Thursday October 2nd 2014




‘News’ Archives

David Block Retires

David Block in guatemala

David has been a friend and colleague for most all of our respective careers.  His active involvement with Latin America started when he volunteered to serve in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. I recently read several of Vanderbilt’s Peace Corps papers belonging to a psychologist who was then the director of Peace Corps selection.  He characterizes the early Peace Corps volunteers in these terms: “they are learners, are reaching-out type people, intellectually adventuresome, have a desire to serve tempered with a love of fun and adventure, idealistic but with a realistic appraisal of what they will be up against, and an appropriate modesty; they want to make a contribution to their fellow-man… and they get substantial satisfactions from association with new friends in other lands.”   Those traits, along with his PhD and scholarship on Bolivia, seem a match made in heaven for David’s future career in Latin American librarianship and for his SALALM colleagues who have benefitted from all these talents.

He has been a mentor to countless “SALALMis.”   He has gently, quietly guided all of us in many ways: introducing us to his wide network of contacts and colleagues in Latin America, especially in the Andean region; sharing his expertise on book buying trips and leading LAMP preservation efforts—and who else has brought Pisco sours to those long meetings? And, all along the way, he has prodded us to try to think and act in a more cooperative and sharing way.  Besides serving as president of SALALM, and several terms on the Executive Board, he hosted the annual conference at Cornell.  More importantly, he has helped reframe the vision of his member colleagues and encouraged our organization to move in new directions.  Since we can no longer “have it all”, even at the Library of Congress or the Benson, he has led us toward increasingly collaborative collections efforts in the US, and has aided Latin American libraries in the preservation and digitization of their own archives.  A more recent personal goal involved helping the national library of Peru replace their stolen rare materials.  David is a giver, charitable, kind and smart, with a wry sense of humor and great curiosity.  He seems equally at home with (and actively seeks the opinions of) taxi drivers, rural indigenous, and urban academics.  The development of the Andean collections at Cornell and Latin American collection at the Benson reflect his wide network beyond the standard publishing world to incorporate ephemera, NGO output, organizations small and large, uncommon materials in  a wide range of resources that mirror that time and place in Latin America.  In his travels he has made many friends and colleagues both in Latin America and the US.  We will miss his leadership and expertise but hope our friendships long continue.

Paula Covington


Summer 2014 newsmaker

Peter Altekrüger, library director and deputy director of the Ibero-American Institute just published an edited monograph on Argentinian theater journals and short novels,  De amor, crimen y cotidianidad. Las revistas teatrales y colecciones de novelas cortas argentinas del Instituto Ibero-Americano.  More details on the publication here.

Welcome, new members!

Luisa Escobar is the new Library Coordinator at the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in Antigua, Guatemala. Before coming to CIRMA, she worked as the director of the Colección Virginia B. Shook at the Unviersidad del Valle in Guatemala City.  From 2000 to 2013, she inventoried, digitized and worked in conserving the Edwin M. Shook archive.  She also worked with the Marion Popenoe de Hatch and Juan Pedro Laporte archives.

Luisa is an archaeologist (MA from university of Miami) and has directed different projects in South Coast, Petén and Altiplano of Guatemala.

Sara Stigberg is the Art Collection Public Services Librarian at Northwestern University Library. She received her MLIS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her MA in Art History from Tulane University, where she focused on Latin American colonial art. A particular interest is mural painting in Mexico, especially from the 16th and 17th centuries. Current projects include expanding the holdings in Latin American art and art history at Northwestern University Library.

Welcome, new members!

Pilar Maria Moreno



Pilar María Moreno is a Spanish national and the current Director of Library Services at the University of the Claustro of Sor Juana in Mexico City.

She holds a degree in Pedagogical Studies from the Complutense University in Madrid as well as a Master in Library Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Pilar María has experience in teaching at university level and developing information literacy programs. She also loves Portuguese and Brazilian literature and culture.




Spring 2014 newsmakers

Meagan Lacy, an assistant librarian and liaison to World Languages and Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, was named the Association of College & Research Libraries member of the week. You can read the news piece here.

Welcome, new member!

