Currently viewing the tag: "David Block"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Moderator:  Paula Covington, Vanderbilt University

Rapporteur: John Wright, Brigham Young University

Presentations

  • Making Book Fairs Friendlier through Technology — Jesus Alonso-Regalado, State University of New York, Albany
  • Acquiring the Unique and Unusual in Latin America and the Caribbean – Teresa Chapa, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • A First Buying Trip: Searching for Treasure in Trinidad — Adrian Johnson, University of Texas, Austin
  • Beyond the Book Trade: Establishing Relationships with Institutions and Scholars — David Block, University of Texas, Austin

Convington began the session sharing some results of her informal survey of SALALM members and their practices of making book-buying trips:  50+% attend one book fair per year, 30% attend 1-4 trips per year, one person reported that s/he attended 11 book fairs in 2012.  Some reasons librarians took no trips were lack of funding and time constraints.  Benefits of making book-buying trips include creating familiarity with the book market in that country/place, developing relationships with vendors, etc.  Some respondents of the survey indicated that they obtain funding to make such trips from their respective libraries through endowments and centers for Latin American studies.  Book-buying trips are important ways to acquire older items (retrospective collection development) and to discover what’s new.  One respondent to Covington’s informal survey indicated that it is critical to be in Latin America as often as possible if you are to be a bibliographer for Latin American materials.

Alonso-Regalado discussed how technology has always preceded book buying.  In his presentation he discussed how technological friendliness at Latin American book fairs (he says, “Not so much.”)  He also shared how he uses technology at book fairs.  Only Bogotá and Buenos Aires are prepared for mobile technologies.  You don’t need an app.  But other books fairs have apps.  Using apps appears to be more trendy.  Cuba, Santo Domingo, Bienal in Brazil, Liber (Spain)—sometimes they use a different Facebook page for each year.  Others fairs keep a continuous dialog going.  The recommendation is to have one account and use twitter with #[year] for each fair.  Wireless is not very good.  Without it, you can’t access any of this.  It is like building a house by constructing the roof first.  It doesn’t make sense.  At Guadalajara book fair, some vendors have great wifi.  One can ask them to use their passwords or go outside the fair into the city where free wifi exists, in food court areas, etc.  E-books have special places.  Corner digital, one book fair is all e-books.  Most important app is from Germany.  You want an app that allows you to open spreadsheet, Docs to Go, connect this to DropBox, generate a list (html) for each country and connect to my library.  He carries a list of books wanted by students, and has exchange rates handy.  He notes the importance of keeping students and faculty involved in trips through Facebook pictures so they see the books before they are processed; and they can request rapid processing.  Alonso-Regalado establishes a strong emotional connection with faculty and highlights the books he feels are most important.  He shares on Facebook and sends spreadsheets via email.  “Las farias del libro” Cerlac, open access book 2012:  http://www.cerlalc.org/files/tabinterno/2f0015_Ferias_Digital.pdf

Chapa views book-buying trips as a way to get access to small press items and handmade books from collectives or individual artists.  It also is a good way to get titles with poor or no distribution, such as indigenous literature.  She notes that she collects unique and unusual things in order to document 21st-century Latin American popular, literary, social and political culture.  She is drawn to items aesthetically and she works to acquire materials that support curricular and research needs of students and faculty. Chapa notes some things to consider before collecting on book-buying trips:  How will you get the materials back to your institution?  Where will they be housed in your institution?  Will the curator/librarian accept the materials?  What are the added costs of acquiring these materials—preservation/conservation concerns, cataloging?  Who will fund this purchase?  Does the material fit into the curriculum?  What kind of publicity and outreach can be generated to promote use?  Chapa purchased a portable Mayan altar that needed quite an elaborate box.  Where to start?  Go to independent and specialized bookstores (like El conejo blanco in Mexico City).  Go to galleries and cafes, museums and cultural institutions, street fairs, in-country vendor assistance, specialized book art dealers, book artists and bookmaking collectives can be found via websites, Facebook pages, personal contacts.

