As I write these lines, the memories of SALALM LIX are still fresh in my mind. Past President Roberto C. Delgadillo and the Local Arrangements Committee, chaired by John B. Wright with support from the SALALM Secretariat led by Executive Director Hortensia Calvo, offered us a remarkable conference experience. The variety of sessions in the academic program and other conference activities, including a live performance of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, provided ample opportunities for academic, cultural, and professional advancement. The panels and conference sessions showcased the breadth and depth of both the individual and collective expertise in our organization. Participation by new, mid-career, and veteran colleagues is a healthy sign of SALALM’s continued role as a vibrant forum for the discussion, exchange, and dissemination of library practices and scholarly issues related to the Latin American Studies field. I particularly enjoyed the panel session “SALALM: Back in the Day.” Presented by David Block, Paula Covington, and Mark L. Grover, the session offered an enthralling account of SALALM’s achievements as an organization. Over the years, SALALM members have spared no effort in building collections documenting historical and current Latin American affairs. Paula and David shared vivid memories of traveling to Nicaragua in the early years of the Sandinista Revolution looking for materials to enhance library collections on this historical event. Reflecting on SALALM’s decades-long history in the light of current developments in the library profession, Mark reminded us of the centrality of our expertise as Latin Americanists in the work we perform as research librarians.
SALALM will be observing the 60th anniversary of its foundation in 2015, making it a landmark year. For the occasion, I have selected Brazil as the core theme of the SALALM LX conference program: “Brazil in the World, the World in Brazil: Research Trends and Library Resources.” Hosted by Princeton University, the conference will take place on June 13-17, 2015. The motivation for this theme is fully explained on the SALALM website. But succinctly stated, I drew inspiration from thinking about the implications cooperation agreements between North American and Brazilian universities, research centers, and cultural heritage agencies may have on library collections and services. These academic initiatives have been prompted by the growing recognition of Brazil’s rising global influence and its artistic, cultural, and intellectual effervescence. Taking Brazil as the core theme, SALALM LX will explore the role of the research library within the current internationalization agenda of North American universities. For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Brazil will be showcased in a SALALM conference. Brazil was last featured in 1990 during the 35th annual meeting of SALALM, held in Rio de Janeiro. Planned by Ann Hartness, Librarian Emerita from the University of Texas, the theme of the conference was “Continuity and Change in Brazil and the Southern Cone.”
Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez (Chair of Local Arrangements) and I have been working diligently throughout the year in the planning of SALALM LX. I had the opportunity to visit Princeton on March 10-11, 2014. During my site visit, I met with high-level library and university officials who enthusiastically supported Princeton’s invitation to host our conference in 2015. Most prominently among these officials were University Librarian Karin A. Trainer and Professor Rubén Gallo, Director of the Program in Latin American Studies, who are the heads of the two units that will jointly host the conference. Both directors are very pleased to see Princeton as the conference host and have given Fernando their full support in the organization of the event. Some of you may recall that SALALM has met once before at Princeton. This was back in 1985, when then-President Dan Hazen and Peter T. Johnson, serving as chairman of local arrangements, planned the 30th annual meeting of SALALM. Much like in 1985, nearly all of LALALM LX’s conference events will take place on the university campus. Fernando and I toured the campus to see various venues of possible interest for lodging, vendor exhibition space, as well as facilities for holding meetings, panel sessions, and other conference events. I will report more on the conference venues in my next message.
Fernando crafted a packed agenda for my two-day visit, but as busy as we were, we still managed to squeeze into the itinerary a few events that were quite gratifying. One such event was a presentation by renowned historian Serge Gruzinski on his recent work L’aigle et le dragon. In a skillful exercise in comparative history, Gruzinski explores the radically different outcomes of the sixteenth-century European expansion into Mexico and China. Whereas the Spanish achieved control of Mexico, the Portuguese failed in their attempt to conquer China. The English language edition of this book is scheduled to come out under the title The Eagle and the Dragon later this year. We also had the opportunity to share a close moment with Princeton University Professor Emeritus Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, the prominent scholar and former director of Latin American Studies. Professor Díaz is one of the 27 Caribbean authors and intellectuals that are featured in Las Antillas letradas, a portfolio by graphic artist Antonio Martorell, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection in the Firestone Library. The portfolio consists of woodcut prints of the letters of the Spanish alphabet representing a selected author, or letrado, from the region. For each letter, an image of the individual and excerpts of a representative work in the original language (English, French, and Spanish) is presented on the text. This pictorially rich composition is juxtaposed on an image of a map of the Caribbean. More information on this splendid work is available on the Graphic Arts Collection blog.
