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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.

LACCHA visited Tulane’s Latin American Library’s archives

Sorry for the long delay posting about this but between conferences, getting married and working on my PhD (in addition to my daily work), it has been hard to find the time to post about our wonderful experience at Tulane.

During the week of August 12- 17, 2013, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) was in New Orleans for its annual meeting. LACCHA (The Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives), a SAA roundtable, was in town too for our business meeting. As it is my usual practice, I sent an announcement to the SALALM list to invite local SALALMistas to attend our meeting. It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from our Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director of The Latin American Library at Tulane University, inviting LACCHA members for an inside tour of their archives.

We were thrilled by the opportunity to tour one of the best Latin American and Caribbean collections in the United States, and although we didn’t get as many people to attend, the few that attended really enjoyed their time with our Hortensia Calvo and Chris Hernandez (Curator of Special Collections).

We had the pleasure of visiting the off-site facility for the Latin American Library’s Archives. Prior to housing the Latin American collection, the site was used to do conservation and preservation to the materials damaged by the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina. Today, it houses the archives until the Latin American Library finishes restoration works in their facility at Tulane.

Hortensia and Christine shared with us an amazing display of their wonderful treasures in their collection–eye candy for us Latin American archivists: Mesoamerican reliefs transfers done by Merle Greene, Mesoamerican codices, Fray Bartolome de las Casas first edition of Historia de la destrucción de las Indias, holographic letters from Hernán Cortez  and several copies of tourist books for Argentina and Uruguay.

As my colleague Silvia Mejía (State Library of Massachusetts) shared with me: “I think the trip to Tulane University was the highlight of SAA. Hortensia showed us items that so important and meaningful to us and for Hortensia and her staff to give us such welcoming was unforgettable. I went back to my institution and could not stop talking about the visit. It was clearly very special to me. All I can remember saying was wow! oh my god! every time she showed us a new item, I was literary speechless.”

We hope that this type of tour is the first one of many. We hope that we can connect with other SALALMistas in the future to arrange these types of tours and have a great exchange between librarians and archivists since we all share the same love to Latin America and the Caribbean!

Thank you again, Hortensia and Christine for opening your archives and sharing it with us!
If you want to see more pictures of our visit, follow this link to the LACCHA Fan Page.

Cordially,

Marisol Ramos
Librarian for Latin American & Caribbean Studies,
Latino Studies, Spanish, and Anthropology,
& Curator of Latina/o, Latin American and Caribbean Collections

Print, Digital & Rare share stage @ Guadalajara’s 2013 International Book Fair

programa-de-la-fil-2013_126445.jpg_34417.670x503After 25 years of spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), it still surprises and overwhelms a veteran bibliographer. This, the most important book event in the Spanish-speaking world, will host over 100 U.S. librarians and countless other profesionales del libro for 10 days.

Intense airport-like security did not deter the many book enthusiasts who crowded the domestic and international aisles on opening day. Commenting on the traffic jams caused by the visit of Israel’s foreign minister, a local taxista noted that he preferred it all than to blame Mexico if anything were to happen to anyone in the VIP delegation representing this year’s FIL featured country. Ya con los narcos es suficiente, alluding to the constant drug-related violence that gives Mexico negative publicity abroad.

Pabellón-área-del-libro-electrónicoThis year FIL housed an active space for e-books with on-going presentations showcasing the latest electronic products. Will Mexican publishers sign-on this year? Indeed, Mexico lags behind Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Chile in e-book production. A vendor visiting FIL for the first time was amazed at the variety of publishers not yet available digitally, “I have lots of work awaiting me,” he confessed. We in the academic sector also await a more robust and stable digital content that our eager users expect. Even when the not so eager cling to paper, “los ebooks han llegado para quedarse,” said a fellow Mexican colleague. As they claim a growing presence in our bibliographic holdings, the challenge remains: how to archive them and make them available for future users.

The independent press seemed better represented than in previous years. In addition to the collective stand of Mexico’s “indies,” La Furia del Libro (which we had noted in late 2012) was included in the Chilean stand. Likewise, Colombia’s independent publishers were both at the collective national stand and had their own booth (also noted in an earlier posting this year).

Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru had larger spaces than in previous years while Spain’s traditionally strong collective stand covered only a fraction of the country’s publishing output, a tangible sign of that country’s ongoing financial crisis. A colleague lamented the fact that Central America’s 2012 highly visible stand was no longer present, only Guatemala appeared to have a small booth.

Aisle “A” with multiple children’s literature offerings could attract the young and not so young. QCelogio2 And Mexico’s rich culinary tradition was highlighted in books on chiles rellenos from UNAM’s academic press, to a taco encyclopedia or a glossy book from Artes de Mexico, with a dust jacket suggesting anything but cocina mexicana!

Sometimes surprising finds were unexpected. While waiting for a colleague at the Argentine stand the iconic Mother of the Plaza de Mayo on a book cover caught my attention. Indeed, it was an award-winning children’s book: Abuelas con identidad. LIBRO ABUELAS CON IDENTIDAD

With an overwhelming series of events (conferences, book signings, concerts, etc) often the conversations were just starting to reach a high point when some arrived with a reminder that only a few minutes were left. Such was the case with a discussion of Cartas transpacíficas, an epistolary dialogue among two great public figures, the Lozoya brothers, one a diplomat educated in the US and the other a medical doctor who studied in the Soviet Union. “Tell them we’ll stay for their session and buy their book,” joked one of the panelists when told that the next group (in)patiently waited outside.

The exhibit Hebraica Texts at the Palafoxiana Libray, gathered unique treasures in honor of Israel as FIL’s featured country. The accompanying catalogue provided a window into the rich and unique holdings of Puebla’s noted rare book library.

LIAopeningEven outside the exhibit halls there were other book-related events. A group of bookarts supporters took a FIL break one afternoon to enjoy an exhibit of artist books. Favor de tocar showcased over 100 handcrafted books, product of a series of workshops hosted by Lia: Libro de Artista, a local collective of artists, printers and students of the art of the book.

FIL was to continue for several more days but an expected last minute excursion to the Instituto Cultural Cabañas closed my yearly visit to Guadalajara. Israeli photographer Gael de Cohen’s Amen presented 30 powerful images of Judaism, Christianity and Islam through the lives of ordinary Jerusalem citizens, all with an accompanying text that included the word Peace.
Libro de Texto Gratuito
Only a few doors down the hall Pintando la Educación showed 40 paintings from a variety of Mexican artists used to illustrate school textbooks. I still remember the emblematic cover of the patria from my elementary school days in Northern Mexico.

You can see images from a photo album by Mexican librarian Jesus Lau. Spain’s daily El Pais also provided special FIL-2013 coverage.

Adan Griego, Stanford University Libraries

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: Lisa Cruces

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Elizabeth “Lisa” Cruces

Elizabeth “Lisa” Cruces was the second awardee of the SALALM scholarship! Alison Hicks caught up with Lisa to ask her about her experiences since then.

Lisa earned her MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em Horns!) in May 2012, specializing in Archives and Academic Librarianship. She has dual bachelors degrees in History and International Studies, focusing on Latin America and is thinking about starting an MA. Lisa is currently the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame.

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

I initially started out only specializing in archives because of my interest in museum studies and public history but quickly became interested in connecting users with information and decided to add a concentration in Librarianship too.

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

I have been interested in Latin American Studies since I was very young. My heritage is Mexican and I earned dual bachelors degrees in History and International Studies, focusing on the Latin American sphere respectively. Spanish was my first language and thanks to my family and profession, I have been able to maintain near native fluency. I have experience traveling to Mexico and Panama, both for leisure and research.

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

During my first year of graduate school, I traveled to Panama to visit the National Archives. My visit and interviews with the archivists and public service officials explored archival enterprise and its significance to Panamanian society. The end result of the project was a poster,“A Case Study of Archives in Central America: El Archivo Nacional de Panamá.”, presented at national and regional conferences.

Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?

No, due to limited professional funding I was unable to attend the annual meeting.