Johnson discussed his first book-buying trip to Trinidad, sharing the upsides and downsides of the experience.   He noted that he got administrative support for the trip by tagging it onto a conference. Then he assessed the collection to identify gaps. The following are his upside and downsides:

Upside—I saw the Benson’s collection of Trinidadian music before the trip.  Downside—with 150 colleagues in the same place doing the same thing, I didn’t realize how picked over the resources would be.  Upside—Unique places.  I looked for unique places before and was prepared.  Downside—Some of these unique places were closed or didn’t have anything.  Upside—Some of these unique places came through.  I found back issues of the Carnival Magazine.  Downside—Carrying around a bag’s worth of materials all day and week.  Plan ahead to deal with the materials you buy.  Upside—Coffee shops with wireless were very beneficial.  Upside—Connections/friends who were always willing to help.  Downside—I could have bought many things from our libreros.  Upside—Having a camera to use while searching.  Downside—Didn’t take enough pictures to document work trip.  Upside—meeting new, fun, interesting and crazy people along the way.

Block indicated that we are fantastic travelers.  We should know where our faculty are going, what they are doing pre- and post-research.  We are lucky to have the great libreros in SALALM who do such great work for us.  Why should we travel?  1) Some materials are best in situ.   Feature films and musical performances are examples.  Others include cheat maps, street literature, publications from political parties, 2) Insinuating ourselves in cultural institutions and scholars, and 3) Navigating cultural patrimony.   He tries to evaluate the scholarly interest and object location.  David warned that when we return home we need to be careful when filling out the immigration reentry forms.  Be careful how you indicate what you are bringing in or out of a country.  Librarians may be facing documentary repatriation in the future.

QUESTIONS:

Peter Bushnell (University of Florida)—Do sound recordings at the University of Texas, Austin go into the Benson Institute or the Fine Arts Library?  Johnson has spoken with the Fine Arts Library.  Patrons will be able to go into the catalog to identify items, but then will be able to pick up their desired materials at either the Benson or the Fine Arts Library.

Adán Griego (Stanford University)—Teresa mentioned independent publications—connection between group PDF catalog is existent.  Excursions and interesting—went to see Cartonera, Billega & Felicidad.  Teresa—it was gone the next year.

Mark Grover (Brigham Young University)—Young colleagues have interest in our collections by country, but our collections are not connected by 2nd order of interest—we have to select areas/disciplines within the country.  For example, German immigration in Santa Catarina, Brazil, family histories, regional histories.  These types of materials are in large measure not available in the United States.

Elmelinda Lara (University of the West Indies)—I support Mark’s collection for Trinidad.  Get information on LPs, get music.  Social commentary is on the cover.  Christmas music/Param is important for Trinidad collection.  AV materials for humorous recordings.  Print materials.  Labor movements are another big place.  Personal contacts with them.  They may deliver them themselves.

Jennifer Osorio (University of California, Los Angeles)—What about when you get back?  Understaffed departments.o

Covington responded that you should work more with your Spanish/Portuguese catalogers to help set priorities.  Johnson told about featuring the cataloger on Facebook as part of the whole process.  Alonso-Regalado indicated that he buys some gifts or sweets for the Technical Services staff.  Covington added that she creates lists and gives comments to the cataloger.  Chapa said to engage the staff with the newly acquired items.  Let them watch the videos, etc.  Be good to acquisitions people.

Phil MacLeod (Emory University)—I recently brought back 100-200 books.  I got a sense from the folks in acquisitions about how best to process this.  Without them the library administration would stop this [my book-buying trips] process.  Covington responded that technical services staff are involved in SALALM, and they are involved at Vanderbilt.  Adán Griego indicated that giving context to what we are receiving helps technical services colleagues. Griego always expresses gratitude for what they do with the materials he brings home.  Johnson responded that he thinks it is important to help Library Administration realize that by going on the trips he is acquiring something unique versus another copy of Tom Sawyer.

Gayle Williams (Florida International University)—Over the last ten years, I have found that preparation is important.  I print out and put in a spiral bound notebook.  Collection development becomes the orphan of our position because we are so stretched in other directions.  By being prepared, we are able to “focus’ our efforts.  Serendipity is important as well.  You stumble into things.  Spread the net wide.  Our SALALM book dealers are a great resource when I am on the ground, but I think they may get the wrong idea.  Some may ask, “Why not let them do all the work.”  It is important for the bibliographer to be on the ground as well.  We need to make sure we educate the SALALM book dealers as well so that they understand that going on book buying trips is important for us librarians.

Wendy Griffin—California linguists who help to write and create alphabets are a good place to find indigenous things.  Get in touch with local librarians and archivists.  They know who the scholars are.  They are not buying or acquiring books, but they will know who the people are.