During my site visit, I had the pleasure of meeting in person Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, who will deliver the keynote address at SALALM LX. Professor Schwarcz is a distinguished Brazilian anthropologist and historian at the University of São Paulo and a Princeton Global Scholar. A prolific scholar, she has published extensively on the institutional history and the collections of the Brazilian National Library. Her works include A longa viagem da biblioteca dos reis (2002), O livro dos livros da Real Biblioteca/ The Royal Library’s Book of Books (2003, bilingual edition), and most recently a chapter in Mestres da gravura: Coleção Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (2013), a book that features the unique collection of European prints and engravings in this impressive repository.
One of the oldest national libraries in Latin America and one of the largest national libraries in the world, Brazil’s Biblioteca Nacional has a peculiar history. The provenance of the core holdings of the original library collection—over 60,000 volumes plus manuscripts, maps, and prints, and other rare materials—can be traced back to the personal library of King João VI of Portugal. In 1808, the Portuguese crown, the government, and many members of the aristocracy resettled in Rio de Janeiro, fleeing from the Napoleonic invasion of the peninsula. Rio became not only the new seat of the vast Portuguese empire, but also underwent important social and cultural transformations. Besides introducing the Royal Press and the first newspapers, João VI ordered the transfer of his treasured library to Brazil. The complete collection was shipped from Portugal in three stages from 1810 to 1811. The installation of the library in Rio’s Carmelite monastery in 1810 is considered as the official foundation date of this institution. The Real Biblioteca opened its doors to the public in 1814. João VI returned to Portugal in 1821, but this time the royal library remained behind. Control over the royal library became a key issue of contention during the negotiations leading up to Brazilian independence. The newly independent country led by Emperor Pedro I, King João VI’s son, agreed to indemnify the Portuguese crown for the property and assets left behind in Brazil, including, remarkably, the formerly royal library collection. As this story shows us, libraries and their collections represent more than knowledge—power.
Hosting SLALAM LX in the Northeast will hopefully attract participation by specialists and graduate students enrolled in library programs as well as in Latin American Studies programs in that region. We will tap the support of our LANE colleagues to help us reach out to this potential pool of participants. Please stay tuned!
As Hortensia recently reported, the state of SALALM’s financial health is good, which is always reassuring to hear. So please renew your memberships on time. This type of simple, straightforward action works wonders for maintaining our organization’s strength.
Finally, I started this message by referring to two of our veteran colleagues, David Block and Mark L. Grover. David retired just last month. Mark had retired a year earlier, but at the last SALALM conference, he was elected as Honorary Member of the organization by the Executive Board. This distinction recognizes Mark’s multiple professional accomplishments and contributions to SALALM. Thank you to you both, estimados colegas, for everything you contributed to SALALM during your long productive careers.
Luis A. González
President, SALALM (2014-2015)
Hello from Davis, California! As I write this third presidential message, I once again want to thank John Wright and the Local Arrangement Committee for their continued progress toward the 2014 SALALM Annual Conference. To recap, the conference will be held at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City, May 10-14, 2014. The SALALM 59 conference theme is Family, Local and Micro-Regional Histories and Their Impact on Understanding Ourselves. Focusing on family, local and micro-regional historical resources and their place in the scholarship will allow SALALM to explore how these resources add to the discussion of genealogical data, racial and ethnic identity and how that perceived identity conflicts with the perceptions of governments. The conference will also consist of panels and roundtables covering practical issues and developments within Latin American librarianship.
I had the opportunity to meet John in February to see our hotel and host sites. I apologize for not informing you until now but time constraints and commitments elsewhere prevented me. The aforementioned hotel and host sites are wonderful with beautiful views of the mountains that clearly evince the natural beauty and diversity of the Utah Valley Area. As with past conferences, SALALM 59 promises to be another great conference, and we are in very good hands.
