Currently viewing the tag: "Debra McKern"

June 15, 2015, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Moderator:      Ruby M. Gutiérrez, Hispanic American Periodical Index (HAPI)
Rapporteur:     John B. Wright, Brigham Young University

Panelists:
Paloma Celis-Carbajal, University of Wisconsin-Madison:  Acquiring Latin American Materials in the 21st Century: A Prelimnary Report on the Collection Development Trends Task Force,

Debra McKern, Library of Congress, Rio de Janeiro Office: Brazil’s Popular Groups: Acquiring the Grey Literature Collection at the Library of Congress

Jennifer Osorio, University of California, Los Angeles: Serials Acquisitions in the Digital ‘Future’: If It’s All Online, What’s the Problem?

Ruby Gutiérrez announced a change in order of the presentations: 1) Osorio, 2) McKern, and 3) Celis-Carbajal.

Osorio discussed the different models of open access in Latin America (LA) and the United States (U.S.).  Through her presentation she discussed answers for the following questions: Is open access in LA the same as in the US?  How are the models different?  Which if any are the implications for libraries and collections of the rapid adoption of open access in LA?  Are there dangers to the breakneck speed of open access adoption in LA?  What is in the open access portals and what is not.  She described the transformation of LA universities from the former state-building enterprise, describing how higher education in LA now follows more the US research model and gives more visibility to women and lower classes. She then discussed LA journals and their status in open access portals.  In 2003, 40 percent of LA journals were available through open access, and in 2010, 74% of LA journals were available through open access.  LA open access portals have similar requirements for inclusion that monitored inclusion in the LA print journals and are still largely funded by government agencies.  In LA, the assumption is that inclusion in open access portals equals quality.  She showed several tables that showed in general terms the differences of the open access model in LA and the US.  She indicated that because of the open access model of favoring international issues over regional issues, hard sciences over social sciences, English over Spanish/Portuguese, Large communities over small communities, Generic coverage over specialized coverage, Well-funded and stable over struggling, that some specific consequences result.  They are, 1) regional or provincial voices are lost, 2) new scholars do not have a real venue for getting their research out, 3) voices in other languages than the dominant languages are lost, 4) publications are underfunded and erratic.  There appears to be a sense of neo-colonialism inherent in this type of model.  The implications on developing LA collections, require that representative voices not included in the portals be sought out.  Regional, national and local titles in collection must be prioritized and acquired.  Also, research in other formats must be sought out as well.

McKern discussed the grey literature collection from Brazil’s popular groups at the Library of Congress and the ways in which the Rio Office tries to acquire these materials for its collection.  These popular groups include: Agrarian reform; Children & youth; Education & communication; Environment & ecology; Ethnic groups: Blacks; Ethnic groups: Indian; Ethnic groups: Others; LGBT; Humanitarian & civil rights; Labor & laboring classes; Political parties & issues; Religions organizations, ecumenical groups and movements; Urban activism; and Women & feminists. She focused in on one group type “Environment & ecology” to illustrate some of the challenges for acquisition of materials.  A lot of material is only available on Facebook, but some of it will always be available in print because it is intended to be handed out to people on the street who don’t have internet access.  LC’s collections are searchable, but you have to buy the physical filter to get access to what you can find in a searchable index.  The researcher cannot currently access the collection.  They are talking with Princeton to learn about possibilities of piggybacking on Princeton’s Ephemeral Collection.  She had some extra copies of material fitting into these popular groups that were available for collecting by anyone interested.

Celis-Carbajal presented a preliminary report of the Collection Development Trends Task Force which has the following members: Lief Adelson, Alejandra Cordero, Lynn Shirey, Sandra Saores, Miguel Valladares and Paloma Celis-Carbajal.  The group grew out of the Librarian/Bookdealer/Publisher Committee at SALALM LVIII in Miami.  The LARRP Survey and the attempts of Inter-Library Cooperation Committee to construct an overall picture of collection development going on has become very difficult to pull together.  The Task Force has created a 20-question survey instrument to go out to all members of SALALM who have primary responsibility for collection development in their respective institutions.  The results of the survey will not be published because obtaining clearance through an IRB would have been overly complicated. To date, two individuals have taken the survey and provided feedback to the Task Force.  In the panel today, Celis-Carbajal invited the group to look at two specific questions and take two minutes to read and answer the question, giving the Task Force feedback on whether or not the two questions adequately obtained the desired solicited information.  The group responded that it is odd to have the entire Caribbean in one group, while other countries are broken out separately.  It was pointed out that not everyone can answer the specific question about vendors as it does not give enough options for adequately answering.  It was also mentioned that the survey should be routed to whoever is most capable of answering the questions.  Many of our libraries acquire materials through various ways.  Many libraries decide on a particular vendor as a result of service provided, not necessarily if the vendor resides in the country being collected.  The time period referred to in the survey instrument is not clear, i.e. actual year, fiscal year (and many institutions have a varied of fiscal year periods).  The survey instrument instructs to select the “preferred” outcome, instead of the “actual” outcome.  The group asked Celis-Carbajal to explain the goal of the survey.  She responded that it is hoped that the survey can be done over successive years so that SALALM can understand trends over time.  It was pointed out that it may be difficult because of the size of country/region covered in survey, size of institution doing the collecting.  It was asked if we would be able to understand any of the changes in trends.

