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Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: Theresa Polk

Portrait of Theresa Polk

Theresa Polk.

Theresa Polk is an archivist at the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at the University of Texas. She earned her MLS from the University of Maryland’s iSchool, specializing in archives. While studying at Maryland, she learned of the SALALM scholarship through the iSchool’s listserv and decided to apply. Polk also holds an MPhil in International Peace Studies, with a specialization in Ethics, from Trinity College Dublin.

What drew you to the field of librarianship/archival studies?

I was working on a human rights project in Guatemala when the Historical Archive of the National Police was uncovered in 2005. Later, as I became more involved in some of the legal cases around human rights violations that took place during Guatemala’s internal conflict, I became increasingly aware of the vital role of archives in transitional processes following political violence or conflict.

How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia? Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and/or traveling in Latin America.

I had a wonderful literature teacher in high school, who taught a world poetry class. She had an amazing collection that I slowly read my way through during my spare time. As I started to connect the poetry I was reading from Latin America to the historical moment from which it emanated and the struggle for justice, something clicked, and I was hooked. I went to college knowing I would pursue a major in Latin American studies, and was able to spend a year studying abroad in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

It took a while to find the right opportunity to return, but in 2005, I joined the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala’s (NISGUA) accompaniment team, supporting communities involved in the Rios Montt genocide case and other human rights defenders. It was an amazing, life-changing, and heartbreaking experience that ultimately led me to pursue a career in archives.

Did you know about SALALM before you applied for the scholarship?

Yes, I attended the SALALM conference in 2011 in Philadelphia, when I was still deciding whether an MLS was a good fit for me. It was a great experience and helped me make the decision to begin applying to MLS programs. In 2014, I had intended to attend SALALM in Salt Lake City, but had to cancel my travel plans at the last minute for health reasons.

What was the most interesting or unexpected thing that you learned at the conference?

I knew very little about the field when I attended the 2011 conference; for the most part, it was an opportunity to see if it felt like a good fit for my interests. The human rights theme was very encouraging, and it was exciting to hear about human rights-related collections and work happening in the field. The keynote speaker, the National Security Archive’s Peter Kornbluh, particularly struck a chord. His talk really resonated as he spoke of activist archivists and doing “documentary exhumations” of human rights violations, and I thought, yes, that is what I want to be able to do.

Was SALALM helpful in your career development?

Yes. To begin with, discovering this space within the profession encouraged me to pursue the MLS. I have also really benefited from the mentorship and connections I have made through SALALM, and look forward to becoming more involved in the future.

Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?

The scholarship went mostly to school expenses; however, it eased the financial burden, allowing me to pursue other experiences outside of school, such as internships, conferences, and other professional development opportunities.

Are you currently working with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection?

I recently joined the staff of LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at the University of Texas at Austin, working on a new post-custodial digital archives initiative. It’s a dream opportunity that allows me to really integrate my experience in the region with my archival training. Previously, I interned in the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress, and helped process two Latin American ethnographic collections at the National Anthropological Archives (Smithsonian Institution).

Rare Book Week West: Manuscripts, First Editions, Photos and Artist Books

California_Bookfair_2015To say that it was a manjar libresco would be an understatement: the 48th California Antiquarian Book Book Fair and the 2015 Artist Book Fair and Symposium, all within a few days, sometimes with overlapping schedules, was all a rare treat that only happens every other year in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Antiquarian Fair promised “collections and rare treasures of over 200 booksellers from 33 different countries…,” and indeed there were. On the high end, original manuscripts by Octavio Paz, or limited edition books with text by Pablo Neruda shared the exhibit hall with Latin American vintage travel brochures for as little as $35! One of the un-prized items was an oversize black and white photograph of Mexican revolutionaries witha semi-legible text: “V. Carranza.” The seller knew very little about the photograph until I gave some background. “If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably could not afford it,” I had been warned more than once by a veteran curator/librarian. The photo had no price tag and my friend was right!