I am pleased to note that while I received a number of interesting and diverse panel proposals; I find that I still seek a few more as some proposals did not come to fruition. I urge you to please submit your proposal by the first week of April. I ask that you use this online link when submitting your proposal:
In addition, SALALM 59 is continuing the practice of No-Host Topical Meals: A SALALM initiative for collegial community-building. This great idea, suggested by Peter Johnson, will allow us to share knowledge with new and continuing members and facilitate networking. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and procedures of setting in motion a No-Host Topical Meal. The no-host meal consists of a speaker along with five individuals (who have signed up in advance). The leader selects the restaurant and makes the reservation; those participating meet at the indicated time and place to go together to the restaurant. Each participant is responsible for his/her meal costs, including taxes and tip. Often restaurants automatically add the tip for groups of six or more; the menu will indicate that, as will the final bill. Because many restaurants will not issue individual bills for groups, participants should come prepared with cash.
By limiting the discussion to six people, a more focused and rewarding time is feasible. Discussion leaders will provide suggested topics to me by 1 April. The SALALM 59 conference program has a two-hour block (11:30-1:30) for no-host lunches on Tues-Wed (May 13th-14th). Participation by Libreros, bibliographers, publishers, catalogers, reference specialists, and scholars in the past made these meals an important additional learning experience, and opportunity to meet new people. Past topics included publishing under dictatorships, acquisition of non-traditional publications, buying trips, cataloging rule changes, teaching research skills, new trends in archives, and disaster planning. If you would like to participate as a leader, please send a title and three-line description of the topic to President Roberto C. Delgadillo firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello from Davis, California and a belated New Year’s Greeting! As I write this second presidential message, I want to thank John Wright and the Local Arrangement Committee for their steady and ongoing progress toward the 2014 SALALM Annual Conference. The conference will be held at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City, May 10-14, 2014. To recap, the SALALM 59 conference theme is Family, Local and Micro-Regional Histories and Their Impact on Understanding Ourselves. Focusing on family, local and micro-regional historical resources and their place in the scholarship will allow SALALM to explore how these resources add to the discussion of genealogical data, racial and ethnic identity and how that perceived identity conflicts with the perceptions of governments. The conference will also consist of panels and workshops covering practical issues of Latin American librarianship. The organization is extremely fortunate to have such dedicated people willing to put a great deal of time and effort to planning such a conference. I have made arrangements to meet John in February to see our hotel and host sites. I had planned on doing so earlier this month but time constraints and commitments elsewhere prevented me. I am pleased to note that I’ve received a number of interesting and diverse panel proposals. I remind you that the deadline for receipt of proposals is January 30. I ask that you use this link when submitting your proposal.
I am pleased to congratulate the Fall 2013 SALAM Scholarship Winners: Theresa E. Polk and Nelson Santana. I had the pleasure of meeting Theresa during our conference in Philadelphia and was impressed with her willingness to drive up from Maryland to attend our presentations. I look forward to meeting Nelson Santana in Utah. I thank the SALAM Scholarship Committee for their work and do not envy the difficulty in choosing the winners. Please take the time to review the Scholarship Winners profiles.
Please feel free to send me any comments or suggestions you might have about this year’s conference or anything else SALALM related.
On a final note, I hope to see some of you at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the American Library Association and remind you to renew your SALALM membership. Our organization depends on these renewals to carry out our work.
Report from the Secretariat
October 25, 2013
Greetings to all from New Orleans where the gorgeous fall weather is only beginning to appear.
The start of the fiscal year (September 1) is always a busy time at the Secretariat: the final version of the annual budget for the previous year is submitted to the Treasurer by the end of October; ongoing discussions on myriad logistical details resume with the President and Local Arrangements to firm up plans for the meeting the following calendar year; renewal notices are sent out to institutional and personal members, and renewal payments start coming in. This year has been no exception.
At this time, the 2012-2013 FY budget is almost complete, and it will be submitted before October 31 to the Treasurer.
This year we got a head start with the press release, sending out an abbreviated version of the call for papers on July 17. President Roberto Delgadillo has posted information on the theme of the Salt Lake City conference in English, Spanish and Portuguese here. Please continue to spread the word as Roberto begins crafting what is sure to be an interesting program. Meantime, the Local Arrangements team chaired by John Wright is busy coordinating things in Utah. John has already contracted with the hotel and is in the process of arranging for transportation and reception venues for the host reception sponsored by Brigham Young University, as well as for the Libreros’ reception, in consultation with the SALALM book dealers.