QUESTIONS:

Ruby Gutiérrez (HAPI) asked Debra McKern how exactly the gathering of Brazil’s Popular Collections grey materials is accomplished and what are the difficulties in obtaining this material?  McKern replied that the four acquisitions staff members from the LC Rio Office, some retired staff, and some staff in São Paulo go out on the streets to acquire the materials.  They go out to the hinterlands to collect materials and say, “We are from the Library of Congress” and people respond “Really?”.  Jennifer Osorio (UCLA) asked if our individual institutions can send to LC grey materials we obtain for inclusion in LC’s collection?  McKern indicated that they would accept materials.  McKern clarified that as they go collecting, they do not put themselves at risk.  She used to take photographs of materials, but was told not to do that anymore by the US Consulate who indicated that it looked bad for someone to be taking photographs of this material.  Miguel Valladares (University of Virginia) explained that he has the professors take grey literature obtained by him and use it in their classes.  Gutiérrez (HAPI) asked Osorio if there was an index for LA open access journals/portals.  HAPI has an index of which materials they index that is open access.  Paloma Celis-Carbajal (U of Wisconsin-Madison) indicated that there is a LARRP proposal for open access.  Mei Mendez (U of Miami) asked about literary journals and their availability in open access if social sciences are not well covered in portals.  Osorio responded that it is hard to find literary journals and hard to collect them.  Leif Adelson (Books from Mexico) mentioned that there is still a strong government connection with the panels that create/monitor the portals and that there really is a de-emphasis on the humanities and social sciences.  Debra McKern (LC Rio Office) suggested that grey literature needs to be put in an archive, but wonders how best to divide it up.  Should it just be in the categories or types that they are collecting?  It seems that a web archive would work well for the serials.

Moderator:  Daisy V. Domínguez, The City College of New York, CUNYRapporteur: Peter S. Bushnell, University of Florida
Georgette Dorn, Hispanic Division, Library of CongressThe Hispanic Division in the Development of Latin American Studies : a historical review

Katherine McCann, Hispanic Division, Library of CongressPortraying Latin America : The Cândido Portinari murals in the Hispanic Reading Room

Debra McKern, Library of Congress, Rio de Janeiro OfficeWeb archives in the Hispanic Division
Tracy North, Hispanic Division, Library of CongressThe Handbook of Latin American Studies : a gateway to doing research in the Library of Congress collections

Georgette Dorn

In 1939, the Hispanic Foundation at the Library of Congress was founded with Lewis Hanke as director.  He had been at Harvard and brought with him the “Handbook of Latin American Studies” which had begun three years earlier with a corps of contributing editors and support from the American Council of Learned Societies.  By 1927, Archer Huntington had provided funds for a first-rate Hispanic collection at the Library of Congress along with funds to support a “curator” or specialist in Hispanic culture.

Lewis Hanke was director until 1951 and during that time special emphasis was placed on building collections in the humanities and the arts.  In 1943, the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape was begun with Francisco Aguilera as curator.  Initially preserving readings by poets from Spain and Latin America it expanded over the years to include Portuguese, Catalan, Francophone (Haitian), Anglophone (Jamaican and Belizean) writers.

Howard Cline was appointed director in 1952 and held the position until 1971.  Bringing an emphasis on the social sciences and the pre-Columbian world, he prepared the 18- volume “Handbook of Middle American Indians” as well as a number of other wide ranging publication including “Soviet writings on Latin America” as well as the first “National Directory of Latin Americanist”.  In 1956, two important organizations were founded, SALALM (supported by the Hispanic Foundation) and the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).  The Foundation hosted the first LASA meeting and housed the association headquarters until 1972.  Another important event during the Cline years was the establishment if the Rio Office, with Earl Pariseau, Assistant Director of the Foundation as the first Field Director.

In 1973, the Hispanic Foundation was renamed Hispanic Division and Mary Kahler became the director.  A Brazilianist, she oversaw the publication of leadership guides to the Harkness Mexico and Kraus collections of manuscripts.

In 1978, William E. Carter, an anthropologist (from the University of Florida) became Director of the division.  The Division continued to support SALALM, LASA, AHA and other organizations.  The third “National Directory of Latin Americanists” was also published during Carter’s tenure.

Library scholar Sara Castro-Klaren was the director from 1984 to 1986 and pioneered a library wide exhibition to celebrate the anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra’s “La Galatea”.