Teresa Chapa—At UNC—Chapel Hill we are allowed to have our faculty who are abroad buy materials that they want.  They are reimbursed by the library when they return.

Phil MacLeod (Emory University)—How do you help a 20th-century librarian get into the 21st century?  Alonso-Regalado responded that anyone can do this.  Technology has always been with us, it is just a different form of technology that we are using now.

Adán Griego (Standford Univeristy)—I walk around with a cuaderno. Jesús Alonso-Regalado (SUNY-Albany)—Another tip—do small cooperative decisions on the fly.  Look for hot items, share information with colleagues.  That we can have 2 or 3 copies of an item in different regions of the United States.

Margarita Vannini (Instituto de la Historia de Nicaragua)—Patrimonio Cultural—I have an opposite perception.  Our countries are well preserved in the libraries of the United States  and Germany.  Perhaps you could return things to us that only exist in your libraries.  We can cooperate and share.  We recognize that many things are spread around the world.  Can we collaborate to digitize things that will help us to complete our history?

Debra McKern (Library of Congress)-What are you doing with your images of tagging [street art, graffiti]?  Block responded that LC is doing things and Princeton is doing things.  He will follow their lead.  There has been a proposal made at LARRP.  LC has BPG and DLOC already doing that.  Covington encouraged all who travel to put written reports of our trip up on the SALALM website.

 

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.

May 30, 2011
9:00 am-10:30 am

Welcoming Remarks:

Nerea A. Llamas, SALALM President 2010-2011, University of Michigan
Joseph Holub, SALALM Local Arrangements Co-chair, 2010-2011, University of Pennsylvania
David C. Murray, SALALM Local Arrangements Co-chair, 2010-2011, Temple University
H. Carton Rogers, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, University of Pennsylvania
Ann Farnworth-Alvear, Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan LeBreton, Senior Associate University Librarian, Temple University Libraries

Keynote Speaker:

Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archive:

Forensic Archivists and Active Archives: Advancing the Cause of Human Rights in Latin America through Archival Investigation

Rapporteur: Gabriella Reznowski, Washington State University

Nerea Llamas opened the session by thanking the sponsors and welcoming special guests to SALALM LVI. Llamas introduced Peter Kornbluh, recognizing his contribution to the preservation of memory in its various forms. Works Kornbluh has authored include: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, The Iran-Contra Scandal: the Declassified History, and The Pinochet File, among others.

Kornbluh began his presentation at the historic Warwick hotel by paying tribute to the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, recalling his boyhood visits to his grandmother’s home on 21st and Walnut Street. He introduced the topic of “Human Rights and Archives,” explaining that every archive has the potential to become a “moving monument” to history. Kornbluh challenged us to take this a step further, to ensure that they are active monuments: “How do we actively and aggressively build and apply archives to rewrite and reshape the present and advance the concept of truth, justice and dignity that is at the heart of the human rights issues we care about?”

Kornbluh’s talk centered on the idea that we can all be “activist archivists,” ensuring that the documents we collect and preserve are used to advance the cause of human rights. This theme is central to the work at the National Security Archive (NSA), where they are committed to freedom of information and human rights issues. Sharing an acronym with the National Security Agency, Kornbluh jokingly explained, “We refer to ourselves as ‘The Archive’ rather than the NSA, which of course is a very secretive organization.” He acknowledged that because the ‘National Security Archive’ has a sinister ring to it, people sometimes confuse the NSA with a secretive, government agency. Kornbluh held up a t-shirt that read: “Documentos o Muerte!” (Documents or Death!). Kornbluh explained this was the assertive,  almost revolutionary slogan of his organization.

