Saturday March 25th 2017

Money Matters 6 (2014-2015)

Money Matters 6

Fiscal Year 2014 – 2015


Certainly the highlight of the year was our 60th annual Conference, hosted by Princeton University’s Library and Program in Latin American, and held in various historical buildings that characterize this beautiful campus. The program focused on Brazil with many insightful sessions devoted to research trends, library resources, and included an excellent keynote address by Professor Lilia Moritz Schwarz (Universidade de São Paulo) on the significance for Brazil of the Portuguese Royal Library being relocated to Rio de Janeiro. We are indebted to President Luis A. González and Conference hosts Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez and Timothy Thompson for enabling us to spend such a beneficial time together. The dedicated work that the Princeton colleagues and staff brought to this successful program is much appreciated. Thirty-five years earlier President Dan C. Hazen welcomed to Princeton SALALM 30 for Latin American Masses and Minorities: The Images and Realities, and at the 60th we paid homage to him following his untimely death. As a leader and mentor, his vision and commitment to area studies research collections are lasting contributions to institutions and individuals. In the spirit of his engagement with library and archival materials, we created the Dan C. Hazen SALALM Fellowship designed to support members conducting either original research or enrolling in a professional development program. This Fellowship joins our SALALM Conference Attendance Scholarship which enabled five M.A. candidates in information science or archival programs to experience the 60th. Three ENLACE Travel Award becarios joined us as well, coming from Brazil, Chile and Ecuador.

We ended the Fiscal Year with total assets of $1,002,427.40 and total liabilities of $4,044.36. Details are elsewhere in this report and the SALALM Financial Report FY Sept. 1, 2014 – Aug. 31, 2015. Basically, we are financially solid because we have a steady and faithful membership, our Conferences prove to be of high value, and we have in the Secretariat careful and practical administration under the Executive Director Hortensia Calvo and Program Coordinator Carol Avila. Because of these factors, we have been able to engage in new initiatives noted above, introducing SALALM to new populations and strengthening our own members. In rapidly changing times, SALALM remains relevant thanks to the thought, ideas and work of many members.


The Treasurer reports to membership about the past fiscal year’s financial results and provides spreadsheets with full details of income and expenditures. Summaries of much of this information are also presented during various meetings at the Annual Conference, and at its Town Hall. As good citizens everywhere recognize, knowledge of the financial operations and management of organizations dedicated to their welfare merits consistent attention and familiarity. Being involved with one or more of SALALM’s many activities and commitments should bring to mind the financing of our endeavors as well as serve to suggest recommendations for improving our relevance to the evolving professional responsibilities members hold in their workplace.

For this FY our total revenue was $106,161 and total expenses $70,875 as reported on the IRS990 which is the required annual Federal tax filing for non-profit organizations. The IRS categories and definitions vary in some cases from how SALALM categorizes income and expenses so our Treasurer’s and Secretariat’s annual financial reports contain some differences albeit the figures ultimately concur. TIAA-CREF management of our endowment provides full accounting for transactions. We treat this account apart from the Secretariat accounts because funds are administered separately.

The 60th Annual Conference in Princeton received income of $39,125.64, with $7,521of that being contributions to the Libreros’ reception. This enjoyable gathering is a separate, self-funding event given by the Libreros and not SALALM or the Conference’s host institution. Full accounting will appear in the FY 2015/16 report.

SALALM is more than a professional organization for indeed it is a community of individuals with shared interests and commitments. Significant time and expertise contribute to this community as do the donations beyond the membership fee. Monetary contributions for the Endowment ($459), Travel Attendance Scholarship ($1,187) and ENLACE ($4,127) amounted to $5,773 and an additional estimated value of $1,000 for the ENLACE raffle prizes. We are appreciative and thankful to all who select SALALM as worthy to receive their contributions that enable us to expand and strengthen our programs.


Personal and institutional memberships remain our primary source of operating income. Total personal memberships of all categories stood at 208 individuals, and institutional at 95 of which 24 are sponsoring members. Our dues structure has remained unchanged for a number of years thereby making SALALM not only affordable to all but also a great value. Don’t keep us a secret! Encourage your colleagues and students considering a career involving research facilities with Latin American, Caribbean and/or Iberian content to join SALALM. With the prepayment plan of three years, members can avoid the annual renewals each September, so please consider this option for saving time.

Active committee and subcommittee participation has always been a key to SALALM’s appeal. Ideas and problems receive open discussion, personal networks develop, and the mix of generations enables different types of expertise to inform these meetings. Through involvement in one or more committees a great deal of practical learning occurs that directly and indirectly serves to strengthen one’s abilities in the workplace. In many instances committee work continues throughout the year making for especially productive sessions at the annual Conference. Over the course of years strong leadership skills may develop as witnessed by the number of Latin American specialists who become department heads or library administrators.

Some important initiatives are ongoing to foster such development and enhance the overall value of SALALM for itself and the profession. To cite four examples: the mentorship program overseen by Barbara Alvarez, the Roda Viva panels organized by Alison Hicks, new member profiles on LALA-L and the Facebook page by Adán Griego, and the SALALM Conference Attendance Scholarship for MA-level candidates in archival or library information science programs with co-chairs Mary Jo Zeter and Alison Hicks. These along with other projects strive to bring new ideas and networking to SALALM members. Suggest ideas for other initiatives to the Executive Director, President and Executive Board.