Viva_Zapata!Among the images of film celebrities there was a movie poster of Viva Zapata, which I used in class one year to point out Hollywood’s peculiar way of casting for the 1952 film, with a script written by John Steinbeck. I noted that Marlon Brando (Zapata) probably looked more like one of the students in class, while the real Zapata was most certainly darker than I. The student later thanked me in an evaluation for comparing him to such a handsome movie star!

The 5th Codex Artist Book Fair opened in the middle of a much needed rainstorm, no deterrent to the more than 1,100 enthusiastic attendees who showed up to admire the work of book artists from all over the world, with Latin America very well represented: from Lia-Libro de Artista, showcasing the work of 22 artists to Eckhard Froeschlin’s atelier in Matagalpa, Nicaragua or that of photographers like Jose Diniz (Brazil) and Patricia Lagarde (Mexico).

lorenacartoneraBooks and art have often been a medium that brings attention to injustices and Codex 2015 was no exception. Mexican photographer Lorena Velázquez reminded us all of the recent disappearance of Ayotzinapa’s student teachers. The cartonero book makers were also present with a similar message clamoring for justice.

Human rights violations has also been the leit motif of CraftPressChile, with Indignity and Resistance as a third work in a series that keeps alive the memory of the desaparecidos and torturados during military rule in Chile.

The fairs were accompanied by a series of related events: an artist auction to raise funds for the families of the missing student teachers in Mexico or an exhibit on the art of Taller de Gráfica Popular artist Elizabeth Catlett catered to various audiences.

The Codex Artist Book Symposium featured author and essayist Alberto Manguel as main speaker. His early evening talk at the Book Club of California (A City Built on Books: Pedro de Mendoza and the Founding of Buenos Aires), was the right excuse to leave work early and the charla did not disappoint.

Adan Griego, Curator for Latin American Collections-Stanford University.

*Lorena Velázquez and Ayotzinapa photo by Yulia Akh

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: Betsaida Reyes

Portrait of Betsaida ReyesBetsaida Reyes.

Betsaida M. Reyes was awarded the SALALM Scholarship in spring 2013. She is the librarian for Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

She earned her Master’s in Information Science at the University at Albany/SUNY, focusing on academic librarianship. Reyes did an internship in Information Literacy and one in Collection Development. She also holds an MA in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics. Like others before her, Reyes was encouraged to apply for the SALALM Scholarship by Jesus Alonso-Regalado, Subject Librarian for Romance Languages and Latin American Studies and History at the University at Albany/SUNY.

What drew you to the field of librarianship/archival studies?

I am passionate about connecting people to information. I love helping people, which is why librarianship is a natural fit. I started working in acquisitions before I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in librarianship. Once I was accepted into the program, I looked for as many opportunities as I could to learn about the various areas in the library. I did internships in different departments and volunteered at the circulation desk. In the end, collection development really drew me in. I love the flexibility and variety of activities involved. It also allows me to connect with users across campus, which is the part of my job that I treasure the most.

How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia? Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and/or traveling in Latin America.

I spent a semester in Barcelona through a study abroad program and, interestingly enough, my host mother was a librarian. So who knows? Maybe it was in the cards all along. Later, I backpacked through Peru during a winter break. I was born in the Dominican Republic and thus Spanish is my mother tongue. This helped me do my job in acquisitions, but it was also one important aspect that helped shape my career path. Being a native Spanish speaker allowed me to volunteer for special projects where I furthered my understanding about the library environment. It was then, when I realized that I had found the career that I wanted to dedicate my life to.

Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?

While I was studying at the University at Albany, I worked as a student assistant for collection development. That was a great opportunity where I discovered exactly what I wanted to do in my career as a librarian. For three years I worked alongside Jesus Alonso-Regalado learning about collection development, outreach activities, archival materials, and much more. That experience prepared me for the next phase in my career as I entered the job market. Currently, I am working as the librarian for Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?

Yes, the scholarship award allowed me to attend the annual SALALM conference in Miami, Florida. In 2013 I was in my last semester of the master’s program so [without the scholarship], attending the conference [would have been] definitely out of the question.

I was not required to present a paper when I was awarded the scholarship in the spring of 2013. However, I did present during the meeting in Salt Lake City. I was part of the Roda Viva panel, where I talked about how mentorship relations can help you succeed in your career, and later presented on my experience with embedded librarianship.

