta Arthurs, Charles Cobine, Jeanne Lanza Curcio, Ancil George, Nancy Gulsoy, William Keller, Carlos Rodriguez, Michael Rosse, Lori Rowland, Catherine Rutan, Bryan Wilkinson, Thomas Wilson, Kristin Winch (Univeristy of Pennsylvania Libraries), Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, Ana María Gómez López (Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Pennsylvania), Nam Narain (School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania), Matilde Duenas (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Ronald Webb (Latin American Studies, Temple University).

5.    That SALALM thank the SALALM Libreros for sponsorship of its wonderful Liberero’s Reception at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains.

6.    That SALALM express its gratitude to the following individuals and groups for their support to this year’s conference:  Books from Mexico, Gale-Cengage, Puvill Libros, Retta Libros, Susan Bach Books from Brazil, Casalini Libri, Vientos Tropicales, Libros de Barlovento, Digitalia, Iberoamericana-Editorial Vervuert, Libros Sur and The Latin American Bookstore.

Gayle Williams reported for PRI at Executive Board Meeting #2, held Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

p dir=”ltr”>Panel 13, June 18, 2012, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Moderator: Adán Griego, Stanford University
Presenters: Felipe Varela, E-Libro; Lluis Claret, DIGITALIA; Kathryn Paoletti, Casalini Libri; Mariana Meyer, Elsevier Latin America& The Caribbean
Rapporteur: José O. Díaz, The Ohio State University

Moderator Adán Griego (Stanford University) opened the presentation by explaining the ground rules: fifteen-minute presentations with a two-minute warning from the moderator. He also asked panelists to refrain from turning their presentations into commercials. He requested that the audience save their questions until the end. Griego introduced the topic by summarizing recent developments in the availability of e-books and e-book readers in the United States and Spain. He indicated that incoming first-year “digital native” undergraduates will have spent 20,000 hours watching TV, more than 10,000 hours playing video games, and less than 5,000 hours reading printed materials. He offered some examples of how digital is now in vogue. In Seattle, Washington, for example, public libraries have recruited younger users to assist more mature patrons with technology and the New York Times recently featured a story on e-books in public libraries. Griego also pointed out that in the United States, library users now have access to more than 30,000 e-books in Spanish. This year in Spain, a quarter of all Spanish ISBNs have been assigned to e-books. Additionally, in the last two years, nearly a million e-readers have been sold. In short, the e-book is here to stay.

Griego asked the presenters to address the new reality of e-books and how they have challenged the traditional library mission of acquiring, accessing, organizing, preserving, and loaning materials. He also asked them to comment on issues related to pricing and access, ownership versus subscription, text mining, pick-and-choose versus packages, purchasing power, archiving policies, e-readers compatibility, and interlibrary loans.

The first presenter was Felipe Varela (E-Libro). His presentation was entitled, “The E-Books We Need in Our Libraries.” E-Libro includes more than 160 publishers and makes available over 48,000 titles. Currently, E-libro is adding 700+ titles a month. Twenty-two percent of its content is non-academic and is available in GOBI, YBP’s acquisition and collection management interface. E-Libro is hosted on the Ebrary platform and includes over 9,000 Spanish-language titles including e-books, journals, articles, and doctoral theses. It charges $5,000 per university or $4,000 each on a consortium basis. E-libro is the only e-book vendor that enables librarians, free of charge, to upload, integrate, and share their own digital content with DASH, which allows you to create highly interactive databases of special collections, government documents, reports, internal documentation, and literally any document in PDF or that can be turned into PDF.

The second presenter, Lluis Claret (DIGITALIA), presented “Digital Projects: from Distribution to Publishing.” DIGITALIA offers e-books and e-journals of an academic level for libraries and research institutions. The company’s goals are to furnish top quality content in Spanish to libraries, professors and students, and to become a leader in the provision of academic titles in Spanish. DIGITALIA includes more than 8,000 titles distributed in collections, such as: Art and Architecture, Literature, Cinema, Science, Engineering and Computer Programming, History, Philosophy, Religion, Business and Economy, Law, Linguistics and Philology, Political Science and Social Sciences. DIGITALIA furnishes access to publications published by Spanish and Latin American publishing companies. It also offers a backlist, newest releases, and adds an average of 300 titles a month to its database. DIGITALIA offers three purchasing models: annual subscription, the purchase of individual collections, and a “pick and choose” option. DIGITALIA provides subscribers the right to print out documents, unlimited number of users, access using IP addresses, compatibility with remote users via the Proxy system, compatibility with tablets furnished with internet connections, such as the iPad, Samsung, iPhone, etc., a stable URL, permanent link, and MARC records. Additionally, in DIGITALIA each item contains its own table of contents with a fold-out menu that represents the summary of the entire document in order to facilitate surfing within each work. DIGITALIA will join Portico’s preservation services in 2012. Finally, users of DIGITALIA can choose whether to visualize the documents in an HTML or PDF format.

The third presenter, Kathryn Paoletti (Casalini Libri), presented “Torrossa: the Casalini Libri Full Text Platform for E-books and E-journal Content from Romance Language Countries.” Paoletti explained that Casalini Libri’s full text platform offers access to over 200,000 articles and chapters, 10,000 e-books and 480 e-journals from over 150 Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese publishers. She described Torrossa as a small yet very good platform. Casalini Libri offers two dedicated venues for the sale of electronic content to academic institutions and trade markets via the Torrossa platform. The Torrossa platform features full text content in PDF format, updated weekly, and now comprises thousands of e-books and hundreds of e-journals, available at the article and chapter level. Private individuals can browse Torrossa via the Torrossa store and purchase chapters and articles. Casalini Libri offers research institutions access to collections of content via the Torrossa site on a subscription basis. The content brings together a number of prestigious publishers in the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Currently, documents can be downloaded onto mobile devices that support Adobe software. A Torrossa app to purchase and download content to Apple devices will be released shortly. Other services provided by Torrossa are RSS feeds; a user workspace; copy, print, and download capabilities; and compatibility with Refworks, End notes and bibliographic tools. Like other providers of e-books, Casalini Libri is facing increasing costs from publisher, difficulties in obtaining rights to the materials, and issues with interlibrary loans.