Wendy Griffin is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she also completed her Master’s in Education in International Development Education, emphasizing Latin America and Bilingual Intercultural Education, at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989.  She got a Foreign Languages and in History at Western Washington University in Bellingham, in 1977.  She learned Spanish while in the Air Force in California,  later worked as a Spanish translator in Key West, Florida, and has also worked with as a bilingual paralegal with Latino Immigrants in New Jersey. In Honduras she worked as an English as a Foreign Language and French Professor at the Escuela Superior del Profesorado (now UPN) and then at the UNAH in Tegucigalpa and finally at the UPN’s La Ceiba campus she was an Anthropology professor until 2000. She joined SALALM in 2013, and spoke at SALALM in Miami in 2013 about Garifunas as the Overlap of the Indian and Afro-Descent Human Rights Movements and about Special Issues of Researching Indians particularly in Latin American libraries.

Welcome, new member!

Jorge Matos Valldejuli is a substitute faculty librarian at Hostos Community College at the City University of New York (CUNY). He is a reference librarian with a background in Latin American/Latino & Africana Studies. Currently, his main work is focused on  instruction for immigrant and ESL students at Hostos. He received his MLIS from Queens College, CUNY and recently finished an MA in History from The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Meet the Spring 2014 SALALM Scholarship Winners!

Kathryn DarnallKathryn Darnall is a second year dual degree student at University of Texas at Austin, pursuing an MS in Information Studies at the School of Information and an MA in Latin American Studies at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, where she specializes in archives and human rights issues.  In addition to her studies, Kathryn is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Human Rights Documentation Initiative at the Benson Latin American Collection, where she works collaboratively with partner organizations in El Salvador, Rwanda, Burma, Guatemala and the United States to preserve human rights archival materials.  She is also an active participant in the newly formed Human Rights and Archives Working Group at UT Austin, a collaborative endeavor to provide resources to faculty interested in incorporating primary source materials into their courses.

This summer, Kathryn will be travelling to Guatemala as part of Librarians Without Borders to aid in cataloging and youth programming for community and school libraries in Chajul and Quetzaltenango.  In addition, she will be spending time in Guatemala City, conducting research at the Guatemalan National Police Archive on the topic of archival access policies.

After graduation, Kathryn hopes to use her varied work experience to assist non-profit and non-governmental organizations in their management of records documenting human rights abuses, in order to preserve these documents for future use.


Bulger, EmilyEmily Bulger will graduate in May 2014 from The University of Texas at Austin with a Master of Science in Information Studies and a portfolio in Museum Studies. Her graduate work brings together collections and database management with questions of access and visitor inclusion. She is especially excited about the growing attention paid to data sharing across institutions and the knowledge management and social justice potential of this trend.

Since January 2013, she has worked as a graduate research assistant at the Benson Latin American Collection, where she answers bilingual reference requests from people around the world, conducts research using the library’s holdings, and consults with the curator on exhibitions.

While in graduate school, she has worked as a curatorial intern at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin and as a web production intern at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, D.C. She also spent a semester teaching writing to engineers.

In addition to the SALALM Scholarship, she is the recipient of a Leadership Summit stipend from the Special Libraries Association Texas chapter, the Sam G. Whitten Endowed Presidential Scholarship from the School of Information, and the AAUW of Cascade County Scholarship. A native of Great Falls, Montana, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with high honors from The University of Montana, where she was a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Prior to attending graduate school, Emily worked for the Spanish Ministry of Education teaching bilingual elementary school in Córdoba, Spain, an experience that cemented her love of the Spanish culture and language. The Andalucían accent is a habit she just can’t kick.


New Member: David Wiseman

Wiseman_Photo (2)

David P. Wiseman is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Humanities Division at Lewis-Clark State College. He will start as the Latin American and Iberian Studies Librarian at Brigham Young University in July 2014. He received a BA in English/Spanish, BYU; an MA in Spanish, BYU; and a PhD in Hispanic Literature, Vanderbilt University. From 2010–13, he served as the Managing Editor of Hispania, and he currently serves as the Director of Communications for the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

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David Block Retires

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