In terms of membership numbers, I have good news, a bit better news than I was able to report for this time of year in the past. As of today, 154 personal and 76 institutional members, including 19 sponsoring institutions have renewed their membership to SALALM. For comparison, we ended the 2013 fiscal year with a total of 222 personal and 91 institutional members, with 20 sponsors. I do not have figures from last year for the end of October for comparison but, for whatever it’s worth, on September 30, 2012, only 55 personal and 44 institutional members had renewed. The good news: All but one sponsor has already renewed. Huge applause to them for doing so! We will be sending out a special thank you after October 31 to each institutional sponsor for their continued support in the 2013-2014 FY. And almost 70% of our personal members have renewed. Thanks to all who have made the effort to send in your payment on time. The bad news: About 30% have not. I know we can do much better. I hope 100% have renewed by the October 31 deadline!
In other news, we have begun to update the Code of Executive Board Decisions, beginning with the items approved at the Miami meeting. This is the list of items, usually related to policy and procedure, approved by vote by the Executive Board. We will then continue backwards to include the decisions from the 2008 meeting. I will send them via LALA-L and they will then be incorporated into the existing document in the coming weeks. We should be up to date by the end of November.
Hello from Davis, California! As I write this first presidential message, I want to express my thanks to Past President Martha E. Mantilla and the Miami Local Arrangements team Meiyolet Méndez, chair, and Gayle Williams for planning what was a memorable conference. It took a great deal of time, effort and dedication to plan such a meeting. I was extremely fortunate to see and talk to so many dedicated SALALM members. It was one of my favorite SALALM conferences. A perusal of the pictures taken during the meeting on our webpage will certainly confirm what I have noted. Speaking of conferences, many of you may be wondering about the 2014 SALALM Annual Conference. I am delighted to announce that our host for 2014 is Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The conference will be held at the Radisson Downtown in Salt Lake City, May 10-14, 2014. The SALALM 59 conference theme is Family, Local and Micro-Regional Histories and Their Impact on Understanding Ourselves. Focusing on family, local and micro-regional historical resources and their place in the scholarship will allow SALALM to explore how these resources add to the discussion of genealogical data, racial and ethnic identity and how that perceived identity conflicts with the perceptions of governments. The formal call for papers will be announced in September 2013. For questions regarding the conference, please contact me at:
Roberto C. Delgadillo, MLIS, PhD
Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Information Services Librarian
100 North West Quad
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616
Now for a few updates…I am pleased to announce that Melissa Gasparotto will be chairing the Communications Committee and that Betsaida M. Reyes will be the new Website Content Editor. She replaces Daisy V. Domínguez. I know I speak for all of the membership in commending Daisy, for her outstanding stewardship of the webpage for the past several years as SALALM transitioned from a print presence and to an electronic one. I will also note that the Members – at – Large are working on a survey related to the past conference; to determine membership preferences with regard to duration, lodging, and receptions. As the responses get compiled I will share those results. In the same vein, I am pleased to announce that Tim Thompson will be the new SALALM repository coordinator. Tim is also a past SALALM Scholarship winner. The SALALM repository (http://salalm.org/repository/) is a new initiative from the Editorial Board and they are excited to see how it develops. At the last SALALM conference, we learned of an important anniversary for two of our members: Gayle Williams and Nancy Hallock have accrued an extraordinary record of service as volunteer indexers for HAPI, having served for more than 25 years. Kudos to Gayle and Nancy for providing us with examples of the spirit of cooperation that has characterized our membership. Please take the time to look at their profile.
In other news…SALALM members came out in force for the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association in Chicago. I know many members gave thoughtful presentations. I know I missed a few others and can only say that time and other pressing commitments prevented me from seeing and supporting other SALALM members in action!
As you can see, this will be an exciting year for SALALM. I will do my best to keep you updated as the year progresses. Please feel free to send me any comments or suggestions you might have about next year’s conference or anything else SALALM related.
On a final note, I urge you to renew your SALALM membership beginning September 1. Our organization depends on these renewals to carry out our work.