The fourth presenter, Mariana Meyer (Elsevier), closed the session with her presentation, “Embracing the E-book to Accelerate Science.” Meyer’s presentation centered on the question: Are researchers going to use e-book and how? According to Meyer, most researchers commence their research process searching monographs followed by journal articles. What Elsevier is trying to do is to place both journals and books in the same platform, thus facilitating the researcher move from one format to the other. Meyers described the Elsevier platform as fully integrated and containing high quality publishers. Elsevier offers 24X7 access, unlimited users, downloads, e-mail, and unlimited printing. Elsevier, Meyers explained, offers a different e-book experience that includes videos and searchable and pictures that may be updated. Additionally, Elsevier’s platform allows for direct links to journals, reference works, articles cited, application tabs, and phone apps for smart phones and androids. The platform now contains 15,000 e-books including reference works and handbooks but only 74 books in Spanish and 40 in Portuguese.

Questions & Comments:

Tony Harvell (University of California, San Diego) indicated that he gets a lot of pressure from his institution to provide interlibrary loan (ILL). In the print world, he explained, librarians would not photocopy an entire book. The digital rights management makes it very difficult to do the equivalent of ILL. He asked the presenters “Are platforms and providers thinking of other ways to provide that service without downloading and sending out one PDF at a time?”

Valera (E-Libro): “In my experience, the problem resides with the publishers. They remain unwilling to make their information available and losing revenue. The change is coming but moving too slow.”

Claret (DIGITALIA): “A couple of years ago we started to include in the license agreement a provision for interlibrary loans (only portions of the book though). DIGITALIA is experimenting with limited loan periods that would allow other universities to use the books perhaps for a fee.”

Paoletti (Casalini Libri): “Italian publishers have no problem with loaning books or chapters via ILL agreements. Spanish publishers, on the other hand, remain unwilling to allow for ILL.” She described the situation as evolving. Publishers in general are waiting to see what models are coming out that will protect and/or enhance their revenue streams.

Meyer (Elsevier) indicated that for Elsevier, this has not been a huge issue because the demand for ILL is not there. This is due to the fact that research patterns in the physical science are very different from the humanities and social sciences.

Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) added that as a doctoral student, she is trying to decide how to use an electronic novel. How can she make notes and annotations on a borrowed e-book? As a researcher she intends to go back and revisit the book.

Claret (DIGITALIA) indicated that it all hinges on user demand. There has to be a market to move publishers to make changes. In some cases we are seeing demand in areas such as preservation (e.g., PORTICO).

Griego (Stanford) asked Harvell (UCSD) to explain PORTICO.

PORTICO, Harvell explained, is a digital preservation archive. Libraries and publishers pay to have access and preserve content via PORTICO. Libraries have access to that content for which they have paid a subscription. A competing alternative to PORTICO is Stanford’s LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe).

Rashidah Khan-Vire (University of Trinidad & Tobago) asked about the availability of secondary school textbooks in electronic format.

Valera (E-Libro) indicated that E-libro does provide a collection of secondary education materials. They have some costumers in Venezuela and Colombia.

Harvell (University of California, San Diego) added that Ebrary has few e-books for secondary education.

Meyer (Elsevier) indicated that her company is in the process of making more textbooks available via the Science Direct platform. Elsevier, she concluded, offers 80 university level textbooks via “pick and choose.”

June 18, 2012, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Facilitator: Professor Doris Sommer, Harvard University
Rapporteur: Alison Hicks, University of Colorado, Boulder

What do you associate with the word clown? Perhaps it’s circus, buffoon, Auguste, Pierrot, traffic cop or a red nose. Wait, traffic cop? For Colombians, this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. As mayor of Bogotá from 1995-1997, Antanas Mockus sacked the corrupt traffic police and replaced them with clowns in an attempt to use theatrical displays to “gain people’s attention and, then, to make them think.” Traffic fatalities dropped 50% and Mockus now serves as inspiration for Harvard University’s Cultural Agents project that aims to build society through the arts and humanities. PRE-texts is one of the associated Cultural Agent projects that focus on using the humanities as a tool for civic engagement. Run by Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish at Harvard University, the project provides workshops aimed at engaging even the most reluctant readers, as well as training for teachers and artists. The workshops draw on new and longstanding Latin American cultural traditions such as cartonera or cordel literature to “develop…avid and creative readers by using classic literature as an excuse for making art.”

25 SALALM participants signed up for the three hour workshop with Professor Sommer, eager to experience and engage with the techniques and process that combine textual analysis with bookmaking, drawing, performing and writing. Working from the premise that all literature is recycled (Borges himself remarked that a written text is one of 10,000 options), Professor Sommer facilitated a collaborative process to help us pull out elements of a text and rework them into new interpretations and creations. In this way, we started to understand how literature works, the first step in the process of really understanding and engaging with an author and an essential part of empowering student literacy.

The Workshop

The first task of the workshop was to create a book cover out of the various recycled craft materials on the tables. As participants set to work happily cutting, gluing, drawing and coloring, Professor Sommer called for a volunteer to read aloud, just as tobacco rollers paid for professional storytellers to read Marx to them while they worked. The passage chosen was a 500 word extract from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (Chapter 1, “Holding a child by each hand…”). In true García Márquez style, the passage was fairly dense and full of allusions and metaphors, so another volunteer read the passage aloud again, a deliberate attempt by Sommer to try and channel the dramatic and engage participants as listeners before handing out a copy of the text to look at. We were then given five minutes to think of an aspect of the text that was puzzling, and share this as a question with the group. Very little about the text was left untouched as participants queried the various characters, melting Armenians and the cost of entry to the tent.