What was the most interesting or unexpected thing that you learned at the conference?

I was able to meet so many of my colleagues. However, since I knew I was going to start working at the University of Kansas, attending the conference allowed me to meet and talk with the vendors I would be working with shortly after. The conference essentially gave me a head start.

Did you attend any committee meetings?

Unfortunately, I originally believed that in order to attend the meetings you had to be a committee member. I would like to inform new members that they are welcome to attend the committee meetings.

Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?

Yes! I have built valuable relationships with colleagues and vendors thanks to the SALALM conference. SALALM was instrumental in starting my career. It was through the SALALM listserv that I learned of the opening for my current position. I am not sure where I would be without the SALALM family.

 

Reporting from Guadalajara’s 2014 Book Fair

FIL-Guadalajara-final-620x330More than 20,000 book professionals descended into Guadalajara for a peregrinación del mundo del libro, as Madrid’s daily El País called the Feria del Libro (FIL). It is indeed a pilgrimage to the most important book event in the Spanish-speaking world, and there we were, over 100 librarians in the middle of it all!

For the second time in FIL’s 28 years Argentina was the featured country, bringing celebrations of Julio Cortazar’s centennial and homages to Juan Gelman and the ever-present Jorge Luis Borges. At a round table discussion on the author of Ficciones his widow commented on the most peculiar meeting of Mick Jagger (from the Rolling Stones) and Borges.

On opening day I overheard a group of students looking for Alfaguara, which in previous years had one of the largest FIL stands. I told them it was now part of Planeta. When I realized it was the wrong multinational publisher I chased after them to give the correct answer. Never say that accurate reference was lacking on a weekend! Off they went, to the Penguin Random House booth.

eraJesuspoemAnother novedad at the exhibit hall was a more visible stand for Ediciones Era, one of Mexico’s leading independent publishers. True to its progressive voice, photos of the recently disappeared 43 student teachers and the words of David Huerta’s moving poem Ayotzinapa , were a constant reminder of a tragedy that has sparked civil society demonstrations all over Mexico. See English-language version.

In fact, that most tragic incident called the attention of the featured country’s delegation of artists, writers and publishers, which issued a statement of solidarity for the missing students. There was also a demonstration that left from the Fair to join another group at one of the main public spaces in Guadalajara. I was returning from an artist book exhibit downtown and was caught in the ensuring traffic jam. “Están en todo su derecho”, I remarked, when the taxi driver appeared impatient. “If our children were missing, we would be equally upset,” I added. The taxista agreed.

FIL2014PresentationTitle The many events held at FIL : (presentaciones de libro, foros, encuentros, congresos) included an homenaje to this year’s Librarian (Elsa Margarita Ramírez Leyva) and Bibliophile (Juan Nicanor Pascoe Pierce). Pascoe’s Taller Martín Pescador is familiar to many Special Collections in North America.

There was also a session with a literary translator, a vendor and a librarian (ME) to learn about publishing in the United States. For the section on libraries as a market for Spanish-language books I discussed distribution channels and differences in bibliographic materials acquired by academic and public libraries.

See also:
Special coverage from El País

Photos:
*FIL logo (Feria Internacional del Libro)
*Jesus Alonso Regalado (Edicione Era stand)

Adan Griego, Stanford University Libraries.

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: D. Ryan Lynch

Photo of D. Ryan Lynch
D. Ryan Lynch. Photo by Peter Bailley, Knox College

D. Ryan Lynch was awarded the SALALM Scholarship in spring 2013. She is currently working as Assistant Librarian for Instructional Services at the Seymour Library at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and is a SALALM member.

Ryan earned an MSIS with a focus on collection development, reference, and instruction at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Ryan also holds a master’s degree in Latin American history from Emory University.

Ryan learned about SALALM some years ago while diligently doing her research before a job interview. Later, when Ryan attended UAlbany, she saw a poster for the SALALM scholarship and, after some enthusiastic encouragement from SALALM’s own Jesus Alonso-Regalado, she decided to apply.

What drew you to the field of librarianship/archival studies?

