Sunday August 31st 2014

Pages

Insider

Archives

Posts Tagged ‘Howard Karno’

From the President

SALALM: A Big Extended Family

One of the reasons that SALALM is so unique is that we are like a big extended family.  When someone joins SALALM, she/he becomes a member of an extended family whose relatives are scattered all over Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States.

When one of our members is ill or passes away, the whole family mourns.  Recently, two members of the SALALM family passed way: Howard Karno and tatiana de la tierra.  My personal connection with Howard Karno was somewhat sporadic and brief, mostly at SALALM receptions.  However, his warm and friendly presence together with his contagious laughter was always comforting and reassuring.   Our deep sentiments for this big loss are well expressed in David Block’s “Howard Karno – In Memoriam” post.

tatiana de la tierra.  Who will not remember her down-to-earth name and her affirming presence?  If you ever met tatiana once, you will never have forgetten her.  I met tatiana for the first time at the Buenos Aires book fair, where I learned that she was a compatriota bibliotecaria. However, she was much more than that.  She was an ingenious bi-cultural writer and activist, full of life. In her blog she described her own life as “a novel still being written.”   Adan Griego’s “Colombiana Salerosa – In memory of tatiana de la tierra” post, plus  her blog and this video on YouTube  gives tribute to the life of this remarkable multifaceted colombiana.

Another great loss for the SALALM family is Alan Moss.  Upon hearing of his passing, SALALM colleagues spoke of his camaraderie and described him as “a first-rate bibliographer with in-depth knowledge of publishing in the English-speaking Caribbean.”  These words were included in the “Alan Moss – In Memoriam” post written by Elizabeth F. Watson.

Ties Between Junior and Senior SALALM Members

Thinking about these losses made me reflect on the importance of the connection between junior and senior SALALM members.   Although we have always been proud of the strong ties between newer and older members of SALALM, I strongly believe that these ties need to be constantly nourished and strengthened.   Thus, I would like to make an explicit invitation to those members that have recently joined the organization to be active participants in SALALM.   Throughout the year, we might look for innovative ways of joining the talent and skills that new members are bringing to the organization with the experience and wisdom of senior members. At SALALM’s 58th conference we will include venues to strengthen junior-senior mentoring relationships.

The Theme for SALALM’s 58th Conference

Briefly, the general theme of the conference deals with the intersection of indigenism, pan-indigenism, and cosmovisionism within the context of indigenous studies in the Americas. We are interested in the exploration of indigenous peoples’ thought and action prior to, during, and after colonization.  We will attempt to approach this from indigenous peoples’ perspective.   The title of the conference, the description of the theme and the deadline for submissions can be found on the SALALM conference website.

The Venue

We are very fortunate to have been invited by the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries to have the 2013 conference in Coral Gables.  I traveled to Miami in August, visited The Westin Colonnade Hotel, and met some members of the host institutions. I was amazed to learn about the rich history of this beautiful multicultural city. I also had the opportunity to see some of the unique collections held in the host institutions.  We will find ways to highlight some of these collections at the 58th SALALM conference in Miami.

New SALALM Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected SLALAM Officers, President-Elect Roberto Delgadillo and the Members at Large Paloma Celis-Carvajal and Daisy Dominguez.  I would like to thank Roberto Delgadillo for his invaluable six-year service as the Rapporteur General.  We welcome Suzanne Schadl  and  Craig Schroer who agreed to share the responsibilities of Rapporteur General.

Saludos para tod@s y mis deseos por un exitoso año académico,

Martha E. Mantilla
University of Pittsburgh

Howard Karno | In Memoriam

Howard Karno was so many things to so many people:  Angelino, born and bred; a student and scholar of Latin America; an innovative and resourceful bookseller; and a husband, father and friend.  Howard was forever a boy trapped in a man’s body; he never lost the capacity for spontaneity and impish behavior.

He had many loves.  He loved the beautiful home that he and Beverly created in the hills of Southern California.  He loved good books, good conversation, good food, and good wine.  He loved people – all sorts of people in more countries than most of us will ever visit.  He remembered them; he kept up with them; he treasured them.  Most of all, of course, he loved Beverly and his family.  They were his greatest joy.

His involvement with Latin America began with graduate study at UCLA.  Howard had the good fortune of doing field work in Peru at a time when the country hosted a number of young researchers from the United States, including Tom Davies, Jesus Chavarría and Peter Klaren, who became life-long friends.  His work on Peruvian modernization resulted in a splendid dissertation but no job in the academy, which was a blessing in disguise.

Necessity being the mother of invention, Howard quickly found his footing in the book trade, establishing a business that combined his knowledge of bibliography with a garrulous personality and instinctive salesmanship.  Enter SALALM.

The marvelous interview that Howard gave to Mark Grover in 2006 offers an account of the ups and downs of his career and memories of working with many SALALM alums.  What he fails to mention is the important role that he and his family played in shaping our organization and building its community.  Howard’s mother, a great cook, even prepared and served a dinner for the UCLA SALALM, which jump-started the libreros’ reception.  Howard’s enormous presence in the Latin American book trade led to the compilation of bookseller information in the various editions of Directory of Vendors of Latin American Library Materials.  Howard never lost the curiosity of a scholar.  He read voraciously and broadly.  SALALM is fortunate that so many of its libreros are people who love books, read books, and learn from books.  Surely, none did so more than Howard.  He knew our libraries’ collections and our interests and many of our institutions’ treasures are a result of his knowledge and efforts.

His generosity was legendary.  He was generous with his time, ready to listen to all. He made each of us feel he truly cared about our lives.  When he saw or read a book that reminded him of someone, he would mail it along to share it.  He never visited a bookstore without buying something as a way to support them. Howard made a room brighter when he entered it and filled it with more laughter and engaging conversation.

Howard’s early Libros Latinos catalogs began with a lema: “As a former professor of Latin American history familiar with the bibliography and sources of out-of-print materials, I will give prompt attention to your requests.”  So he was, and so he did for four decades.

We miss you, Howard.

David Block (University of Texas at Austin) and Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University)

Latest Topics

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 [Read More]

Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian, Columbia University

Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian Columbia University Libraries/Information Services Cornell University [Read More]

Report from “Imagining Latina/o Studies Conference” in Chicago

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. [Read More]