As we started to engage with the text, Professor Sommer was quick to highlight various instructional techniques too, allowing us to reflect on participating and facilitating at the same time. Thus, as the questions dried up, she reminded us that every student in the class had to join in fully with the activities. With an almost uncanny knack of working out who hadn’t spoken yet, she reminded us that skipping over a student’s contribution could imply that the facilitator either doesn’t care about the student or thinks they don’t matter. Faced with a classroom full of introverted librarians, this wasn’t as easy as it sounds. After the activity, Professor Sommer asked us to reflect on what we had learned. Highlighting the pitfalls of asking students what they had learned (the answer is usually “nothing”), she framed the question by asking us what we had done.

In the second activity, we were asked to think of an answer to one of those questions and write it down on a piece of paper. These answers were then “published” on a clothes line at the back of the room, drawing on cordel literature traditions. Answers ranged from the monosyllabic to the literary, drawing on the text to continue the story while also allowing our imagination and creativity to stretch the author’s original boundaries. After reading each other’s contributions we were again asked what we had done in that activity; I definitely marveled at my colleagues’ ingenuity!

The next activity was performance: each group was asked to pick a literary metaphor from the text and act it out to the wider group. With younger children, Professor Sommer remarked that she asked children to act out a scene, but for older students, drama can help scaffold complicated allusions, thereby helping them “crack the code” that can cloud understanding. Various metaphors from the text were acted out with varying degrees of success, including the phrases “smoking pitch,” “giving testimony on the Holy Scriptures,” and “the chest gave off a glacial exhalation.” Some mimes were harder to guess than others, but Professor Sommer reminded us that the aim of the exercise was to engage more carefully with the text rather than getting to the right answer.

The last activity involved drawing. Sitting back to back with a partner we took turns describing and drawing a character before hanging our finished masterpieces in the “gallery.” A “curator” then facilitated a discussion of the characters we had drawn, focusing on our inspiration and imagination as we drew from and built on the text.

At the end of the workshop, participants gathered around one final time to discuss the overall workshop experience, and in particular how we could draw on this experience in our own contexts in the future. Several public librarians reflected on how they might use the techniques in literacy programs or with reluctant readers summer workshops. Key takeaways for academic librarians focused around classroom management and how to draw on these core concepts of critical pedagogy in instruction sessions. Participants also remarked about how the workshop gave them a newfound understanding of the importance of collecting cartonera literature.

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SALALM LVI, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Executive Board Meeting I, May 29, 2011

Minutes as corrected

Present, Executive Board: Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Adán Benavides, David Block, Hortensia Calvo, Darlene Hull, Peter T. Johnson, Sean Knowlton, Nerea Llamas, Martha E. Mantilla, Lynn Shirey, Roberto C. Delgadillo (Rapporteur). Also present: S. Lief Adleson, Jesús Alonso-Regalado, Barbara Alvarez, Anne C. Barnhart, Paloma Celis-Carbajal, Teresa Chapa, Ana María Cobos, Paula Covington, Daisy Domínguez, Patricia Figueroa, Pedro Figueroa, Melissa Gasparotto, Pamela M. Graham, Adán Griego, Alison Hicks, Paul Losch, Nashieli Marcano, Orchid Mazurkiewicz, Mei Méndez, Stephanie Miles, David C. Murray, Rhonda Neugebauer, Tracy North, Alma Ortega, Richard Phillips, Marisol Ramos, Carlos Retta, Suzanne Schadl, Nathalie Soini, Rafael E. Tarragó, Gayle Williams, John Wright, Mary Jo Zeter


I. The meeting was called to order at 4:31 p.m. with Llamas presiding.

II. Minutes of SALALM LV had been distributed via e-mail. The minutes were unanimously approved with no corrections.

III. Reports

A. Officers

1. President (Llamas). Llamas welcomed conference participants and asked Executive Board Members to deliver their reports. She began and ended her report by warmly thanking Joseph Holub and David Murray of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University libraries for their time and efforts in planning and sponsoring conference panels and events.

2. Vice-President/President-Elect (Shirey). Shirey kept her remarks brief. She simply noted that she would later speak about the program theme and location for next year’s conference.

3. Past President (Acosta-Rodríguez). Acosta-Rodríguez reported as having gathered, edited and submitted presentation papers from SALALM LV for subsequent publication by the Secretariat.

4. Executive Secretary (Calvo). Calvo began her report by announcing that as of May 25, 2011 SALALM has:

Personal Members

  • New Personal Members:                           12
  • Emeritus Members:                                     10
  • Student Members:                                          7
  • Honorary Members:                                      4
  • Total Personal Members:                       213*

*Includes: New members, Emeritus, Students, and Honorary


Institutional Members

  • Sponsoring Members:                               16
  • Total Institutional Members:                90*

*Includes: Sponsoring members


Total SALALM Members:                             303

She continued by succinctly summarizing increasingly downward trends in membership statistics since 2007. She noted that other committees and associated bodies are working to address the aforementioned downward membership trends. Calvo then reported on the Secretariat’s intention to review membership renewals, especially institutional memberships, to correct inconsistencies in billing procedures and payments. She next announced that the Secretariat is on track to come “under-budget” for 2010-2011, but the exact figures leading to this state have yet to be determined. She also noted a Secretariat donation of $75 to the Polio Survivors Association in the memory of Marian Goslinga. Calvo concluded her report by noting the Secretariat’s ongoing work with Johnson as they explore new financial goals.

