Currently viewing the tag: "University of Miami"

Panel 8, May 31, 2011, 9:00 am-10:30 am

Moderator: Meiyolet Méndez, University of Miami
Presenters: Maria R. Estorino, University of Miami; Béatrice Colastin Skokan, University of Miami; Meiyolet Méndez, University of Miami
Rapporteur: Sarah Yoder Leroy, University of Pittsburgh

 

After Meiyolet Méndez welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers, Maria R. Estorino spoke about building the Cuban Heritage Collection (http://library.miami.edu/chc/) at the University of Miami Libraries. After giving some background on the history of the connection between Cuba and the University of Miami, and the interest in collecting Cuban materials by the University of Miami Libraries over the years, she described the official formation of the Cuban Heritage Collection in 1998, which brought together collections documenting Cuba, the exile experience, and the culture and literature of the Cuban diaspora, which had previously resided in different areas of the libraries. The Cuban Heritage Collection received a grant to build a space for the collections, and in 2003 the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion opened. The Cuban Heritage Collection serves the university, the larger academic community, and the general public, and focuses on four main areas: 1) collection development, 2) preservation and access, 3) teaching, learning and research, and 4) outreach. It brings together, preserves, and makes available primary and secondary materials in all formats, including digital resources. It works with faculty to support instruction at the university, and supports research by sponsoring undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowship. In addition, it coordinates events and exhibitions which reach the general public. Some challenges for the future include ongoing assessment of the collections, building more faculty relationships, and working with a changing donor base, as new demographics and associated relationships emerge.

Béatrice Colastin Skokan followed with a presentation on documenting the Haitian diaspora at the University of Miami Libraries. Miami-Dade is a center of Haitian life in the U.S., where Haitians are the second largest non-English speaking group after Hispanics, and the second largest immigrant population after Cubans. They are a marginalized group, and Special Collections at the University of Miami has made efforts to collect primary source materials documenting the social and political life of this group. The current focus is on collecting papers and documents of local activist groups. It also sponsors public events and outreach, such as the special event entitled Documenting the Fringe, which included a reception and discussion on documenting counter-cultural activism. Special Collections holds the Max Rameau papers (1998-2010) which document his activism for the homeless and the poor within the South Florida communities of the African diaspora. Materials are often acquired through donations from community leaders, and developing relationships is a key component in making this possible. Collecting oral histories is another way they are filling content gaps and documenting intangible culture.

Meiyolet Méndez‘s presentation was entitled “Blueprint for a Collaborative Instruction Model: a Multi-Disciplinary Approach”, and she spoke of developing partnerships with librarians working in other departments of the library in order to enhance the work of both. For example, the Cuban Heritage Collection’s desire to increase the use of its archival and digital material, and the Education and Outreach’s aim to incorporate the use of primary documents in information literacy sessions lead to a natural collaboration. Working together, the two librarians could identify classes with a Latin American/Cuban component, and introduce the Cuban Heritage Collection’s digitized primary materials in an instruction session. The blueprint for collaboration is as follows: identify a department in the library you want to know about, contact the librarians there, meet and identify common goals or needs. Reach out according to your strengths and prior relationships. If you are interested in instruction, identify programs or classes where you might work collaboratively. Document your activities. There are also possibilities for non-instructional collaboration, such as events and exhibits, where volunteering and agreeing to do something new are ways to stay aware of activities in other departments.

Questions & Comments:

Peter Bushnell (University of Florida) asked if there was a charge for non-University of Miami users. Special Collections and the Cuban Heritage Collection are open to all.

Gayle Williams (Florida International University) mentioned that it was a shame Lesbia Varona wasn’t in attendance since she would have so much to add.

Marisol Ramos (University of Connecticut) mentioned that she appreciated the presentation because it is so hard to find materials about the Haitian diaspora, and she is excited to find someone doing this. She is trying to collect Haitian ephemera as well. She is also collaborating with archivists at her institution, and wants to promote more collaboration among librarians.

Gerada Holder (National Library and Information System, Trinidad and Tobago) wondered what the collection strengths were with regard to the Caribbean countries. Colastin Skokan indicated that the University of Miami’s strengths are Jamaican and Haitian materials and the Caribbean Documents collection, which includes slave registers from Trinidad and Tobago, significant rare books, and 19th century materials.

Diane Napert (Yale University) asked whether gifts come with restrictions. Estorino said they are working on a standard deed of gifts for personal papers and organizational papers.

Paul Smith (University of California, Los Angeles) asked whether there is an organization in New York creating an archive of Haitian materials, and whether there was any Haitian migration to Quebec. Colastin Skokan answered that the migration distribution is South Florida, New York, Boston, and Quebec. The University of Miami is starting in South Florida, but some oral histories have been conducted with artists in New York as well. The Schomburg Center may be collecting Haitian diaspora material, but she wasn’t sure.

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