(NB: Since Lisa was awarded the scholarship, the committee has established a further travel scholarship so awardees can attend the SALALM meeting)

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

Yes, immensely! SALALM helped promote my archival specialization: Latin American collections and increase my professional network. Also, being introduced to the SALALM community helped me expand my career path options and encouraged me to continue my focus on Spanish language collections.

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

Yes, the additional funding from the SALALM award helped fill a financial gap during my last semester of graduate school. With the funds I was able to register for an additional course and gain a second specialization in Academic Librarianship before exiting my graduate program.

Thanks, Lisa, and all the best for the future!

UNM Seeking Dean of Libraries and Learning Sciences

Reporting to UNM’s Provost, the Dean of the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences provides administrative leadership for all college operations and is responsible for positioning the college to enhance the university within the vision of the university’s strategic plan. The Dean leads the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences in its mission of supporting the needs of a rapidly growing research university, provides vision and direction as the College evolves to support research, learning, and teaching in the twenty-first century, and advocates for the college within the university and the larger community. The Dean develops strong relationships with Deans of other units, the Office of the Provost, the President, and other university administrators while promoting college programs that address the needs of students, staff, faculty, and the community, on and off-campus and online. The Dean oversees recruitment, retention, and evaluation of high-quality faculty and staff. The Dean will work collaboratively to fulfill the university’s educational and research mission through the provision of both traditional and innovative library resources and services. The Dean is responsible for the College’s fiscal resources and actively participates in development and grant activities. The Dean represents the college within the university and at the local, state national and international level.
For more information go to http://unmjobs.unm.edu and indicate posting# 0822876.

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: Timothy Thompson

Tim_Thompson_SALALM_Scholarship_Survey-1
Tim Thompson creating metadata for special materials from the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection

Tim Thompson was the first awardee of the SALALM Scholarship in Fall 2011. Jesus Alonso Regalado followed up with Tim to see how winning the inaugural SALALM Scholarship changed his life…

Tim earned his MLS at Indiana University Bloomington, with a specialization in Digital Libraries in December 2012. He has also earned an MA in English from Boston College in 2007. Concurrent with his MLS degree, he also earned an MA in Latin American and Caribbean studies from Indiana University Bloomington.

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

My journey to librarianship began in 2003, when I enrolled in a doctoral program in English at Boston College. By 2007, my interests had evolved significantly, and I had gravitated away from English as an academic discipline. During my time in Boston, I had become involved with the area’s sizable Brazilian immigrant community, and I had become more attuned to the social relevance of my career path. I was eager to chart a new professional course that would allow me to build on my prior academic experience while also doing work that could make a direct difference in people’s lives. Librarianship as a profession offers exciting opportunities to be a generalist and to work daily to broaden and facilitate people’s access to knowledge.

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

I had nurtured an increasing interest in Luso-Brazilian studies since around 2000, through friendships with Brazilian students during college. I have steadily improved my Portuguese language skills and cultural competency since then. Two years of my studies at Indiana University were funded by Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships in Portuguese. In 2011, I received a Boren Fellowship that allowed me to spend the year in Brazil, where I continued taking advanced language courses, and where I carried out independent research for my MA final paper (“Digital Libraries in the Context of Human Development: The Case of Brazil”). This July, I returned to Brazil to present the results of this research at the biannual conference of Brazil’s major library association.

Because I have focused so intently on Brazil, my Spanish language skills are not currently at the same level as my Portuguese skills. I am working to leverage my knowledge of Portuguese to improve my Spanish, ¡pero todavía tengo mucho trabajo por hacer!

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

In my current position as a Metadata Librarian at the University of Miami, I work almost exclusively with material from the university’s Cuban Heritage Collection. I am also about to begin a project working with an intern to further process and describe the Leila Míccolis Alternative Brazilian Press Collection, a large collection held by the university’s Special Collections division.

Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference? When and where?

Yes, I was able to attend my first SALALM conference this year. The fact that it was held in Miami made it very easy for me to attend. I also volunteered at the registration desk over the course of the conference.

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

I especially enjoyed learning about the archival and special collections of our neighbors in South Florida at Barry University and Florida International University (FIU).