Kornbluh explained that the NSA is the leading advocate for freedom of information and transparency laws, at home and abroad: “We have our church of the ‘right to know’ and we preach the gospel of the ‘right to know’ around the world.” Kornbluh stated that they take seriously those words that are so ironically and misleadingly engraved in the foyer of the Central Intelligence Agency: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” He continued, saying: “Freedom, true democratic participation, and accountability are all predicated on access to information.” Quoting Justice Louis Brandeis, Kornbluh referred to the philosophy espoused by the NSA: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Proceeding with his talk, Kornbluh presented a slide of a censored document related to Augusto Pinochet, stating: “This is what gets us going in the morning at the NSA: the censorship of history.” Much of the work of his organization is to uncover and pursue the text under the blacked-out part of such documents, as he asks: “Why do we have to have censorship like this?” Kornbluh further went on to describe the mission of the organization, as it works with key advocacy groups around the world to advance “freedom of information” laws. The NSA is responsible for establishing Sunshine Week in the U.S., also bringing the concept to other countries. His colleague, Kate Hill, was instrumental in drafting Mexico’s “freedom of information” laws, organizing the monitoring agencies that oversee them. Additionally, the NSA runs training programs on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the press, media programs, and reporters. The NSA is currently involved in providing training to the families of human rights victims in Chile, so that they may pursue documentation under the Chilean “freedom of information” laws.

Continuing, Kornbluh explained: “We’ve pushed and advocated for a special designation for the millions of pages of still secret U.S. documents that relate to human rights and oppression, a designation that would facilitate their expeditious declassification.” A slide showed the first pages of the November 23, 1997 proposal put forth by Congressman Tom Lantos, H.R. 26535: “The Human Rights Information Act” presented during the 1st session of the 100th congress. This act would expedite the release of all documents since 1944 that contain information about human rights violations. The CIA and FBI opposed the law, and it failed to pass. While other countries, such as Uruguay, Peru, and Guatemala adopt similar legislation, it is unfortunate that the U.S. is falling behind: “We work in a global arena now in archives, and other countries are adopting ‘freedom of information’ laws that have specific clauses for the expedited declassification of human rights documentation so that governments cannot hide these atrocities.”

Aside from advocating for the freedom of information around the world, the NSA is a repository for declassified documents. As Kornbluh explained, the organization has hundreds of boxes filled with papers, from which it publishes electronic briefing books, such as the forthcoming Fifty Years of Cuba Relations, also making its digital collections available through their website. The NSA has targeted documents related to Latin America, the history of nuclear war, terrorism, presidential decision making, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. NSA staff have made over 40,000 FOIA requests generating the declassification of over 700,000 documents. The organization has also been instrumental in generating the declassification of documents and pushing for collections at presidential libraries to be opened to the public through Mandatory Declassification Review requests. Kornbluh explained that if the NSA drew only on U.S. archives, this would be “informational imperialism.” The organization therefore conducts research in other archives around the world, including Library and Archives Canada, the British National Archives, and the Brazilian National Archives, in addition to an increasing number of archives in Latin America, which have started to yield “impressive and vast numbers of docs on human rights.”

Kornbluh urged the propagation of “investigative librarians” in a field where we generally have a passive, “build it and they will come” orientation toward users: “It is in the building of these archival collections that we all bring the creativity and interests that we have to accumulate groups of unique records.” At the NSA, Kornbluh explained: “We proactively build our collections on Latin America and human rights with very specific usages in mind so, and very specific and clear strategies for the dissemination of the information, so it will have a maximum impact on the cause of human rights, through the media, into the hands of the courts and the families of victims that need them.” Kornbluh described his role as that of a “forensic historian,” the crime scene investigator of human rights atrocities in Latin America where the “autopsy” on human rights crimes is performed by “exhuming” the secret records of the vaults of the organizations like the FBI and CIA.

Another role Kornbluh highlighted is the targeting of key collections of documents related to human rights investigations in order to advance truth, justice, and dignity in Latin America. In order to accomplish this, Kornbluh advocates for the aggressive and special use of the FOIA through familiarity with the types of documents that each agency generates and the variety of reporting addressed by each department. The NSA is familiar with the operations of the State Department, the FBI attachés, the Defense Intelligence attachés, and the types of meetings and minutes that are generated by each group. Another method used to obtain documents is through “discretionary declassification,” pressing presidents and leaders to decree the declassification of relevant documents on key cases in order to advance the cause of human rights.

Kornbluh took the remainder of the time to illustrate some of the agency’s work.

1. Freedom of Information Act work

Much of the agency’s FOIA work is geared toward Truth Commissions related to Latin America. There have been a few cases where the NSA had foreknowledge of the establishment of a Truth Commission. For example, they have already started doing FOIA work in the U.S. related to an upcoming Brazil commission. Another example involves Peru, where the NSA had two years lead time to prepare 200 FOIA requests related to Alberto Fujimori.