I previously worked as an archivist and museum professional, so I had been at the fringes of librarianship for years. However, I decided on librarianship because my real passion is helping college students think critically and understand the world around them (particularly cultures and perspectives different than their own). I realized that through reference, outreach, and instruction work, I could have the direct impact on students in a more immediate and regular way than at the art museum.

I also had a background in Spanish language and literature and Latin American history (with an emphasis on modern Brazil), and had long sought opportunities to do something related to those academic interests. I am still hoping for that opportunity, although I am very happy to be the liaison to Latin American Studies and Spanish at Knox.

How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia? Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and/or traveling in Latin America.

I started taking Spanish on Saturdays when I was five years old and chose to attend Spanish-language summer camp in elementary and middle school. In college at Brown University, I was fortunate enough to benefit from amazing faculty in the History, Spanish, and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies departments; Thomas Skidmore, Douglas Cope, Luiz Valente, and Wada Rios-Font in particular inspired me to pursue graduate studies. I also spent a year in Barcelona, took an intensive Catalan course, and became a Catalan nationalist.

I was very fortunate at Emory to receive generous funding for a Portuguese-language program. I also received ongoing research funding both from the university and through a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Grant. In all, I have spent over three and one half years in Brazil as a researcher and teaching English, and continue to go there regularly. I am, in the words of my friends, “o americano mais paulistano.”

Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?

In a past life, I helped to complete a Latino history project for the New York State Archives (Ventana al Pasado). I also worked with the Columbia and Cornell Latin American and Iberian Collections for my internship while at UAlbany. Due to a very tight job market [when] I graduated (there were no available LAS librarian positions for about a year), I did not have the opportunity to apply for LAS positions before taking my current job. I was very lucky to have experience and expertise in (and a passion for) liberal arts colleges, which led to several job interviews and offers, including my current job.

Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?

Yes, I went to both the Miami and Salt Lake City conferences. [Although] we were not required to give a presentation when I got the scholarship, I presented two papers in Salt Lake City. One was on outreach efforts with our first-year seminars. The second was part of a panel that I organized on different approaches to collecting histories of immigrant communities.

What was the most interesting or unexpected thing that you learned at the conference?

I was amazed at how welcoming SALALMistas are, even to people without jobs (or without LAS-related positions).

Did you attend any committee meetings?

Yes. But be forewarned: attend committee meetings and you might find yourself in charge.

Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?

Because of the job market at the time I graduated, I depended much more on my liberal arts roots [to help me in] the job market and in actually doing my job. However, SALALM has been instrumental in helping me to find a community of Latin Americanist librarians and form invaluable connections not just with Latin Americanists and Iberianists, but also with others facing many of the same reference, instruction, and outreach challenges that I face.

Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?

I used my scholarship to attend my first SALALM conference, in Miami.

 

The Earth Shakes in Ecuador

Ecuador sits uneasily on a tectonic fault line. A catastrophic quake leveled the provincial city of Ambato in 1949. But temblors close to Quito like those of August 13th and 14th are rare occurrences. The last instrumentally-recorded event there was in 1990, and to go beyond that one would have to consult documents from the 19th century. With so little experience to rely on, Quiteños seemed at a loss to explain these seismic events.

For a better understanding, I went right to an unimpeachable source, cab drivers. Riding to dinner on the 13th, I learned that quakes are correlated with the weather. “It’s the humidity,” one driver assured me. The next day more sinister attributions came my way. “In your country they predict earthquakes, don’t they?” My negative response produced only disbelief and suspicion. In an attempt to disengage, I thought of other topics, like the Ebola outbreak. “You know how to predict that, too, don’t you?” I asked the driver to drop me at the next corner. Walking half a mile to my destination seemed a small price to pay.

Newspapers on the morning of the 14th pictured enormous dust clouds, the most prominent feature visible from the city center. From closer up came accounts of landslides, highway closures and the tragic death of a six-year-old, crushed by a fifty kilogram sack of rice that fell from a shelf in the family bodega. That afternoon the government dialed up a fierce charm offensive. President Correa and several functionaries made television appearances to laud disaster response and to point out how their preparedness had saved lives. They made no mention of the six-year-old.

