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SALALMistas at ALA-New Orleans 2011

A dozen SALALM members attended ALA’s annual conference in New Orleans this past June. The group’s presence was felt at an ideally located booth, which had a definite local flair with beads and other colorful adornments. The stand was ready for visitors on Friday (6/24) and closed on Monday (6/27).

The day before (6/23) SALALM and other library groups/associations participated in the 2011 Spectrum Institute Professional Options Fair organized by ALA’s Diversity Office and sponsored by OCLC Inclusion Initiative. The event hosted more than 100 current MLS students from Library Schools all over the country. Hortensia Calvo and I talked to about 20 of these Spectrum Scholars who saw the words “Latin America” at our table.

Our collective presence at the exhibit hall made possible a visit to the aisle hosting several library schools. Hortensia and I met several of the representatives and gave them informational handouts about SALALM, ALZAR and ISIS. Some knew we existed, and for others we were a new group on their radar screen. SALALM members at institutions with MLIS program are encouraged to ensure not only that our informational materials are visible to students but to “insinuate” ourselves as Latin American Studies Librarianship ambassadors to any job fair events for information professionals.

The conference also provided opportunities to learn about new products. Hortensia, Sean Knwolton and I were at a presentation where Oxford Bibliographies Online showcased their upcoming Latin American Studies file. I asked about pricing models and noted that the traditional formula of all campus FTE was not applicable for a product that would have a much more reduced number of users. A few days earlier I had expressed that same concern to another vendor of Spanish language ebooks. This issue was also raised at an ebook panel at Philadelphia’s SALALM conference. Vendors appear to understand that a different pricing model is needed and it’s really up to us to come up with a well documented alternative.

Thanks to all those who volunteered: Myra Appel, Roberto Delgadillo, Tony Harvell, Deb Raftus, John Wright, Sean Knowlton, Denise Stuempfle, Cecilia Sercán, and Michael Scott. Very special thanks to Hortensia Calvo and Carol Avila from SALALM’s Executive Secretariat who covered much of the three days of the exhibit.

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