Kornbluh showed a Defense Intelligence Agency document confirming that Fujimori gave the order to raid and execute prisoners at a Japanese residency where MRTA guerillas had taken hostages. Fujimori gave the order that no member of the hostage takers was to be taken alive, even if they were to surrender. The document confirms that two members did in fact surrender, were executed, and their bodies arranged in such a way as to appear that their deaths occurred during a “shoot out.” This document was instrumental in Fujimori’s trial, as it illustrates that he was capable of an explicit human rights violation. The NSA played a significant role in the Fujimori trial, giving the judges and prosecuting attorneys 21 documents that were used as evidence in Peru. Further to the Fujimori trial, Kornbluh showed the slide: “Counterterrorism plan: secret annex for extrajudicial assassination,” a document confirming that a secret, extracurricular, extrajudicial assassination program would be set up against those Fujimori considered to be terrorists.

Another FOIA example relates to the Defense Intelligence Agency “Biographic Data Reports” containing lists of where specific Guatemalan commanders were posted. The NSA also obtained “Order of Battle Documents” from which they were able to develop a database of major massacre locations and the corresponding commanding officers related to the atrocities. The database was used in helping the U.N. Truth Commission to establish connections between commanders and massacres. Kornbluh also presented a CIA Intelligence Report used by the U.N. Truth Commission showing that Rios Montt gave specific authorization for “carte-blanche” repression in the indigenous regions of Guatemala. Documents also illuminate the U.S. role in counter-terrorism campaigns, condoning operations that were tantamount to massacres, tortures, and bloodshed.

A slide showed a CIA diagram related to the 1954 coup operations against Arbenz, illustrating “The Conference Room Technique,” or “how to assassinate a room full of Arbenz officials in less than 20 seconds … and blame the communists.” This was found in the appendix to a manual on assassination which detailed every conceivable way to kill a person, including a section on blunt instruments. Kornbluh published the first four documents as “op-art” in the New York Times “op-ed” page, characterizing it as one of the most chilling documents he has ever read that was generated by tax-payer dollars. The declassification of these documents resulted in so much publicity that Clinton felt compelled to apologize for them when he was in Guatemala in 1998. Characterizing the incident, Kornbluh stated: “This is an issue of memory; this is an issue of accountability. Changing the framework of relations, addressing a horrid history, in the hopes of generating changes in the future.”

2. Emerging Latin American archives

Increasingly, in-house documents from Latin America are becoming instrumental to the work conducted by the NSA. Kornbluh showed a slide of a Chilean intelligence report from a DINA operative and bureau chief in Buenos Aires, Enrique Arancibia Clavel. Clavel operated under covert cover as a banker, but coordinated collaboration between the Argentinean Secret Police and the Chilean Secret Police. The document confirms that Clavel had been given a secret report by the Argentine Intelligence Batallion 601 confirming that between 1974 and 1976, 22,000 people died or disappeared due to Argentine military actions. This is still the only official acknowledgment from an internal Argentinean military source that confirms these deaths.

On some occasions, documents are given to NSA members by sources from inside Latin America. Kornbluh presented a slide of the Guatemalan “Death Squad Diary,” a leather-bound log book recording 8 months of efforts by the Guatemalan secret police during 1983. This was literally handed to Kate Doyle in Guatemala, as Kornbluh stated: “Even military sources sometimes have pains of conscience.” Kate Doyle published the article “Looking into the secret archives of Guatemala’s bureaucracy of murder” in Harper’s magazine and the log book became instrumental in prosecuting Guatemalan human rights cases.

Kornbluh cited the most important archival find in recent Latin American history to be the national police files in Guatemala. A photo showed a rat-infested abandoned armaments depot in the middle of Guatemala City, where some 50 million pages of documents were found in rotting bags. The materials were sifted through and are now being used as evidence in human rights trials. Related to this find, Kornbluh presented a slide that honors four police officers involved in the kidnapping and death of Edgar Fernando García, a student leader and trade union activist captured by Guatemalan security forces in 1984. As a result of this document, the officers were sent to trial, found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The documents illustrate that García’s capture was an organized political abduction orchestrated at the highest levels of the Guatemalan government. The documentary film Granito focuses on this incident, as a group of women, including colleague Kate Doyle, bring cases from Guatemala to the Spanish courts. In the film, Fernando Garcia’s daughter talks about the impact these documents have had on her, as she is able touch and feel them. She herself has become a human rights investigator, sifting through the documents in the archive. Kornbluh explained that the value of his work is driven home when the families of the victims come to the NSA to touch the photos of their loved ones, placing mementos in the archival case containing the documents: “The community has come to this activist archive.”