5. Treasurer (Johnson). Johnson began his report by providing an overview of the accounts, time-tables and fiscal responsibilities jointly adhered to by the Treasurer and Secretariat. He particularly praised the work of Carol Avila in helping to maintain detailed and clear account transaction records. Johnson noted the selling of $28,793 in mutual fund shares to meet the operating costs of the organization. He acknowledged that dipping into principal always carries risk but it is the reality that SALALM faces. Johnson observed, however, that the profit–approximately $12,000–generated from the annual meeting in Providence was critically important for balancing the budget. He continued his report by noting ongoing conversations with the Membership Committee to address declining membership figures. Johnson then focused his report with a summary of the work undertaken by the Investment Working Group (IWG). The IWG, he explained, oversees, for the Finance Committee, the organization endowment’s portfolio of investments in various mutual funds that total (as of May 20, 2011) $745,452. In the coming year IWG will undertake proactive measures to diversify the portfolio and thereby reduce the potential for broad losses should the stock market take another sharp and sustained drop in share prices. Johnson next announced capital gains of $465.20 and dividend profits of $14,169.62. He characterized the capital gains as “grim” but happily noted the dividend profits–these gains and profits, in turn, have been reinvested in existing mutual funds. Johnson then shifted his report by making the following recommendations:

  • Approval of work contract to ensure continuation of the organization’s CPA;
  • Termination of solicited donations to the Marietta Daniels Shepard Endowed Presidential Scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin, due to the organization’s pledge fulfillment to that university;
  • Creation of a new scholarship, to help address the membership decline, targeted at MA level students that: are enrolled in accredited schools of library and information studies; demonstrate strong interest in Latin America and/or; work with Latino/a populations.

Lengthy discussion ensued with Johnson, Benavides, Adleson, Marcano, Celis-Carbajal, Hicks, Griego, North, Calvo, Barnhart, and Cobos focused on publicity strategies, schedules, and costs associated with marketing the proposed scholarship to incoming professionals within and outside the United States. Johnson finished his report by noting the receipt of an anonymous $1,000 donation to the SALALM endowment fund. This donation stems from a challenge, issued last year, to make matching contributions to the aforementioned endowment fund.

6. Rapporteur General (Delgadillo). No report.

B. Members-at-Large

1. Mantilla (2008-2011). No report.

2. Delgadillo (2008-2011).       “

3. Benavides (2009-2012).       “

4. Knowlton (2009-2012). Knowlton’s report consisted of an e-mail from Patricia Figueroa that requested that the Executive Board consider the following four recommendations:

  1. “That SALALM change its name to reflect the reality of the work we accomplish. By this I mean a name that is more general in nature and, by default, more inclusive.
  2. That the SALALM Congress be limited to three days instead of five.
  3. That we eliminate panels and themes from our congress so that we can devote more time to our committees, regional meetings and vendors.
  4. That we meet and celebrate SALALM in conjunction with LASA, mimicking the arrangement that MELA and MESA have for their yearly congress. This arrangement would provide an outlet for SALALM members who must present a paper in order to receive funding for attending the congress. I’m not necessarily suggesting that our congress take place in the same hotel as LASA but rather the same city and date.”

Lengthy discussion on the first recommendation ensued with Tarragó, Williams, Acosta-Rodríguez, Griego, Knowlton, Schadl, Barnhart, Zeter, Hull, Gasparotto, Johnson, Benavides, and Adleson sharing views ranging from:

  • The changed nature of the organization—in terms of whom it serves now and will serve in the future;
  • To the merits and financial-legal implications of a name change and associated branding opportunities.

Discussion then shifted to recommendations two and three with Figueroa, Calvo, Tarragó, Adleson, Acosta-Rodríguez, Griego, Barnhart, and Graham affirming the need for shortened and thematic modifications to future conferences but only after consultation with the appropriate committees and/or appointed task force groups. Llamas, at this point, focused discussion to the fourth and last recommendation. Figueroa, Griego, Chapa, Calvo, Johnson, Tarragó, and Benavides shared their views ranging from:

  • The costs of a joint conference based on prior experiences with LASA;
  • The necessity of a hosted institution and or Secretariat for future conferences in light of reduced membership statistics;
  • The role of vendors in hypothetical joint LASA conferences;
  • To the prohibitive travel expenses of conference locations outside the United States.

Llamas thanked Knowlton for his report and requested that additional discussion of the recommendations take place during the Town Hall Meeting.

5. Block (2010-2013). Block started his report by noting conversations with members that echoed Figueroa’s recommendations. He confirmed as having reached an agreement with those members to fold these conversations into related discussions when held by the Executive Board. He finished his report by urging the membership to apply pressure to their institutions to become institutional sponsoring members and thereby help offset declining membership numbers.

6. Hull (2010-2013). Hull’s report consisted of her briefly passing on membership and vendor concerns about the increasing costs of future conferences. She noted that she would have and share additional information related to these concerns after the Libreros meeting.

C. Executive Board Committees

1. Local Arrangements (Murray). Murray summarized preliminary conference statistics as of May 29, 2011:

  • Registered SALALM Conference Participants:                  129
  • Registered Exhibitors:                                                                     31
  • SALALM LVI Conference Income:                                $45,795
  • ”                            ”          Expenses:                                         $33,137
  • ”                            ”          Profits:                                              $12,658

He concluded his report by identifying and thanking Dr. Paul C. Smith and his generous donation of $10,000 to SALALM LVI.

2. Constitution and Bylaws (Tarragó). Tarragó briefly reported steady progress in the committee’s work toward updating and merging the existing Constitution and Bylaws into a single document titled SALALM Bylaws. Thus far, he stated, the committee was able to vet three of the fifteen articles in this draft document. Tarragó concluded his report by noting his intention to provide a more thorough update of the committee’s work during the second Executive Board meeting.

3. Policy, Research and Investigation (Cecilia Sercán; not present). Wright presented the committee’s report on Sercán’s behalf. He began the report by requesting that resolutions be given to PRI Committee members by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday. Wright finished by identifying the committee members as: Gayle Williams, Ellen Jaramillo, Mark Grover, and himself.

4. Membership Committee (Nashieli Marcano). Marcano reported as having overseen a successful and well-attended orientation session for new members. She noted the same for the subsequent Happy Hour. Marcano finished her report by noting the committee’s endorsement of a two year pre-paid membership payment to attract and retain new members.

At this point, Llamas paused the meeting–due to time constraints–and requested that the remainder of committees and associated groups defer their reports until the second meeting of the Executive Board. She allowed Johnson to make a concluding remark.

Johnson thanked Holub for securing four Southwest Airlines tickets that will be auctioned at the Enlace raffle to help underwrite parts of the conference’s costs.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:59 p.m.