Annual Conference

This remains our most important activity and as such, constitutes a major commitment of time by many members and of expenditures by SALALM. Host institutions provide substantial financial and in-kind assistance, thereby significantly reducing costs to SALALM, yet providing the valuable opportunity for attendees to visit a campus, see extraordinary research materials, and meet faculty dedicated to our areas of interest. In financial terms we have come to rely upon host institutions able to secure reasonably priced lodging and meeting rooms, as well as to underwrite some of the conference’s costs of local transport, printing, IT, and personnel to assist at registration. Profits from conferences contribute appreciably to help support locations where lower cost facilities and services prove difficult to obtain.

The ENLACE Travel Award enables librarians and archivists to attend, participate in a session with a formal presentation, and network with SALALM members. Over the years these fellowships have enriched our programs and knowledge while giving our colleagues in the Caribbean and Latin America a valuable experience at a professional meeting and exposure to different research collections during visits to the sponsoring campus. SALALM provides annually $1,000 that is supplemented by ENLACE’s own efforts including the raffle at the Libreros’ reception, this year receiving $1,843, donations from thirty-four members for $784 when renewing membership, and a special donation of $1,500 from Susanne Bach Books from Brazil. Our thanks to all for continuing to support this essential part of our Conference.

The SALALM Scholarship continued to evolve during its fourth year with emphasis on attending the Annual Conference. Five Travel Scholarships of $1,500 each were awarded, and forty-three members donated $1,187 toward this project.


Based at Tulane University’s Latin American Library, the Secretariat is the administrative part of SALALM responsible for maintaining our daily operations that include receiving income and dispersing checks to meet such expenses as editing conference papers, printing SALALM publications, conference-related charges, and banking that includes credit cards, PayPal, and bank charges. The Senior Program Coordinator Carol Avila’s salary and benefits, both within the pay and benefit structure of Tulane, come entirely from SALALM but are paid into the Tulane account, thereby making the position wholly one of the University and not of SALALM. From an administrative and financial perspective, this arrangement is highly beneficial to SALALM. Although only a part-time University employee, her deep interest and keen eye keep the various accounts accurate and payments prompt. Her responsibilities have broadened considerably as SALALM evolves with new initiatives and technology mandates that change old procedures. Hosting the Secretariat involves a major commitment for the institution to provide personnel (i.e., the Executive Director who is not compensated by SALALM for her services), space and such services as telephone, IT assistance, mailroom support and access to student assistants. In addition, Tulane provides SALALM with server space where our website resides. This institutional commitment by Tulane represents a notable, and much appreciated, cost savings that in turn enables SALALM to expend its capital on various projects supporting our programs and maintaining low administrative costs. Our program service expenses came to $58,717 (of which $14,059 went to our various fellowships), and management and general expenses to $12,158 (of which $7,106 is the management fee for the endowment).

Budget planning

Although regular expenditures such as salaries, editing, printing, and bank charges are fairly predictable and form the core of each year’s budget proposal for the Finance Committee and Executive Board, the evolving interests of membership and arising opportunities present some challenges to calculate costs and to ensure that such expenditures are feasible given our income. For several years, committee and subcommittee chairs have had the opportunity to develop budget proposals well in advance of the annual meetings of the Finance Committee. More forward thinking and discussion about what SALALM should do in the future must occur throughout the year, so that well-reasoned decisions can emerge during the annual meetings of the Finance Committee.


As is the case with most non-profit organizations dedicated to education and research, an endowment is essential for securing operations during times of financial shortfalls, as well as to provide an income stream to support pilot projects and special initiatives. The income sources include donations and bequests from members, reinvested interest, dividends and capital gains, and income from membership dues. Donations began in FY 1979 – 1980 and annually the option appears with the membership renewal form.

TIAA-CREF began managing our account 3 July 2013. Following discussions with the Finance Committee, I meet periodically with our portfolio manager to discuss the investments and potential needs of withdrawals to support our programs. Our asset allocation tends toward the conservative: US fixed income 44%, US equities 32%, international equities 14%, international fixed income 4%, real estate 3% and cash 3%. We began the FY with $978,352.51 and ended with $950,671.84. The management fee was $7,106, donations from twenty-five members for $459, and investment income amounted to $26,973. No withdrawals to support programs or administration were made.


SALALM’s stability and success also comes from the dedicated work of many volunteers. We are all indebted to Melissa Gasparotto for her oversight and problem solving with our website. This vital source experiences an admirable stability given her attention and the quality of Tulane’s technical staff. Betsaida Reyes handles the content — often a good deal of posting. Our social media sites are overseen by Alison Hicks. Gayle Williams continues her dedication to keeping our listserv LALA-L available for new information, research queries and communications from the various parts of SALALM and Adán Griego handles our Facebook presence. Overseeing and leading all of our processes is Hortensia Calvo, Executive Director. Her attention to SALALM’s operating procedures and requirements, details, calendars, work flows, relations with a range of organizations, and provision of support to the President and annual Conference hosts proves essential for our success as an organization as well as being an example within the profession that area specialists wield knowledge and skills essential to this type of administrative responsibility.

Peter T. Johnson, Treasurer, 16 February 2016
Attachment: SALALM_FinancialReport_FY09012014to08312015

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