Another slide related to the “Archivo del Terror,” a major Latin American find in Paraguay. Upon finding this abandoned police station, a human chain was formed to transfer 700,000 documents to a car for transport to the Supreme Court building. Found among the documents was the original set of invitations that brought Paraguay into Operation Condor.

Kornbluh said: “We live in a global world, and one archive is not enough; we now look at many archives to build an investigative story.” To illustrate this, Kornbluh presented a slide with mug shots found by NSA colleague Carlos Osorio in the Mexican Police archives. The photos are of two Argentine secret police agents arrested in Mexico City in January of 1970. Osorio found corroborating documents in Paraguay, Argentina and the United States, to uncover “Operation Mexico,” an Argentine secret police rendition program to find and capture Monteneros living in Mexico City. Through the program, the agents captured “Tucho” Valenzuela, his wife, and two children, telling Valenzuela that he will identify other Monteneros, or risk losing his family. Valenzuela escaped from his captors and brought the story to the Mexican police who then found and arrested the Battalion 601 agents, taking the resulting mug shots. In the spirit of counter-terrorism, the Mexican police return Valenzuela to the two Battalion members and deport everyone back to Argentina. Since the operation had been blown, 14 people held at a detention center were executed to cover up the case, including Valenzuela’s wife. The children were adopted by military families, and finally reunited at the 2010 trial where the commanders were ultimately convicted.

3. Discretionary Declassification

Presenting a slide of the British warrant for Pinochet’s arrest in October of 1998, Kornbluh explained that documents are obtained by pushing presidents and leaders around the world to approve discretionary declassification. Kornbluh recalled the NSA’s ability to pressure the Clinton Administration on discretionary declassification of documents from Chile, resulting in the release of 24,000 items, including an internal diagram of the structure of the Chilean secret police. A slide entitled, “CIA Reports on Repression in Chile Ties Pinochet to Abuses,” shows that General Manuel Contreras took his orders from Augusto Pinochet, and Pinochet alone. Another slide shows Kissinger’s attitude toward Pinochet, when in a September 29, 1975 meeting with Admiral Caravajal, he complains: “I have read the briefing book my staff has prepared for me on this meeting, and it’s nothing but Human Rights.” Although Pinochet was never convicted, Kornbluh feels that these documents ensure that you still have a verdict of history.

Questions & Comments:

David Block (Cornell University) asked the only question: “In the context of your present work, what do you make of Wikileaks?”

Kornbluh replied that Wikileaks is essentially a techno-media organization that accepted almost 700,000 documents from U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning and placed them on a network. What sets Wikileaks apart is the magnitude of the documents, and the use of technology to distribute them. The NSA has a different modus operandi than Wikileaks. For the most part, the NSA does not deal in leaked materials, but rather advocates for transparency with regards to government information. However, Kornbluh recommended that we compare Julian Assange’s reception to that of Bob Woodward: “Nobody is talking about prosecuting Bob Woodward, and nobody should be talking about prosecuting Assange either.”

SALALM LVI
Saturday, May 28, 2011, 11:00 AM – 12:30pm

Attendees: Members: Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia); Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University); David Nolen (Mississippi State University) ; Richard Phillips, Peter S. Bushnell, Paul Losch ( University of Florida); Adan Benavides, David Block (University of Texas at Austin); Gayle Williams (Florida International University); Hortensia Calvo ( Tulane University); Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State University); Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami); Holly Ackerman (Duke University); Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Non-members: Tomás Bocanegra (Colegio de México); Gerada Holder (NALIS); Sofía Becerra-Licha (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Margarita Vannini (IHNCA, Universidad Centroamericana)

Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), the LASER Convener, opened the meeting by remarking on the gratifyingly large number of attendees. Introductions followed. A list was circulated for attendance and for those who want their names added to the LASER listserv.

Holly Ackerman moved that minutes of the last meeting be accepted. Laura Shedenhelm seconded and minutes were unanimously approved.
Teresa reminded the group that institutional updates will not be reviewed at the LASER meetings but will be sent out on the listserv.
Teresa announced that this was the 25th anniversary of ENLACE and encouraged our participation.