SALALM LVI, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Executive Board Meeting II, June 1, 2011

Minutes as corrected

Present, Executive Board: Adán Benavides, David Block, Hortensia Calvo, Darlene Hull, Peter T. Johnson, Sean Knowlton, Nerea Llamas, Paul Losch, Martha E. Mantilla, Lynn Shirey, Mary Jo Zeter, Roberto C. Delgadillo (Rapporteur). Also present: Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, S. Lief Adleson, Jesús Alonso-Regalado, Sarah Aponte, Alejandra Cordero Berenguer, Paloma Celis-Carbajal, Paula Covington, Daisy Domínguez, Patricia Figueroa, Pedro Figueroa, Pamela M. Graham, Joseph Holub, Jana Krentz, Stephanie Miles, David C. Murray, Linda Russo, Sócrates Silva, Rafael E. Tarragó, Gayle Williams

I. The meeting was called to order at 3:28 p.m. with Shirey presiding.

II. Conference Reports

A. Officers

1. President (Shirey). Shirey began her report by announcing her intention of creating ad hoc committees to address several important issues raised by Figueroa’s list of proposals discussed during the first Executive Board Meeting. She continued by briefly outlining her plan to execute a four day schedule for SALALM LVII with the help of Suzanne Schadl. Shirey concluded her report by strongly affirming that she will work to ensure that next year’s conference provides for additional time and space to work for the membership and vendors.

2. Vice-President/President-Elect (Mantilla). Mantilla started and finished her report by acknowledging preliminary discussions between the Executive Board and the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries for their offer to host SALALM LVIII.

3. Past-President (Llamas). Llamas briefly informed the Executive Board of her ongoing work with Acosta-Rodríguez to standardize conference planning procedures for incoming Presidents.

4. Executive Secretary (Calvo). No report.

5. Treasurer (Johnson). Johnson started his report by summarizing his past e-mail communications with the Executive Board. He concluded his report by declaring his intention to issue quarterly or bi-annual financial reports and convey ideas, via the organization website, to increase revenue flow.

6. Rapporteur General (Delgadillo). Delgadillo began his report by warmly thanking this conference’s volunteer rapporteurs for their time and efforts. He finished his report by acknowledging Ellen Jaramillo and Bridget Gazzo’s esprit de corps for each tackling two rapporteur assignments.

B. Members-at-Large

1. Benavides (2009-2012). No report.

2. Knowlton (2009-2012).        “

3. Block (2010-2013).                 “

4. Hull (2010-2013).                   “

5. Losch (2011-2014).                 “

6. Zeter (2011-2014).                  “

C. Executive Board Committees

1. Local Arrangements (Murray and Holub). Murray and Holub started their report by announcing conference attendance statistics as of June 1, 2011:

  • Registered SALALM Conference Participants: 170
  • Registered Exhibitors: 36

They concluded their report by declaring their willingness to share their experiences with Llamas and Acosta-Rodríguez’s work in streamlining conference planning guidelines.

2. Constitution and Bylaws (Tarragó). Tarragó briefly noted the committee’s intention to share its review and revisions of the draft SALALM Bylaws with the general membership. Tarragó concluded his report with the emphatic hope that the committee’s work and membership awareness of bylaws will make for a stronger organization.

3. Policy, Research and Investigation (Cecilia Sercán; not present). No report.

4. Membership (Nashieli Marcano, not present).                            “

5. Editorial Board (Orchid Mazurkiewicz; not present). Williams, speaking on behalf of Mazurkiewicz, announced that Ana María Cobos and Phil MacLeod collaborated on a book chapter entitled: “SALALM, the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials: The Evolution of an Area Studies Librarianship Organization” in Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship, to be published by Greenwood Publishers towards the end of 2011. She then reported:

  • Molly Molloy’s papers from the 2007 meeting have been published;
  • John Wright’s papers from the 2008 meeting will be published by the end of June 2011;
  • Pamela M. Graham’s papers from the 2009 meeting have been submitted and are in preparation for the copy editor;
  • Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez’s papers from the 2010 meeting have been submitted and are in preparation for the copy editor;
  • Williams’ latest edition of the Bibliography of Latin American and Caribbean Bibliographies has been sent to the printer and will be available after the meeting;
  • Williams’ Bibliography of Latin American & Caribbean Bibliographies 1990-1999 Cumulation will be published by Scarecrow Press in 2012;
  • No current titles are under production in the Bibliography and Reference Series.

Williams finished her report by conveying that Melissa Gasparotto has identified some guidelines for the Latin American Information Series (LAIS) that she is going to publicize on the website. Gasparotto will also put out a call for LAIS submissions later this year.

6. Finance (Richard Phillips, not present). Covington, speaking on behalf of Phillips, reported the committee as having had a productive meeting that resulted in:

  • Approval of projected SALALM LVII budget;
  • Two proposals, by Johnson, for consideration and approval by the Executive Board:

I. To increase credit card charges, from $3 to $5, to offset existing charges to the organization when the membership employs credit card payments

II. A three year prepaid membership option that would lock in current membership fees

  • Ongoing discussion of shifting organization operations to a calender year and associated fiscal implications;
  • Approval of the Secretariat’s proposed budget at $62,370–related issues to this budget included: CPA charges, use of PayPal, and updates to the organization website;
  • Approval to transfer $1,000 (plus $500 for start-up publicity) from organization dividends to initially launch the new scholarship. Member donations will sustain it in the future. This new scholarship will be fully coordinated and promoted directly by the organization to all library schools.