The SALALM conference is a few weeks away. The tentative program of the conference has been posted and we are making the final adjustments to the schedule. As you know, Gayle Williams helped me schedule the committee meetings and has adjusted them to accommodate your requests. I agree with Gayle when she says that scheduling the committee meetings is a “balancing act.” I would like to add that Gayle has been a magician in maneuvering that “balancing act,” and if there aren’t any major conflicts with the committee meetings schedule, all the credit has to be given to her.
The Panels and the Presenters
We have a wide range of topics to be presented by an interesting group of panelists. In addition to our dear SALALMistas/eros colleagues, who are included in the panels, round tables and workshops, we will have a good number of presenters who are non-SALALM members. Some of them are from institutions that are not directly associated with Latin American Studies. I believe that engaging with colleagues from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds will open up ways of connecting, sharing and understanding different ways of thinking and doing research. Not only will they represent the United States but will also Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and several Latin American countries.
The Workshops and Topical Meals
For those of you who want to participate, I would like to remind you to sign up to attend the free workshops and/or topical meals. I believe that he Topical Meals initiative is going to be a great success.
The Film Festival
Teresa Chapa, who is the Curator of the Film Festival, has done an amazing job in organizing a very interesting film program, which will include films and documentaries from different countries addressing very important issues. The Film Festival is free and open to all the conference participants. There will be a detailed schedule of the on-going films.
The Guatemalan (Maya Quiche) Cultural Group
We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy the presentation of a Maya-Quiche Cultural Group. The members of this group are dedicated to keeping alive their traditional culture, a legacy of their Maya-Quiche ancestors. The Cultural Group is a non-profit organization supported by the central government and private organizations. Coincidentally, the group is having a series of presentations in different parts of the United States and we were able to arrange a presentation at the SALALM Conference.
- Maya-Quiche Cultural Group
For the last few months I have been diligently working on the organization of the SALALM conference. Before I proceed to talk about the progress I have made in organizing the conference, I would like to mention two major events that deeply affected all of us in the organization.
The end of an era: Adán Benavides retired from the University of Texas
With this suggestive title, David Block and Margo Gutierrez from the University of Texas, beautifully describe what it means for SALALM to see our dear friend and colleague retiring from his remarkable life as a librarian. He was indeed, a corner stone of the organization. David and Margo’s article reminded me of Adan’s remarkable career and accomplishments, his valuable contributions to the world of librarianship and more importantly, the indelible path he traced for all of us. Although I will not repeat here the wonderful things written about Adán, I recommend all of you to read the article:
Barbara Valk’s Legacy: A HAPI family
The unexpected news of Barbara passing away shocked many of us in the organization. Several messages were sent through LALA-L, expressing moving sentiments of love, respect and admiration for her extraordinary accomplishments as HAPI’s founder and director.
Perhaps her most enduring contribution to librarianship was the creation of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index – HAPI. Barbara was a visionary in her own right, who foresaw the impact that the electronic resources have in our profession. She was the mastermind and the architect of this invaluable resource. She recruited volunteers from SALALM, creating, developing and nourishing a happy family of HAPI indexers.
I would like to paraphrase here what Orchid Mazurkiewicz, new Director of HAPI, shared with us, the indexers: Barbara designed HAPI as a project that relied on the close collaboration, hard work, and expertise of volunteers. She had great respect for our indexers. She had a dynamic personality and keen intellect.
Paradoxically, Barbara leaves us when HAPI is becoming more sophisticated and exciting: HAPI is now compatible with the open source citation manager Zotero. This means that we can now use an electronic form to input our work directly into HAPI. Until now, we have been sending our work in plain
text and the HAPI staff uploaded it into the system. For us, the indexers, this is a welcomed and exciting change. We attended a HAPI Central Indexer Tutorial held in a Blackboard Collaborate session and from now on we will use the new system. That is not all! Our dear HAPI database even got a last name: It is now called HAPI Central! :}
I believe that after all her extraordinary work, Barbara embarked herself on a journey that may lead her to join a group of friends and colleagues, who also have left us: Eduardo Lozano, Scott Van Jacob and many others… Together with Barbara, they inspired and mentored many of us.
