Saturday November 1st 2014

Pages

Insider

Archives

‘SALALM Speaks’ Archives

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.

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

2013-11-03 10 49 57 (2)

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!

 Page 1 of 13  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last » 

Latest Topics

Apply Here

Apply Here

Apply for the SALALM Conference Attendance Scholarship here.   [Read More]

Fall 2014 Newsmakers

Meagan Lacy, Information Literacy Librarian at Guttman Community College at The City University of New York, is the [Read More]

Head, Latin American and Caribbean Collection (LACC) Assistant University or Associate University Librarian

Head, Latin American and Caribbean Collection (LACC) Assistant University or Associate University Librarian The George [Read More]