Covington concluded her report by noting the committee’s strong commitment to helping the organization increase its membership and revenues. Covington made a motion to accept Johnson’s first proposal. Benavides seconded the motion. Shirey called for a discussion of the motion. No discussion occurred. Shirey called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously. Covington made a motion to accept Johnson’s second proposal. Mantilla seconded the motion. Shirey called for a discussion of the motion. Brief discussion and remarks by Adleson, Benavides, Calvo, Covington, Knowlton, and Celis-Carbajal reflected the advantages and potential costs of the proposal. Shirey called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

7. Nominating (Alonso-Regalado). Alonso-Regalado began his report by noting the committee’s preliminary examination of free (SurveyMonkey, Ballotbin) and fee-based (Timberlake, DirectVote, Votenet) online election and survey services. He cited the potential ease of use and lost paper ballots as rationales for looking into online voting. Lengthy discussion ensued with Alonso-Regalado, Delgadillo, Knowlton, Krentz, Celis-Carbajal, Johnson, and Calvo sharing their experiences and privacy concerns with the use of SurveyMonkey and Timberlake. Alonso-Regalado made a motion to accept his proposal that next year’s election be conducted using SurveyMonkey as a pilot project. Mantilla seconded the motion. Shirey called for a discussion of the motion. No discussion occurred. Shirey called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously. Alonso-Regalado continued his report by conveying the committee’s proposal to add to the existing requirements for members running for the Vice-President/President-Elect position. He explained that the additional language would require that Vice-President/President-Elect candidates evince participation in at least one conference panel. Alonso-Regalado summarized the background of the existing requirement language and noted that the committee proposal arose from the need to open up the pool of candidates running for office in light of declining membership numbers. Lengthy discussion ensued with Benavides, Calvo, Shirey, Tarragó, Llamas, Adleson, Murray, Miles, Acosta-Rodríguez, Losch, Mantilla, Celis-Carbajal, Krentz, Russo, Graham, Hull, and Alonso-Regalado expressing support for and concerns ranging from:

  • The need to rewrite existing organization operational handbook criteria for members running for positions;
  • The difficulty in ascertaining past experience in organization bodies;
  • Affirming the need to retain institutional memory at the Secretariat;
  • Establishing the distinction between a committee participant and committee member;
  • The need for flexibility in determining experiences and participation when it is not evident;
  • To redoubling efforts to maintain constant clear communication between the Secretariat and organization bodies.

Alonso-Regalado finished his report by making a motion to accept his proposal that candidates running for the position of Vice-President/President-Elect shall have been SALALM members for three years, attended two SALALM conferences and have provided substantial services within the organization such as service on committees and working groups. Benavides seconded the motion. Shirey called for a discussion of the motion. No discussion occurred. Shirey called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

8. LALA-L (Williams). Williams began her report by noting that LALA-L has approximately 205 enrolled members. She continued by declaring that “things are running smoothly.” Williams finished by announcing that come August 2011, LALA-L will be twenty years old.

9. Enlace/Outreach (Celis-Carbajal). Celis-Carbajal began her report by happily announcing this year’s Enlace raffle garnered approximately $2,400. Celis-Carbajal briefly outlined the committee’s preliminary and long-term efforts towards creating grants for library school students in Latin America to attend the conference. She finished her report by citing that future Enlace applicants will be required to obtain a letter of support from their home institutions. Celis-Carbajal declared this requirement stems from the all too often forgotten realization that Enlace only covers approximately eighty percent of a chosen applicant’s conference expenses. This situation has led the committee to reconvene and reexamine other candidates in light of last-minute chosen applicant cancellations.

10. Communications (Domínguez). Domínguez started her report by briefly stating the committee’s recommendations:

  • The incorporation of future Newsletter content into the different areas that will comprise the redesigned organization website resulting in the termination  of the Newsletter;
  • The purchase of a $48 plug-in that will allow for online membership payments of conference registrations, renewals, and webinars;
  • A contingent payment of $640 for a web developer to assist with the organization website redesign over the summer.

Domínguez continued by citing the enthusiastic and tireless volunteer efforts of Stephanie Rocío Miles, Sócrates Silva, Kent Norsworthy, and Craig Schroer for seeing through to completion the committee’s assigned charge. She finished her report by noting the committee’s ongoing work towards the digital preservation of past Newsletter content. At this point, Domínguez was informed by Calvo that the Finance Committee had endorsed the Communications Committee’s recommendations and that no other action was required.

11. E-SALALM Committee and Webinar Pilot Project (Llamas). Llamas began her report by noting the Finance Committee’s endorsement of the committee’s recommendation of Buddy Press as the organization’s website platform. She continued by announcing that the E-SALALM Committee’s charge was met and will cease to exist. She finished her report by announcing that work of the Webinar Pilot Project will continue under the leadership of Orchid Mazurkiewicz.

D. Substantive Committees

1. Acquisitions (Virginia García).                                              No report.

2. Access and Bibliography (Teresa Chapa).                                 “

3. Library Operations and Services (Rhonda Neugebauer).   “

4. Interlibrary Cooperation (Sarah Buck Kachaluba)               “

5. Libreros (Carlos Retta, not present). Cordero Berenguer, speaking on behalf of Retta, conveyed the Libreros discussion of the role and future of their sponsored reception. She noted, in particular, that the majority of Libreros have agreed to eliminate the standing option of allowing an individual Librero the choice of paying the Libreros Reception sponsorship fee of $300. She continued by reporting that all Libreros would be expected to pay the aforementioned sponsorship fee as part of the established exhibitors payment. Lengthy discussion ensued with Johnson, Holub, Mantilla, Russo, Llamas, Hull, Knowlton, Adleson, Benavides, Shirey, and Murray expressing suggestions and comments ranging from:

  • The difficulty of determining, in advance, the costs of the reception in light of variable expenses and income fluctuations that occur once a conference is underway;
  • The necessity of modifying language in existing documents used to arrange enforcement and payment of exhibitor fees for tax purposes;
  • The burden, if any, of higher fees for first-time exhibitors with the organization;
  • The elimination of the reception altogether given prior discussion of paucity of one-on-one time between membership and exhibitors;
  • To the creation of a one-time waiver or reduced rate for first-time exhibitors.

At this point, time constraints forced Shirey to pause the discussion and request that the Executive Board and Libreros continue this on-going conversation via e-mail.