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

I believe that the SALALM Scholarship made a positive difference when I was looking for employment. It is important to have a strong Web presence that potential employers can take notice of, and having a profile as a scholarship winner on the SALALM webpage is a great asset.

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

The scholarship helped fund my final semester of studies at Indiana University. I took a Digital Humanities seminar and worked on writing my MA final paper in Latin American and Caribbean studies.

Thanks, Tim, and congratulations once again!

Book Hunting at LIBER-Madrid 2013 and Beyond

1377457_10151690533372536_446472565_nAfter a two year absence both LIBER and SALALM librarians returned to Madrid for the annual book festival that alternates between Spain’s two largest cities. This year Chile was the featured country.

For me it all started several hours after arriving on a Sunday morning, ever so eager to discover the new librerías showcased in the daily El País. I had the advantage of a local tour guide to supplement the list: New York author Lawrence Schimel (who has lived in Madrid for more than a decade). We began with a stop at a small book store hosted by the NGO Grupo 2013. The afternoon ended with a visit to La Central de Callao, where we ran into Victoire Chevalier from e-libro and Lluís Pastor, president of the Unión de Editoriales Universitarias Españolas! Never say that print and digital don’t go hand in hand. The contrast between both locales could not be more different: Libros Libres, overflowing with loosely organized used books and a more upscale clientele at one of the newest bookshops in Madrid with 4 floors where you could spend a day with a relaxing cup of café con leche.

The second day in Madrid started at Librería Berkana in the Chueca neighborhood, where signs of an ongoing financial crisis are very visible: empty store fronts and people begging for money. A year ago, Mili Hernández, activist, publisher and bookshop owner proudly announced at a panel discussion that e-books would soon be part of her publishing output. She has listened to suggestions from librarians and plans to make them available via digital platforms familiar to library users.

The day’s book hunting continued to the Antonio Machado bookshop by the Círculo de Bellas Artes museum. The current photo exhibit on Francesc Català-Roca will have to wait until the next day. A 2pm lunch was still far away in the agenda, allowing for a stop across the street at the Catalan Cultural Center. Only two weeks earlier the Center’s bookstore had been attacked by far right extremists during the celebrations of Catalan independence day, highlighting the political tensions between Madrid’s central government and Barcelona’s plight for a home-rule referendum.

996622_10151688743247536_1498869184_nThe annual Fall Antiquarian Book Fair was only a block away, providing a logical end to a morning full of novedades and some not so new book titles, but certainly new Stanford’s library. Perhaps this year we will reach the record 1,800 new approval titles from Spain! In yet another sign of a struggling economy, this time there were fewer stands that would have covered up to three blocks of the pedestrian mall of Paseo de Recoletos, the tree-lined boulevard in the central part of the city. But it’s lunch time and I’ve been waiting for long time, if only there were a place with comida casera!

My first full day ended with an early tapas dinner at Plaza de Santa Ana where I met a library colleague who alerted me to an interesting digital project: Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano. The last time I visited this popular square there was an outdoor asamblea popular held by the original occupiers: the 2011 indignados, precusors to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

LIBER opens in one day and there are still plenty of book shops to visit. This time is on to Malasaña where Arrebato Libros houses an extensive selection of poetry chapbooks and fanzines, certainly something an Almodovar movie character would enjoy and may just walk-in at anytime! Alfonso Vijil (Libros Latinos) will take several items and Stanford’s library will see its cartonero holdings augmented with a long list of titles from one of Spain’s alternative publishers of hand-made cardboard books. The excursion would not be complete without a stop-over at La Estampa art gallery. Its Biblioteca Americana has published 10 profusely illustrated limited edition fine books devoted to a Latin American country, with several more to come before the series is complete.

It’s time for lunch but with lots of energy the two SALAMIstas will continue to the Antiquarian book fair, which remains open during the sacred hora de la comida that still closes many commercial establishments. Congress is considering a move to another time zone, which would bring structural changes to the country’s traditionally late eating hours compared to the rest of Europe.