Teresa reviewed the themes from out last meeting – collaboration and cooperation in collection development. How to achieve greater coordination is the key. David Block summarized our efforts to date. In New Orleans we agreed to share information on whether we would purchase offers sent from one vendor for Andean publications. David pointed out that we do not need 12-20 copies of a work. Following the meeting in New Orleans, David sent out offers for collective consideration and we initially were indicating the intention to buy an item. It seemed that we were not reducing the number of institutions acquiring titles. As the experiment progressed we felt comfortable indicating that we would not buy an item. Gayle Williams asserted that it was still too early to judge the success of this experiment.

Richard Phillips questioned what the relationship of this experiment was to the Farmington Plan wherein universities had committed themselves to collecting along lines of faculty and institutional strength. Richard added that under the Farmington Plan, Florida has been committed to collecting on the Caribbean for so long that it would make no sense for them to alter that pattern or to reduce the amount they buy. Teresa pointed out that, in contrast to the Farmington commitments, our current efforts are regional rather than national and that they are informal. She reminded the group that we had also discussed dividing up deep collecting by choosing to collect comprehensively on selected Mexican states. Mai Mendez suggested that we also do this by publisher and/or state in Argentina. She offered to draw up a list of publishers derived from the approval plan from her university and to circulate it to LASER members.
David felt we needed more specificity as far as what our specialties include. Phil MacLeod suggested that we define a core and then divide up the more detailed subjects. Adan Benavides pointed out that some vendors’ catalogs, for example those from Books from Mexico, show which institutions have received a book on approval thus allowing us to see the extent to which a book is held in our region. Paula Covington thought that we need to focus on lists earlier in the selection process. David recommended that we organize around some benchmarks such as assuring that one institution has the national gazette and a major newspaper for each country. The need for coordination among SALALM’s regional groups was also discussed and Teresa Chapa agreed to talk with the conveners of the other regional groups to let them know what we are doing and to see what collaborative efforts they may have in place.
David suggested we select a country for which no LASER library has collecting responsibility and try a cooperative experiment to avoid overlap and to increase uniqueness. The possibility of a Central American country was discussed. Phil and Laura described the cooperative efforts they have in place with Emory buying in the social sciences and Georgia selecting in the Humanities. They compare invoices and identify duplication and core authors and subjects and are now coordinating their plans through Vientos Tropicales.
Laura agreed to coordinate an experiment on Paraguayan imprints. Participating institutions are Duke, Emory, Texas, U. Georgia, U. Miami, UNC. Laura will contact the group regarding next steps.
Paula reminded us that the LASER website is now at Vanderbilt and that she would like to receive suggestions on features to be added to the site. She demonstrated a website constructed in Omni software. She would like to convert the LASER page to an Omni format but does not want to do so unless other LASER institutions have OMNI so that the site can move to another institution with minimal difficulty. Members will check with their institution and report back to Paula. Suggestions for website additions included: a listing of digital libraries; a chart showing institutional collection strengths; acquisitions news; lists of OP vendors by country; and a LASER blog. Paula requested that members send updates to their microfilm union list this summer.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30.

 

Teresa Chapa, Convener
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

SALALM LVI
Saturday May 28, 2011 2:00-3:00pm

The subcommittee convened at 2:00 on Saturday May 28,2011  in the Cherry Room. The majority of the meeting’s time was devoted to product demonstrations.

Phil S. MacLeod (Emory) did a brief presentation about the Spanish language/Latin American content of the Google News Archive and showed a Lib Guide he put together at Emory with links to all the titles available (http://guides.main.library.emory.edu/content.php?pid=20775&sid=1657140).

David Block (U Texas) did a brief presentation about the Archivo Historico del Arzobispado de Mexico a scanned collection of documents of colonial church records.  Books from Mexico is the authorized dealer.

David Block recently attended the REDALYC meeting in Mexico and did a brief demonstration of the REDALYC portal (http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/) and discussed its content.

Ray Abruzzi (Gale Cengage) did a presentation on Gales’s World Scholar Latin American Portal describing the primary and secondary source content.

Paula Covington (Vanderbilt) gave a brief update on LAPOP.

There was also discussion of what would happen with the content of Paper of Record now that Google has discontinued the project.

 

Philip S. MacLeod, Chair
Emory University