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Sign up for the May 16 Webinar: Collecting for Latin America & Spain

Adán Griego, Curator for Iberoamerican and Mexican American Collections at Stanford University

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The Latino population in our country is growing and, with it, the demand for culturally relevant information.  Library users in academic and public libraries want more materials about Latin American and Latino issues – especially from the perspective of those cultures.  At the same time, libraries are facing difficult economic challenges, resulting in staff shortages and the necessity for some librarians to assume new roles and collect in subject areas and languages that are unfamiliar to them.

This 90-minute webinar will address these concerns by providing tangible selection tools for collecting materials in Latin American and Latino Studies and Spanish Literature.  Other discussion topics will include publishing trends and strategies for effectively using these resources regardless of Spanish-speaking ability.  Tailored to the non-specialist and new professional, this webinar is a must-see for anyone who wants to build her knowledge and confidence about collecting materials in these disciplines.

The session will be hosted by Adán Griego, Curator for Iberoamerican and Mexican American Collections at Stanford.  Having held this position since 1996, Adán is always looking for those unique or rare items (photos, manuscripts, posters, books) that will enhance collections.  A former president of SALALM, Adán is also a REFORMA life-time member and is active in ALA. This webinar is co-sponsored by SALALM and the ALA International Relations Office.

New Publications: Fall 2011

Luis A. González (Indiana University) contributed to Collecting Global Resources (SPEC Kit 324), a national survey of North American research libraries organized by the Area Studies Department of the Herman B. Wells Library at Indiana University and published by the Association of Research Libraries (Washington, DC, 2011). The executive summary from this SPEC Kit is available here (http://www.arl.org/news/pr/spec324-20september11.shtml).

 

Peter T. Johnson and  Rhonda Neugebauer (University of California, Riverside) each contributed a chapter to Riobó, Carlos, ed. Cuban Intersections of Literary and Urban Spaces. Albany: State University of New York, 2011. Johnson’s chapter is entitled “Reading and Researching: Challenges and Strategies for Cubans” and Neugebauer’s chapter is called “Impact of the Bookmobile to Cuba Project on Library Outreach Services in Granma Province, Cuba” and deals with the Bookmobile to Cuba Project.

 

Ana María Cobos (Saddleback College) and Phil MacLeod (Emory University) have co-authored a chapter in John Ayala and Salvador Güereña, eds. Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship. Libraries Unlimited, 2011. ISBN 978-1-59158-644-9

 

Holly Ackerman (Duke University) is a contributing editor and author of several essays in a two-volume set released by Scribner’s Sons titled Cuba, Culture, History­ by Alan West Durán.  A joint project between Cuban and U.S. scholars, it contains 300 essays – half by island scholars and half from U.S./Europe. It will be out as an ebook in January. Congratulations to Holly! — Hortensia Calvo, Tulane University

Congratulations to all!

Using RSS for Collection Development

This first appeared in the October 2009 issue of SALALM newsletter, as part of the web 2.0 column. Please contact alison.hicks @ colorado.edu for more information.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: RSS is the most useful tool in the web 2.0 world. If you only have time to play with one tool, make it RSS. If you’re already using RSS to keep up with your favourite blogs, cartoons and cake wrecks, it’s time you considered using it for collection development too. What is RSS? RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is used to receive automatic updates from a web page. An RSS feed is simply a list of new information that appears on a website. New material is automatically gathered into one place in a feed reader, arranged to be read, skimmed or saved for later, in one format that is easy to save or send by e-mail. Content updates exist for websites, blogs, searches – everything! For more information, see the ‘RSS in Plain English’ video.

Keeping abreast of contemporary fiction is a challenge, particularly for a new librarian when it is published a foreign country. Media outlets do not always pick up new and first-time authors until they win an award and furthermore, it is becoming hard to rely on published book reviews. Owing to the economic crisis in traditional journalism, many newspapers are cutting Literary Editor positions and reducing the number of book reviews (as demonstrated by Library Journal’s initial decision to close Críticas, for example.) At the same time, a new breed of book reviewer had emerged – the literary blogger. Although many decry the rise of the ‘over-opinionated and under-qualified dilettante’, literary bloggers often provide an alternative viewpoint, picking up on many titles and authors that are ignored by the major publishing houses’ marketing.

One of the central tenets of Web 2.0 is the facilitation of communication, using the Web as a two-way conversation rather than solely as an information provider. While we are extremely lucky to be able to rely on the specialized knowledge of the SALALM libreros, librarians also need to take advantage of this paradigm shift. Subscribing to personal blogs, small-scale literary magazines and newsletters through RSS means that the Internet can be used to develop a wider knowledge of recent publications as well as a barometer to gauge cultural and literary developments from within a country.

A good place to start finding literary information is to scour regular, foreign and speciality (such as Technorati, Blogalaxia, Blogazos) search engines for literary blogs. Search for key authors, literature prizes or recent literary news to find relevant bloggers. Most bloggers also provide links to the blogs that they read, which can be mined for further examples. Other sources of information include literary-prize websites, newsletters, literary associations, journals and magazines. Recently, book review aggregators have sprung up, which can make keeping up to date even more efficient. (Culture Critic, Complete Review.) I subscribe to around 20-30 sources, which gives me insight into formal and informal literary developments in the country in question without becoming overloaded. Obviously, a certain number of articles hold no interest for me, or overlap with others, but it is easy to skim through articles, and the inevitable overlap assures me that enough bases are being covered.

I channel these feeds into one super feed through Yahoo! Pipes. For more information about how to set up a yahoo pipe, please see my mini tutorial. Look at my sources here.

Alison Hicks
University of Colorado, Boulder

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