Then at 11PM another quake– or perhaps an aftershock, accounts varied– shook the city. I was fast asleep but awoke long enough to look for my shoes in case the hotel ordered an evacuation. Two consecutive days of temblors clearly
worried people. “I’m not afraid” one bystander confided, ”but I’m wondering.”

I have lived and traveled in the Andes regularly since 1968, and this was my first experience with a seismic event. Quake and temblor, the expressions most often used to describe the phenomenon, now seem to me misapplied. Rather than trembling or quaking, the buildings I was in gently swayed, back and forth. Nothing fell from the shelves, no one ran into the streets, no sirens wailed. But movement was palpable, 5.1 on the Richter scale.

On the 15th terra firma returned. I left town that night with a group of tourists fresh from the Galapagos Islands. They hadn’t heard a thing.

Report from “Imagining Latina/o Studies Conference” in Chicago

There I was, humming the melody to Amor, amor by Andy Russell at a panel on Latin@ representation in mass media. Indeed, an innovative technique to engage the audience at an 8am presentation when some in attendance were still functioning in an earlier time zone 2 hours away.

international-latino-studies-conference-700x300This was one of the more than 100 panels encompassing 277 presentations as part of the inaugural International Latina/o Studies Conference. It had been in the planning since the 2012 Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in San Francisco when a group of scholars met informally and envisioned a LASA-like conference focusing solely on US Latin@ issues.

The result was an overwhelming show of support with more than 500 participants addressing multiple aspects of US Latin@ culture. Many of those attending were younger scholars quite active in social media, as the Twitter Archive of #lschi2014 shows.

Current issues like immigration were certainly at the forefront, along with literature, popular culture and even libraries. With barely 3 information professionals and a library intern, our presence was felt throughout the 3 days of presentations beyond a roundtable discussion devoted to archives and libraries.

*At a panel on Latino masculinities and sexuality one of the presenters lamented the absence of an author’s literary archive whose life had to be re-constructed from oral histories of those who knew him. This was an excellent opening to suggest that those histories be deposited in a library and make them available to future researchers.

*The presentation showcasing a decade of La Bloga was another opportunity to insinuate the importance of archiving a born-digital resource when some of the panelists themselves were not sure how to access early postings of the site that has already reached the one-millionth visitor mark.

*At one of the final presentations on alternative venues of cultural activism, it became apparent that one of Stanford’s collections would be most useful to document the history of a recently deceased Chilean activist. By coincidence,an independent filmmaker in the audience also inquired about another part of that archive.

*Above all, the group realized the importance of libraries and would ensure that a permanent space on its future executive board include a librarian.

Planning is already underway for a future conference in two years. The location has yet to be decided but it’s never too soon to seek ways in which libraries and archives can have a presence among those many interesting panels.

A last minute visit to the Art Institute only a few blocks away surprised with an unexpected exhibit on Mexican graphic art. What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print showcased the Institute’s extensive holdings from one of the best known groups of politically engaged artists in Latin America.

Adan Griego
Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Stanford University Libraries.

Enlace Fellow shares her experience at SALALM 59

Nora Domínguez

Nora Domínguez, Centro de Información y Documentación: Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Sociales y Desarrollo (INCEDES), e Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, (IGA)

Haber participado en SALALM fue un hecho de enorme satisfacción. Sabía de esta Comunidad Bibliotecaria desde mis años de estudiante de Licenciatura y muchos años después cuando  llegué a estudiar la Maestría de Bibliotecología a El Colegio de México, muchos de los profesores y profesionales de la Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas habían participado.

Además, el Congreso de este Año estuvo dedicado a un tema de mucha actualidad y por ello suscitó un gran interés, la reconfiguración de la familia tradicional, el embate que ha tenido la crisis económica sobre las familias latinoamericanas provocando el aumento del flujo migratorio y las nuevas identidades que se están configurando.

Me sentí como en casa. Los colegas de SALALM fueron muy expresivos, recibí de todos muchas muestras de afecto por el hecho de haber sido la acreedora este año de la Beca Enlace, lo que para mí fue un alto honor y se convierte en un compromiso.