For dinner it would be a second visit for the best home-made gazpacho at Marsot. To top it all, they welcome everyone with hola chicos!. For those that have crossed the 50-something barrier, that’s a gem of a greeting, n’est-ce pas?

Finally, on to LIBER. Mili Hernandez has offered a ride and since all of us are not quite familiar with the new locale, the prospect of getting lost, but in good company is most appealing. Besides, the ride comes with an unforgettable lesson in local politics from one of the country’s best known activists who does not shy away from criticizing cultural policies from the current conservative government.
(more…)

Enlace Fellows share their experiences at SALALM 58

Asistir a SALALM 2013 es un encuentro bibliotecario interesante porque es un lugar en dónde se reúnen los bibliotecario de las diferentes bibliotecas para tratar archivos y documentación sobre Latino América.

Para la Red de Bibliotecas Comunitarias Riecken ha sido un privilegio por compartir en estas conferencias lo que hacemos para facilitar información en comunidades rurales, la promoción de la lectura y fortalecimiento de la cultura e identidad de pueblos originarios. Pero al mismo tiempo conocer el esfuerzo que hace para preservar y compartir información latinoamericana entre universidades.

Es un evento importante para poder compartir información sobre publicaciones de la región; se puede generar acercamientos a universidades para generar intercambio latinoamericano; la diversidad de los contenidos de las conferencias están organizadas de tal manera que los bibliotecarios pueden llegar a las conferencias que más le interesa. Hay intercambio y se proponen pasos a seguir para mejorar el trabajo de las secciones latinoamericanas.

Cuando tengas oportunidad de llegar a este evento, no dudes en ir te va a encantar, no olvides llevarte una maleta para cargar nuevas ideas e información para tu trabajo bibliotecario.

Marco Israel Quic Cholotío, Bibliotecas Comunitarias Riecken, Guatemala

Enlace2013Fellows

“Enseñar no es una función vital, porque no tienen el fin en sí misma;
la función vital es aprender.”
Aristóteles

Tener la oportunidad de presentar la ponencia titulada “Aproximación al tesauro del huipil tradicional triqui de San Andrés Chicahuaxtla” y haber sido seleccionada para recibir la beca de Enlace fue muy importante debido a diversos aspectos.

El primero es que esta fue desarrollada a partir de un trabajo que elaboré como tesis de maestría que no había sido presentado en ningún otro lugar, fue mi primer participación en un congreso y mi primer ponencia de manera  formal, además pude contar con los recursos necesarios para realizar el viaje y tuve  la posibilidad de dar a conocer, aunque sea de manera muy general, el pueblo indígena triqui y un poco de todo el trabajo que las tejedoras triquis me compartieron para poder llevar a cabo el proyecto.

Durante seis días pude conocer procesos y proyectos de información y documentación que se están llevando a cabo o que ya se realizaron en o desde diferentes unidades de información (Bibliotecas, museos, centros de investigación, etc.), muchos de ellos desde la iniciativa de bibliotecarios,  en y desde diferentes países y que para mí en lo personal y para mi trabajo profesional son de mucha utilidad, trascendencia e importancia debido principalmente a la temática, y que de otro modo difícilmente habría identificado.

Pero lo más importante de todo, es que pude comprobar algo… siempre he creído que la bibliotecología en la actualidad requiere de profesionistas dispuestos a trabajar a partir de la interdisciplinariedad, con apertura hacia el uso y manejo de tecnologías, con amplio conocimiento de la profesión, con iniciativa, con visión y amplia creatividad y con conciencia de que ser bibliotecario tiene como uno de sus principios el bien común, y esto lo pude vivir muy de cerca en el seminario.

Gracias por la oportunidad.

Patricia Alejandra Méndez Zapata, Biblioteca Fray Juan de Córdova, Centro Académico y Cultural San Pablo, Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú, Oaxaca, México.

La Industria Editorial de México en el “Global Market Forum” de BookExpo America 2013

BookExpo no es la feria más apropiada para un bibliotecario latinoamericanista. Destinos como las ferias del libro de Guadalajara, Buenos Aires y Bogotá son mucho más fructíferos para encontrar nuevos títulos, conectar con editores y familiarizarse con nuevas tendencias en la industria editorial latinoamericana.