Friendly invitation to new members to get involved in SALALM
Thinking about those who have departed makes me reflect on the younger generation of SALALM members. Throughout its history, SALALM has been revitalized with the energy, creativity and fresh ideas of the new and younger members of the organization. I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite them to get involved. I am offering here few suggestions for their participation and involvement:
- Learn about the different committees; select the one in which you would like to participate and inform the committee chair. http://salalm.org/about/organization/committees/
- Volunteer as a Rapporteur in the SALALM conferences. The call for volunteers will soon appear in LALA-L
- VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Elections are generally held few months before the annual conference
- Embrace every opportunity to share with and learn from senior SALALM members. The mutual exchange of ideas contributes to the constant growth and strengthening of the organization
Comments about the SALALM conference in Miami
I had the opportunity to travel to Miami twice. On my first visit, in October 2012, Mei, Gayle and I met with the Colonade Hotel Managers and talked about the general logistics and plan for the conference. I also met with members of the staff and faculty of the Host Institutions. They were very excited about the SALALM conference and offered their full support and hospitality. I traveled to Miami for the second time in February. Mei, Gayle and I visited the hotel again and finalized the details regarding hotel arrangements. The managers were very friendly and efficient and they said that they are looking forward to helping us in the best way possible.
To assist us with traveling to Miami, Mei Mendez and Gayle Williams started a section in the Conference web page entitled Memo from Miami where they are posting very useful information. I would recommend visiting the site regularly: http://salalm.org/Conf/hotel-transportation/memo-from-miami/
Teresa Chapa is enthusiastically organizing the Film Festival. If you would like to recommend a film to be included, please contact Teresa at: email@example.com.
We are thrilled that “Garifuna in Peril” (Garifuna en Peligro) will be screened. The information below was published in the Honduras Weekly:
“Ruben Reyes and Ali Allie’s new film “Garifuna in Peril” (Garifuna en Peligro) — the first part of the Garifuna Trilogy — has opened in London, New York, Santa Fe, San Diego and Los Angeles since its release in December 2012. In April 2013, the film will play at the Boston International Film Festival, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, the 22nd Arizona International Film Festival in Tuscon, Arizona and at the WorldFest Film Festival in Houston, Texas, where the directors have been nominated for an award.”
Furthermore, the article goes on to mention that the movie will be shown at the SALALM Conference:
“University professors and libraries have also expressed interest in the film, possibly the first film produced for commercial distribution with the majority of the dialog in a language related to a Latin American Indian language. For example, the film has been invited to be shown at the SALALM conference in Miami, Florida in May 2013. SALALM is the professional organization of Latin American collection librarians of Europe, Latin America, and the US. Their conference this year is specifically related to collecting materials, many of which are in media other than traditional print books, related to Latin American Indian cultures, and to their social movements fighting for human rights.”
The full article is available at: http://hondurasweekly.com/2013030716609/news/culture/16609-honduran-garifunas-find-success-in-new-film-by-ali-allie-and-ruben-reyes.html
I look forward to enjoying the delicious gourmet food in Coral Gables, going to the gym and eating light for a day or two before the conference. Miami is going to be a treat …….
Dessert at SEASONS 52 in Coral Gables: Highly recommended…
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the people that have been helping me with the planning and organization of the conference. I think we are going to have a very enjoyable, productive and unforgettable meeting in Miami.
Warm regards to all,
University of Pittsburgh
The year 2012 ended with the energizing news of Roberto Delgadillo’s winning the “I Love My Librarian Award.” We were also happy with the comforting fact that the world did not end on Friday, Dec. 21st, 2012, after all. What a wonderful irony! This eschatological belief of the Mayas has preceded the occurrence of this conference as we are engaged in our pursuit of the nature and role of the indigenous peoples thought and action towards the improvement of the global human condition in the postmodern world.
As the year 2013 started, I have been pleased by the wonderful reception of the 58th Conference among both members and non-members of SALALM. I have received interesting proposals for presentations, panels, workshops and roundtables. Thus, I feel confident that we will have a vibrant and exciting conference.
In the meantime, the challenges of organizing the conference are becoming more evident. One of them is finding resources to facilitate the attendance of diverse groups of participants from Latin American countries. The cost of traveling to Miami to participate in SALALM is often beyond the personal and/or institutional means for many of our Latin American colleagues. As such, we are exploring ways to encourage individual and institutional donations to support the conference.
This year we are going to re-institute the No-Host Thematic/Topical Meals: A SALALM initiative for collegial community-building. This great idea, suggested by Peter Johnson, will not only allow us to reach new participants but, more importantly, will enable us to share knowledge. This is also a good idea for networking. The abundance of restaurants near the beautiful Westin Colonnade Hotel at Coral Gables will contribute to making this meal-related initiative very appetizing.