Political science scholar Cole Blasier, who helped to found LASA, served as director from 1988-1982 and initiated the automation of the “Handbook of Latin American Studies”.  Two specialist positions were also created, Ieda Wiarda for Luso-Brazilian studies and Barbara Tenenbaum for Mexico.

Georgette Dorn became head of the Hispanic Division in 1994 and instigated the retrospective conversion of the “Handbook’s” first 49 volumes into machine-readable format.  With support from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation and the Fundación MAPFRE in Spain, CD-ROMS of the first 49 years were produced in Spain.  The Hispanic Division is now beginning to integrate the CD-ROMs into the Voyager system.  Dorn also served as the curator of the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape after 1970 and recorded 470 writers for the archive.  Currently with the help of Catalina Gómez, 50 of the writers will be mounted in the Library’s website.

Katherine McCann

Cândido Portinari was born in São Paulo into a large Italian family.  He started painting at an early age and eventually went to Paris to study.  In Paris he met the Uruguayan artist María Martinelli who became his wife.  Later in his career, her better knowledge of English helped tremendously.

After returning to Brazil, he began to make a name for himself, and by 1939 had works on display in the Brazilian pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.  Most of his subject matter concerned the workers and natural resources of Brazil.  By this time, President Roosevelt’s Good neighbor policy was in effect and the Office of Inter-American Affairs sponsored a conference in 1939 to promote cultural exchange within the Americas.  When asked to have an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, Portinari asked to have as much space as they had given Picasso.

By this time, Archibald MacLeish had been named Librarian of Congress (with some opposition from the ALA since he was not a librarian).  With the support of the Hispanic Division and other agencies involved in inter-American relations, photographers, film studios (including Disney), etc. became involved in promoting relations within the Americas.

Although wall decorations had been planned for the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress, by 1940, the walls were still bare.  MacLeish then invited Portinari to paint some murals.  Portinari was already familiar with the space.  With support from the Brazilian government and $2500 from the U.S. government, work was initiated.  Portinari kept the theme to that of the Spanish and Portuguese in America rather than having anything too Avant Garde. There are a total of four murals in the reading room.  Unfortunately, this summary cannot include the illustrations shown during Katherine McCann’s presentation which included working sketches, finished murals and other pictures of interest.

Debra McKern

Web archiving is a fairly new activity in the library world.  Beginning in 2000, the Library of Congress began a pilot project to collect and preserve websites.  Then in 2003 the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) was formed.  The archiving at the Rio de Janeiro Office of the Library of Congress is the first for all of Latin America.

Before a collection is actually archived, a proposal is submitted with the following elements:  Sponsor and Custodial Division, Nominators & Reviewers, Scope, Collection Period, Number & Types of Sites, Theme and Selection Plan.  Reviewers include outside colleagues.  More than one viewpoint is desired.  Once a proposal has been made, the nomination has seven criteria to meet:  Frequency of Capture, Subject, Justification (e.g., geography coverage), Urgency, Category, Site Owner Contact Information, Permission Plan.  One of the first collections created by the LC Rio Office dealt with the 2010 presidential elections.  The collection period was easily defined and because of the nature of information gathered, there was often no site owner contact information to be obtained.  Information was gathered weekly since website content would change  constantly.  However, for the collection of Cordel literature, owner contact was required along with permissions since the various sites could be traced to an individual person or entity.  As a sidelight, the percentage of Cordel authors who are women, is greater online than in print.

Currently, the LC Webarchives can only be viewed at LC itself.  One future topic of interest is serials.  These are not all covered by other sources and much work needs to be done to make sure the whole content is preserved.

The Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS) has been published since 1936.  It consisted of a selective annotated bibliography with introductory essays.  The disciplinary coverage was quite broad with changes over times.  Contributing editors came from universities and research institutions in the United States and throughout the world.  There is now a web site in addition to print volumes.

The contents of the HLAS include: books, journal articles (core list of 350 or so), book chapters, conference papers, web sites, maps and atlases.  Publications can come from all over the world.  Primary languages covered have been Spanish, English and Portuguese but French, German, Italian, Russian, etc. have also been included.

Even though nearly everything in the HLAS is in LC, not everything in LC is included in the HLAS.  All incoming titles from Latin America, Spain and Portugal are considered.  Subject headings used for records in print follow the Library of Congress Subject Heading list provided online.  There is a close relationship between the HLAS and the research orientation of the Hispanic Reading Room.

Two web sites have begun to contain large data conversion projects.  HLAS web started with vol. 49 and has proceeded to work backward.   So far vols. 46-49 have been added.

The Library of Congress also hosts HLAS Online.  HLAS Online began with vol. 50 and continues with the current issues.

Some of the digitized collections at LC include:
Chronicling America.  Spanish language newspapers
Prints and photographs online catalog.  Archive of Hispanic Culture
Maps and atlases.
Sound recordings.  Hispanic, Latino and Latin American authors
World digital library.  Precolumbian manuscripts.
The current web address for the HLAS is:  www.loc.gov/hlas
Soon it will be:  www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/