Este año, BookExpo nos ofrecía algo de interés. Su “Global Market Forum” se centraba en la industria editorial mexicana. Esta ocasión ofrecía una excelente oportunidad para dialogar sobre la situación actual del libro mexicano en la feria del libro más importante de Estados Unidos de América.  El programa se presentaba bajo el lema “Reading México

El programa de conferencias tuvo lugar el 29 de Mayo.  Se comenzó ofreciendo un panorama de la industria editorial mexicana. Interesantes los datos ofrecidos por Roberto Banchik Rothschild (Random House Mondadori): el 70% de las ventas de libros se concentran en seis editoriales globales: Planeta, Santillana, Oceano, Random House Mondadori, Ediciones B y Urano.   Al 30% restante, se dedicó la siguiente sesión centrada en editoriales independientes mexicanas representadas  por editores con diversos años de experiencia en el oficio: Marcelo Uribe (Ediciones Era), Diego Rabasa (Sexto Piso) y Guillermo Quijas (Almadía). En algún momento de la charla, se señaló que la media de títulos publicados por una editorial independiente mexicana ronda los 25.  Esta cifra me hizo reflexionar sobre la inexistencia de al menos una copia de estos libros en las bibliotecas estadounidenses. Estamos hablando de pocos títulos. Por lo tanto, esto no es un problema de fondos para su adquisición como de una necesidad de una mejor coordinación y un aumento de los programas de desarrollo de colecciones cooperativos.

Dos de las sesiones de la tarde se dedicaron a la cadena del libro y a proyectos digitales.  Con respecto al primer tema, se habló de todo el proceso de producción y distribución. Me resultó sorprendente que no se tratara la cuestión de la distribución de libros electrónicos desde México al resto del mundo.  Me pregunto si esto significa que la única manera de conseguir libros electrónicos mexicanos será a través de las grandes compañías que ofrecen servicios bibliotecarios en Estados Unidos (EBSCO, Proquest-Ebrary- , Overdrive) o especializadas en libros en español u otras lenguas como Casalini y Digitalia. ¿Se puede permitir el ecosistema del libro mexicano el lujo de ignorar este eslabón de la cadena del libro?  ¿Podrá así sobrevivir su diversidad? ¿Quién distribuirá aquellos libros mexicanos independientes que no sean rentables para las grandes compañías? Preguntas todavía sin respuestas. Durante la sesión dedicada a proyectos digitales, Gustavo Flores presentó una serie de interesantes proyectos en curso concebidos por CONACULTA. Asimismo, Maurits Montañez mostró algunas de las excelentes aplicaciones para dispositivos móviles que ha creado la empresa Manuvo como la versión interactiva del poema “Muerte Sin Fin” de José Gorostiza.

Stand de México en BookExpo 2013

40 editoriales participaron en el stand de México.  La sensación subjetiva al pasear por el stand era que la mayor parte de las publicaciones eran de CONACULTA y del Fondo de Cultura Económica. La diversidad de la industria editorial Mexicana se notaba con la presencia de Almadía, Trilce y algunas más pero el número de títulos de las editoriales independientes era exiguo. De todas maneras, es digno de agradecer la presencia de algunas joyitas presentes como la obra “Migrar” de José Manuel Mateo y Javier Martínez Pedro publicado por ediciones Tecolote que narra la experiencia de un niño en su camino migrante a Estados Unidos. Un libro que debería formar parte no sólo de bibliotecas infantiles sino también de bibliotecas académicas. Y la obra “El libro negro de los colores” de Merena Cottin y Rosana Fría publicado también por ediciones Tecolote . Un hermoso libro, todo negro, con dibujos en relieve y que incluye el texto en lenguaje Braille.

Jesús Alonso-Regalado

University at Albany, SUNY

@jalonsoregalado

Bogota’s 2013 Book Fair: A Brief “Recorrido”


By the time I arrived in Colombia’s capital for the 2013 Bogotá Book Fair (Filbo) the book festival had already opened its doors to the public, with a group of SALAMistas among those in attendance. A la caza de los libros noted Wisconsin’s Paloma Celis Carbajal as she joined an eager weekend crowd of book enthusiasts.