Peter Johnson kindly agreed to write the rationale behind this initiative plus the guidelines for its implementation. I am cordially inviting all of you to read the information below and seriously consider submitting a proposal to lead a discussion table in a No-Host Meal.
Warm regards to all,
University of Pittsburgh
Guidelines for Topical Meals – A SALALM Community-building Initiative
One of the most important functions that SALALM provides is that of building personal and institutional networks that form a strong community to meet the challenges involved with assisting scholars and students conducting research on Latin America. SALALM consists of many different types of communities as demonstrated by the work of its various committees, the content of its annual conferences, the hosting of affiliated groups, and the queries posted and resolved on LALA-L. Since its founding in 1956, SALALM has responded to the many changes occurring in Latin America and influencing research, and throughout all these years a critical factor has been the strength of the individual and collective networks formed by individual SALALM members.
SALALM LVIII expects many members to participate, and anticipates welcoming a good number of new members and student members. We hope to facilitate the community building between these two groups by re-instituting the program option of small group discussions around a focused topic during a meal. The centrality of food to community is well known, and so too is discussion and learning; SALALM LVIII proposes to combine both aspects for our conference attendees.
The no-host meal consists of a speaker along with five individuals (who have signed up in advance). The leader selects the restaurant and makes the reservation; those participating meet at the indicated time and place to go together to the restaurant. Each participant is responsible for his/her meal costs, including taxes and tip. Often restaurants automatically add the tip for groups of six or more; the menu will indicate that, as will the final bill. Because many restaurants will not issue individual bills for groups, participants should come prepared with cash.
By limiting the discussion to six people, a more focused and rewarding time is feasible. Participation by Libreros, bibliographers, publishers, catalogers, reference specialists, and scholars in the past made these meals an important additional learning experience, and opportunity to meet new people. Topics included publishing under dictatorships, acquisition of non-traditional publications, buying trips, cataloging rule changes, teaching research skills, new trends in archives, and disaster planning.
If you would like to participate as a leader, please send a title and three – five line description of the topic to President Martha Mantilla firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discussions may be in English, Portuguese, Spanish or any combination thereof.
- Proposals to lead a discussion table should include the following points:
- Brief title that clearly identifies the subject matter
- Descriptive text of what the substance is, in 3 – 5 sentences
- Brief biographical statement referencing qualifications to speak about the topic, in 1 – 3 sentences
2. Proposals can be on any topic germane to the interests of SALALM
3. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to the President by 1 March for consideration to include in the conference program
4. Proposals accepted, and discussion leaders notified on or before 15 April
5. Confirmation of acceptance by the discussion leader sent to the President within 1 week of receiving the notification
6. President provides the SALALAM Host Institutions with all relevant information to be included in the conference program
Discussion leader’s responsibilities
1. Prepare a single paragraph descriptive synthesis of the key points
2. Submit this text to the President and LALA-L, subject line: No-host Meal Discussion: your topic’s title
3. Check the conference program for your assigned day and time
4. Select a restaurant from the Host’s list and make a reservation for 6
5. On the posted sign-up sheets and/or the conference website, note the restaurant name and address
6. Meet at the sign-up sheet board 15 minutes before the assigned time
7. Evaluation: send the President a short e-mail with your assessment
Message from the President
Congratulations to Roberto Delgadillo, Vice-President/President-Elect!
Roberto makes all of us proud because of his ability and dedication to being a first-rate librarian.
Those of us who know him were not at all surprised by the description of his professionalism, dedication, and commitment to excellence, which was included in Roberto’s nomination to the I Love My Librarian Award.
His passion and love for knowledge, combined with his infectious sense of humor are not only motivational but also inspirational to his students, staff and colleagues at the University Library, UC Davis, where he works as the Social Sciences and Government Information Services Resources Manager.
He is able to make an otherwise difficult job relatively easier as he navigates and employs the logistics of the larger academic world through research, publishing and information seeking.