III. Old Business

Future Meetings

A. 2012, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Shirey). Shirey began her report by announcing an offer from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine to host next year’s conference in Trinidad and Tobago. She acknowledged the proposed conference’s four-day timetable as keeping in line with a recommendation for a shortened conference. She continued her report by confirming that the Finance Committee reviewed, revised and endorsed the proposed SALALM LVII conference budget. Finally, she stated that a LALA-L “straw poll” would be undertaken to determine which of two possible conference time frames (May 12-15 vs. June 16-19) fits the needs of the organization membership in order to avoid conference schedule conflicts. Shirey made a motion to accept the University of the West Indies, St Augustine’s invitation to host SALALM LVII. Llamas seconded the motion. Shirey called for a discussion of the motion. No discussion occurred. Shirey called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

B. 2013, Miami, Florida (Shirey). Shirey noted that a tentative proposal from the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries to co-host SALALM LVIII in 2013 is expected in the near future. Williams confirmed what Shirey noted and will work with Mei Méndez before presenting a complete proposal to the Executive Board for consideration and subsequent approval.

IV. New Business


A. Gale Cengage World Scholar Portal―Latin America and the Caribbean Proposal (Llamas). Llamas briefly outlined a proposal from Gale Cengage to partner, administer, and award an undergraduate research prize with the organization. Lengthy discussion ensued with Johnson, Murray, Llamas, Hull, Adleson, Benavides, and Williams noting concerns and views ranging from:

  • The time-labor intensive logistical “nightmare” of researching, promoting and providing ongoing feedback to the portal, in addition to institutions and associated students, faculty and staff;
  • The proposal, if accepted, would require SALALM to act outside its guidelines as a non-profit organization;
  • The positive aspects that stem from the inclusion of the organization in an effort that encourages undergraduate research in Latin American Studies;
  • To the creation of an ad hoc committee to examine the implications of the proposal.

Shirey issued a call for volunteers to comprise the aforementioned ad hoc committee. Murray, Johnson, Adleson, and Mantilla agreed to serve on the committee. Williams suggested that others that have worked with the portal be approached to serve on the committee as additional members.

Shirey moved the meeting be adjourned.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:39 p.m.




Saturday, June 16, 2012 2:00-3:00 PM, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Chair: Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State U)

In Attendance: Holly Ackerman (Duke U), Peter Altekrüger (Interamerican Institute, Berlin), Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State U), Melissa Guy (Arizona State U), Phil MacLeod (Emory U), Peter Johnson (Emeritus, Princeton U), Barbara Robinson (USC), Michael Scott (Georgetown U), Laura Shedenhelm (U Georgia), Rafael E. Tarragó (U Minnesota), Gayle Williams (FIU), Mary Jo Zeter (Michigan State U)

Sarah Buck Kachaluba facilitated a review and some revision of the documentation used by this committee to report collection statistics.  She proposed offering the Excel spreadsheet only, accompanied by a word form to be used as a worksheet and guide which will clarify the headings for each category of data and provide a place for those reporting to write down figures before transposing them into the Excel document.  This was followed by a review of the different categories of collection data listed on the Excel spreadsheet.  Those present decided to eliminate some categories and revise others to make the meaning clearer.

Sarah asked Holly Ackerman if she would review Sarah’s revisions to the Excel spreadsheet and the Word document that will accompany it.  Holly agreed.

At this point, the group turned briefly to a discussion of a second agenda item introduced at last year’s (2011) meeting: the creation of a book-length work on Latin American collection development.  In 2011, a list of committee members interested in participating was created.  In response to Sarah Buck Kachaluba’s call, Melissa Guy and Gayle Williams volunteered to take the lead on this project.


Panel 12, Tuesday May 31, 2011, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Moderator: Silvia Mejia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Presenters: Marisol Ramos, University of Connecticut; T-Kay Sangwand, The University of Texas at Austin; and Joel Blanco-Rivera, University of Pittsburgh
Rapporteur: Suzanne Schadl, University of New Mexico

The first presentation, Sharing Archives: The P.R. Civil Court Cases Collection Digital Project, by Marisol Ramos of the University of Connecticut (UConn) offered digitization of the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection as a solution for colonialist ownership of cultural heritage collections in tenuous political environments. Ramos noted that this collection, purchased by UConn in 2002 (before her appointment), actually belonged in the National Archive in Puerto Rico. Upon its establishment in 1955, it became the repository for all government records from the Spanish period to the present. Even so, and through legal means, these documents were in the custody of UConn when she began working there. Because of strict Connecticut state laws prohibiting the deaccession of materials bought by the state, this 19th century collection could not be returned to Puerto Rico. To make matters worse, the fragility of the documents within this collection prohibited making photocopies to share access with the country of provenance.

In 2007, Ramos became concerned with how best to address the moral and ethical obligation to provide Puerto Ricans access to this collection. She saw it as part of the Puerto Rican national and cultural heritage. As a Puerto Rican who had worked in and collaborated with staff at the National Archive in Puerto Rico, Ramos felt even more obligated to identify a solution to the problem of U.S. universities ending up with collections far from their countries of origin. After offering a snapshot of several cases in which donations, purchases, deaths, and/or other events led to document drains, Ramos addressed the difficult historical relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. In so doing, she situated their relationship within studies of colonialism. Ramos noted that as a political appointee embroiled in this difficult connection, it would be ill-advised for the director of the National Archive in Puerto Rico to formally demand that documents be returned to Puerto Rico. The rotating nature of such political positions would make this endeavor even more complicated.

Ramos proposed intervention from archivists and librarians in the United States holding cultural heritage collections. She then outlined the UConn project, and announced that the Latin American Microforms Project (LAMP) had agreed to help fund the initiative. Ramos noted that once digitized, by May 2012 all of the documents in the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection would be shared through the Internet Archive. Ramos noted that while this solution did not return documents to their country of origin, it did offer access. It also successfully bypassed University funding politics and spoke to the difficulties of cross national/institutional ownership of cultural heritage collections in a tenuous funding situation and in a complicated political environment.