One of the first stops was Arte Dos Gráfico. Our library already holds a large selection of their artist books, and after a two year absence from the Fair, there were bound to be novedades to enhance ours and the collections of other SALALM libraries.

Thanks to my SALALM colleagues who had already explored the many pabellones, on my first day at the fair I knew I should stop by the aisle housing several independent publishers: Luna, Laguna, and La Silueta that were new to many of us. Their collective output ranged from detective fiction to graphic novels. Along with Tragaluz, they provided a representative sample of quality titles from the independent press.


The ever present e-book could also be found at Filbo, and not just at the “bigigies.” The independents have realized that a new community of readers expects digital content and some of them now sell e-book cards at over 12 bookshops in Bogotá where lectores can buy an e-book and upload it to their laptop, ipad, etc. They are also available for several e-readers. An adventurer SALAMista wanted some detective fiction and bought an e-card on the spot. We hope to hear a report on that experience.


The fair is divided into several pabellones, with some publishers having a presence at all of them, often confusing but also reminding a tired Californian of the variety of Colombia’s publishing output. This year Portugal was the featured country and fair publicity included several allusions to a “sea of books” that “engulfed the reader.”

At one of the booths selling remainders “from the best publishers in the world,” the vendedor seemed certain that my accent was from Spain and asked if I knew the Nobel laureates from the other side of the Atlantic. I named what I could remember (Cela, Benavente and Echegaray) and he asked, “were they any good?” I was tempted to give him the polite version of NPI (no puedo informarle), but opted for “algunos mas que otros.”

Wondering through a sea of books one can find the unexpected, like a cookbook (Cocina criolla cartagenera de Veddá Veddá, OCLC: 757913880) from Transformemos, which has been honored at a culinary contest in Paris, as the radio report notes. An earlier video showcased the proud Cartageneros long before their recetas de cocina were to become an international sensation.

After an exhausting 2 days at the crowded Corferia aisles, a late afternoon excursion to the movies became an adventure through a cartelera dominated by foreign titles, with only one Colombian production that turned out to be the right choice: Roa. The film explores the 1948 killing of a well-known political leader in what became the Bogotazo, that left more than 3,000 dead and ushered in a period of political violence. It’s based on the novel El crimen del siglo and has been reissued with the protagonist on the cover to capitalize on what is certain to become a local hit, which we hope can reach the art house circuit in the United States.


Although he has lived away for many years, Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia’s Nobel laureate, dominates the literary scene and he is being introduced to a new generation of readers via a graphic novel (Gabo memorias de una vida mágica) published simultaneously in Colombia and Spain.


On the last day the weather indicated rain and a visit to Librería Lerner seemed like good way to supplement Filbo’s offering. The Lerner-Norte staff endured the capricious requests of 2 SALAmistas, at times bombarding the knowledgeable Don Willie with an avalanche of non-existent titles: “todas la reinas in the title and published by la gallina ciega,” insisted yours truly. Don Willie patiently looked around and found it, Locas de felicidad (OCLC: 611409632) published by La iguana ciega!

The 2013 Filbo will be open to the public for 14 days. It expects over 400,000 vistors, among them would have been a group of SALALM and REFORMA librarians whose visit was supported by book fair organizers: Cámara Colombiana del Libro and Proexport. The group’s visit was highlighted on the book fair’s blog.

Adan Griego,
Curator for Iberoamerican Collections
Stanford University Libraries

Images/Photos
1) Feria del Libro

2) Hortensia Calvo (Tulane), Teresa Chapa (North Carolina-Chapel Hill), courtesy of Adan Griego

3) E-books, courtesy of Adan Griego

4) Entrance to Portugal’s Pabellón, courtesy of Paloma Celis-Carbajal (Wisconsin)

5) Gabo graphic novel, publisher image.

6) Lerner Book shop staff, courtesy of Adan Griego

7) SALALM librarians, courtesy of Adan Griego

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