Roberto’s winning the I Love My Librarian Award is a testimony to his hard work, professional care and, above all, his remarkable approach to life. His emphasis on the significance of mentorship, especially but not exclusively to the younger generations, is particularly meaningful to the human aspect of our profession as twenty-first century librarians. As technology rapidly advances, there is an increasing tendency in library systems to undervalue the human factor. Librarians like Roberto are viable reminders of the relevance of the human element in the current library world in which the rapid change in technology often overshadows the warmth of the personal face-to-face approach.
The SALALM organization congratulates you, Roberto, for your well-deserved award given by The Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York Times in recognition of your exceptional accomplishments as a university librarian.
We are proud of having such a remarkable friend and colleague in our midst.
University of Pittsburgh
As the time for submitting proposals for SALALM 58 gets closer, I am getting excited about organizing the conference. I have received questions about proposals from colleagues in the United States and from some countries in Latin America such as Ecuador, Chile and Colombia. The messages that I have received make me think that we will have a nice variety of presentations related to the conference theme and also concerning key issues affecting our profession.
Reflecting on the latter issue, I read again David Block’s paper entitled: “Where We Are, Where May We Be Going, and What Can We Do There” published in the SALALM LIII proceedings. In this article written in 2008, David says “I am asking readers to consider the real possibility that in another five years neither librarians nor booksellers will be doing the work as it is now done.” Five years have passed and David’s article on the future of libraries in general and Latin American collections in particular reminds me of the great novel by García Marquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. As in García Marquez’s tale, the death of librarianship as we knew it is imminent and the whole community knows it.
Some of the key issues addressed in his thought-provoking article include “access vs. ownership.” On this issue David writes, “…I must reluctantly predict that the days of librarians at multiple libraries selecting copies of the same items and of booksellers selling the same item to multiple clients are numbered.” Indeed! As a matter of fact, the patron-driven acquisition and purchase-on-demand models are being tested and/or adopted in most of our library systems and consortia. On the issue of electronic vs. paper-based collections, David says, “Libraries will not be able to maintain their current hybrid existence. Simultaneous development of digital and paper-based collections and services will soon become unsustainable.”
Certainly! Most library administrators are strong supporters of e-collections for practical and financial reasons. For example, with electronic collections there is no processing, shelving, damage, loss, or physical handling of e-materials. E-book usage statistics can be measured in detail to assist in collection management decisions. E-books may be rented, loaned, owned, or accessible via subscription packages. Referring to the critical issue of the e- book in Latin America, David writes that the “…electronic book has proved something of an oxymoron, as readers have not accepted them and publishers are reluctant to produce them.” I wonder how much longer Latin American publishers will wait to embrace large productions of e-books.
As I start thinking of the organization of SALALM 58 I am reminded of David’s concluding remarks: “I hope that this session will catalyze a conversation and perhaps spawn a working group to examine the issues raised at this panel.” As David observes, “We really should not wait.”
I attended the panel entitled “What Do Libraries Want Now?: Identifying Book Dealer Services to Support New Workflows and Staffing Models.” The room was full of people and, at the end of the session, some of us – librarians and book vendors – looked perplexed, shocked and somewhat uncomfortable as if we had received an unwelcome wake-up call. Five years have passed and David’s assertions are as relevant and thought-provoking as ever before. Our meeting in Miami will allow us to devote time and energy to re-visit these and other important issues affecting our profession.
In addition to the theme of the conference, I am encouraging proposals for papers, panels and/or roundtables addressing the technological changes that are challenging how we work and provide services. SALALM 58 will also include screenings of movies and documentaries coordinated by Teresa Chapa. The committee meetings and affiliated groups will be given time to meet. We will also set aside time to approve the new SALALM Bylaws which are being revised by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
My intention is to schedule key meetings without the interference of other simultaneous events in order to facilitate the attendance of all participants. The SALALM conference in Miami will be a great opportunity for all of us to exchange experiences and ideas as well as to revisit and reinforce our common goals. Essentially, the events and activities planned for SALALM 58 will remind us that the statement that Dan C. Hazen wrote about SALALM (published in the World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services) remains at the core of our organization.
Dan writes, “SALALM’s primary concern remains that which inspired its formation: to make necessary resources available to Latin American students and scholars throughout the world. Many of the materials essential for current scholarship remain elusive. The balance of forces in North American libraries and academic institutions likewise continues to change, as a result of both new technologies and political and intellectual dynamics. These shifting contexts will continue to challenge and stimulate SALALM.”
Warm regards to all,
University of Pittsburgh