En mi carrera profesional éste fue un evento excepcional, porque me permitió intercambiar con colegas de diferentes universidades estadounidense y algunos colegas latinoamericanos y pude aprender de todos y conocer del quehacer de los archivos y bibliotecas a favor de la gestión de las colecciones latinoamericanas, mismas que atesoran con esmero.

El encuentro con los libreros también fue muy importante al constatar el trabajo conjunto de ellos con los bibliotecarios y el conocimiento que tienen de la producción literaria latinoamericana y el importante rol que juegan en la selección y adquisición de nuevas obras.

Deseo dedicar una mención especial a Roberto Delgadillo por su apoyo desde el momento que me notificaron había sido ganadora de la Beca Enlace y a Sócrates Silva por su acompañamiento, ya que estuvo atento a cada duda y a cada necesidad que surgía. Muchas gracias.

 

Roberto Delgadillo Among ALA elected councilors


SALALM’s president, Roberto Delgadillo was elected  as Councilor-at-Large for a one-year term to begin at the end of the 2014 American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas and expire at the end of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. For more details of the official announcement, click here.

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: David Fernández

david fernandez

David Fernández is the third awardee of the SALALM Scholarship. David  learned about the SALALM Scholarship through his faculty (Faculty of Information Science /iSchool at the University of Toronto). He decided to submit an application for the scholarship after seeing a flyer posted by the office of the register at the Faculty of Information.

David knew about SALALM before applying to the scholarship as he regularly consulted a number of reference resources on the SALALM website for his research during his first year as a graduate student in Book History (e.g. History of Printing in Latin America: A Selected Bibliography by Patricia Figueroa.).

David recently graduated with his Master of Information at the Faculty of Information in the University of Toronto (June 2013).He has focused his education in Book History and Print Culture, bibliographical studies, and has studied the history of the book in Latin America at his home institution and, more recently, at the California Rare Book School in Los Angeles. He also attended the Rare Book School in Virginia University for the course on Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description this past summer.

What drew you to the field of Librarianship/Archival Studies?
My passion for books and for learning led me to a career in special collections and rare book librarianship. I think that the role of the rare book librarian goes beyond documenting, preserving, and making accessible the multiple manifestations of human knowledge in our collections. The rare book librarian is crucial in the digital era since we offer alternative approaches to learning and teaching as a result of our expertise in material history, bibliography, and special subjects in connection with our collections. This is a very exciting time for our profession as we are now beginning to see the benefits of digitization projects for scholarship and for collaboration and partnership among libraries in the Americas.

How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia?
I have a Bachelor degree from the University of Toronto; my major was in Latin American Studies with two minors in Spanish and Portuguese. I became interested in area studies since it has so much to offer students as a result of the multidisciplinary approach to learning and teaching. For instance, I studied Latin America by associating literature and history with a focus on the social history of texts. This early interest in these two disciplines led me to study the history of books in the region.

Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and /or travelling in Latin America?
I have travelled to the Caribbean and Mexico, where I have found books for my collection (history of books).  I am also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?
I have catalogued and conducted research on a special collection of Spanish Plays at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), where I worked for a year as a Graduate Student Library Assistant. The vast majority of the plays were printed in Madrid between 1840 and 1940, but these books reached Latin American audiences in cities like Mexico, Buenos Aires, and Havana. The books in this collection provide us with an insight into the cultural and commercial practices of theatre life in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, when the popular género chico or Spanish short theatre was thriving in Spain.

I am planning to continue working with this collection and, in the near future, catalogue and research a significant collection of Brazilian chapbooks or literature de cordel and other collections related to Latin American and Iberian history and literature at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?
No, but I plan to attend to the 2014 conference.

Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?
SALALM has served as a bridge between my professional training in librarianship and bibliography and my academic interests in the history of the book in Latin America. The Seminar is also a great community, since it stimulates interaction and communication among librarians, bibliographers, information specialists, and other members like book vendors and faculty around the topic of Latin American and Iberian library and archival materials and their value for knowledge.

Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?
The SALALM Scholarship was really useful during my second year. I used the funds to finish paying my tuition.

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