In the second presentation, Tejiendo la Memoria: Strengthening Collective Memory of El Salvador’s Civil War through Transnational Digitization Partnerships, T-Kay Sangwand (The University of Texas at Austin) proposed a Distributed Archival Model as an alternative to problematic traditional methods of archival possession. She argued that the partnership based model of transnational digitization could empower record and access creators by enabling them to retain, expand, and share access while also learning useful techniques in digital preservation.

Sangwand began by presenting the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) at UT ( This program serves as the umbrella under which her primary focus, the Tejiendo la Memoria project, evolved. Sangwand noted that HRDI emerged out of the collective effort in which activists, scholars, and organizations together with the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) began to identify threatened electronic and analog resources for preservation. They sought to save the most fragile records of international human rights struggles and promote their security through archival availability, human rights research and continued advocacy. A generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008 led to the establishment of the HRDI, which Sangwand noted currently engages in transnational collaborative projects to preserve and make accessible the historical record of genocide and human rights violations throughout the world.

Sangwand presented UT Austin’s work with the Radio Venceremos Archive at the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of Word and Image) in El Salvador as an example of implementing a Distributive Archival Model. Radio Venceremos traveled with the FMLN during the El Salvadoran Civil War and denounced human rights abuses. Sangwand noted that this medium also became an important means for popular education. After the war ended, Radio Venceremos had 1,270 fragile tapes containing personal testimonies. Needless to say, the Museum Word and Image was reluctant to give UT Austin temporary custody of these important records, and understandably so, especially considering the political history between the United States and El Salvador. UT Austin chose, thus, to use collection development funds in order to send equipment and trainers to the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen with the express purpose of acquiring this digital collection.

UT Austin employees provided training in digital preservation techniques and metadata standards and Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen archivists began to digitize and describe the collection. Custody never changed hands and each party had the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the project. UT Austin and the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen agreed to share the digital copies archived in a server at UT Austin. The original Radio Venceremos tapes remained in El Salvador. The funding formula used in this experimental acquisition involved calculating the staff costs of two employees processing this collection over two years’ time. UT Austin agreed to pay 2/3 of the cost while the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen covered 1/3. Sangwand concluded by sharing a clip of a sole survivor’s testimonial in these audio files.

In the third presentation, Declassification and Accountability for Part Abuses: Transitional Justice in Latin America and the Impact of Declassified U.S. Government Documents, Joel Blanco-Rivera (University of Pittsburgh) argued that transitional justice in Latin America requires and is dependent upon access to government documents from the United States. He suggested and offered several examples in which these documents have played important roles in memory-related initiatives throughout Latin America.

Blanco-Rivera began his presentation by placing Latin American requirements for access to U.S. government documents in an international context. He offered a review of cases and literature including reference to the following international efforts to save threatened records: German state security service records in the early 1990s; Paraguayan information on detentions during the Stroessner regime; records from the Guatemalan national police stored in a police building in Mexico City; and very recently, records from the Egyptian state security police. In this last case, Blanco-Rivera stated that protestors successfully used social media to document their demands for saving records as well as for documenting them. He noted that in all of these cases, saving these documents from destruction led to public outcries and increased availability, as in the case of the Archive of Terror. Knowledge of these documents also prompted heightened demands for declassified U.S. government documents, as in the case of Operation Condor.

Building on literature regarding the importance of archivist activism in Human Rights, Blanco-Rivera noted that it was imperative for archivists and human rights activists to take responsibility for preserving several different kinds of archives including transitional archives of former regimes; archives of human rights organizations; archives documenting life during the period; and archives of declassified governments. He reiterated that archival sources enable societies to address legacies of human rights abuses, to institute truth programs, and to implement government reforms and other transitions. Blanco-Rivera highlighted the importance of truth commissions as the main mechanisms for addressing abuses in Latin America. He also argued that such efforts succeeded only after also obtaining declassified U.S. documents. Blanco-Rivera demonstrated that combining Truth Commission reports with the declassification of U.S. documents increased interest in the contradictions between U.S. declassified documents and local documents. He added that this triangulation often opened the door for even greater demands for the release of additional records.

Questions & Comments:

Pamela Graham (Columbia University) asked Sangwand how prevalent the UT Austin model is. She wanted to know if there were other institutions doing similar things and she asked Sangwand if the cost sharing formula UT Austin has used addressed ongoing preservation and maintenance costs. Sangwand stated that she was not aware of any other academic organizations doing something similar but that non-governmental organization were involved in like practices. As for the storage and maintenance costs, she noted that the UT Austin director was supportive of the project as an acquisition and not worried about storage right now. The point was to build an infrastructure for this process to continue in the future. There was an inaudible interjection from the audience on other collections or documents in Mexico.

Ana María Garra asked Blanco-Rivera about his familiarity with a case brought in the U.S. in 1973, which was developed from U.S. documents. He noted that he was familiar with that case and added a few additional examples.

Adrian Johnson (UT Austin) asked Blanco-Rivera if civil judgments help people pursue criminal cases, sort of as a means to ameliorate the reality that a civil conviction rarely results in payment.  He wondered if it would be possible to use such a case to revoke citizenship. Blanco-Rivera responded that receiving money was never the end goal. Recognition was most important.

Suzanne Schadl (UNM) asked Ramos and Sangwand if they had to maneuver restrictive bureaucratic funding (such as not recognizing museums as vendors or refusing large reimbursements) to purchase documents in order to get them back to where they belong or to use collections development funds for digital acquisition. Both noted that they had very little difficulty, just increased paper work and communications.

Johnson (UT Austin) asked Ramos if she had any contact with the Puerto Rican Archives since they put this collection into the Internet Archive. He wondered if they were using it. Ramos noted that they were still in the beginning processes of the project and that it would not be live until May 2012.

Adán Benavides (UT Austin) asked Sangwand how feasible it would be to continue these kinds of agreements and how selective they could be in this process. He wanted to know about the long-term sustainability of these projects after the case. Sangwand noted that the library was dedicated to preservation and maintenance costs for these collections, not unlike they would be for other acquisitions. Graham (Columbia University) added that Mellon grants were offering funding for figuring out how to do archiving metadata.