Posts Tagged ‘Melissa Gasparotto’
There are so many initiatives and new projects happening within the organization, it’s hard to keep track! For one, we have this brand new enhanced website, thanks to the Communications Committee: Alison, Orchid, Daisy and Melissa. It looks & feels great, and it is a much more accurate reflection of the dynamism, varied interests, and engagement of our members. Kudos to all who continue to work so hard on the site. It is also exciting that the call for applications to the new SALALM library student fellowship is underway and applications are beginning to arrive.
At the Secretariat, we are in the midst of a campaign to update our membership payment records, especially for institutional memberships. Messages to personal members seeking their help to update contacts and other information at their institutions were sent out three weeks ago, and we have already begun to identify some problem areas. Thanks to all who have responded promptly. I suspect we’ll be able to increase the number of sponsoring memberships as a direct result of this process. We will report back on the results. Membership renewals (personal and institutional) have started to trickle in, but it is still too early to report any figures. As of August 31, the end of fiscal year 2011, we had 213 personal members and 92 institutional members, including 17 sponsoring members, for a total of 305 members. These figures are significantly down from 2009-2010 when we closed with 347 members (241 personal; 106 institutional, including 17 sponsoring). This year, for the first time, we are handling online payments through Paypal, along with check and credit card payments. It’s now much easier and quicker to renew, so don’t delay your renewal!
Dear SALALM members:
I would like to thank Daisy Dominguez and Melissa Gasparotto for all their work on the new SALALM website! As you know, the SALALM Newsletter has been incorporated into the site, and will no longer be published in print form. Several questions remain about content, advertising and updating of the site; these will be addressed throughout the year and at our next meeting. Please contact Daisy or Melissa if you notice any errors or omissions.
Planning is underway for the 57th annual meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. As I hope all you know by now, we will meet June 16-19, 2012, and our theme will be Popular Culture: Arts and Social Change. Please see the complete description on the Conference section of this website. I look forward to your proposed papers, panels and presentations. I am also counting on your assistance in advertising the conference with colleagues at your institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere.
I am happy to report that the University of Miami and Florida International University have issued a joint invitation to SALALM for the 58th annual SALALM meeting in 2013. The Executive Committee has accepted this invitation on a provisional basis, pending the vote of the full Executive Board next June. We are very grateful to be able to rely on this early offer, which will aid considerably with future planning!
Please note that a new SALALM Scholarship has been established “to encourage professional and leadership development in Latin American and Caribbean Studies librarianship.” It is intended for master’s candidates in information or archival studies programs in the US. $1000 will be awarded annually, commencing in December 2011. The award will include a one-year SALALM membership. Please see the application on this website, and share it widely with colleagues in your area.
I would like to congratulate our colleagues for organizing an interesting, efficient and enjoyable conference in Philadelphia this past May. The theme “Preserving Memory: Documenting and Archiving Latin American Human Rights” was timely and of interest to us all. Many excellent presentations were held, thanks to the work of our past president Nerea Llamas. Many thanks as well to our excellent hosts, Joe Holub and David Murray of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University libraries and our very generous sponsors.
Several important issues were expressed this year at the two Executive Board meetings, the Business meeting and at Town Hall. Executive Board Member-at-Large Sean Knowlton (Columbia University) presented a list of proposals compiled by Patricia Figueroa (Brown University) that represent concerns voiced by SALALM members in recent years:
- that SALALM change its name to reflect the reality of the work we accomplish; i.e. a name that is more general in nature and by default more inclusive
- that the SALALM conference be limited to 3 days instead of 5
- that we eliminate panels and themes from our meeting so that we can devote more time to our committees, regional meetings and vendors
- that we meet and celebrate SALALM in conjunction with LASA, mimicking the arrangement that MELA and MESA have for their yearly congresses. This arrangement would provide an outlet for SALALM members who must present a paper in order to receive funding to attend. The conference need not take place at the same hotel as LASA, but rather the same city and dates.
While some of these concerns have surfaced at various moments in our organization’s history, the present economic crisis has brought them to the fore once again. We are faced with a shrinking membership; our institutions provide less professional development funding than in the past; and conference costs are rising.
In order to address these proposals, I have named an ad-hoc Membership Survey Committee to collect information, opinions and ideas relating to the above issues. Members include Anne Barnhart (chair), David Block, Mary Jo Zeter, John Wright and Patricia Figueroa. Please respond thoughtfully to their survey which will be sent out in early fall.
A second committee will work concurrently with the Survey Committee to investigate the consequences, cost and feasibility of a name change for the organization. Ideas for new names or new meanings for our existing acronym will be explored. Should the membership agree on the desirability of a name change (via the survey process), the work of this committee will provide helpful information. The SALALM Name Change Committee includes Sócrates Silva, Melissa Gasparotto, Stephanie Miles and Sean Knowlton.
Treasurer Peter T. Johnson put forward a related proposal geared toward increasing membership in our organization. An initial SALALM scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded to a student enrolled in an MLS program (in the U.S.) who intends to work in the field of Latin American Studies, and who will join our organization.
In response to some of the concerns expressed above, I plan to experiment with the format of next year’s SALALM meeting. We will we return to a slightly more economical 4-day schedule; at the same time, I would like to create more time and space to work with each other and with our vendors, who are an integral part of our organization. I plan on repeating a version of the successful Libreros Workshop which was held in Philadelphia and organized by John Wright, Ellen Jaramillo and Stephanie Miles. Based on the feedback I heard, it provided a necessary forum for communicating information about the technological changes we face in our professions. Although I will continue to organize panels, workshops and committee meetings, there will be fewer of them. I encourage committees and affiliated groups who meet or work outside of our annual meeting to consider foregoing a meeting at SALALM if at all possible.
And last but not least, for those of you who have not yet heard, SALALM LVII will be held in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T!), from June 16-19, 2012. Our hosts will be the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago and the Library Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) and meetings will be held at the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre, Port of Spain. Our theme will be “Popular Culture: Arts and Social Change in Latin America.” I hope that we will be able to attract colleagues from across the Caribbean as well as from South America. A call for papers and will be released soon, and I look forward to receiving your ideas and contributions!
I just got out of the panel we’d all been waiting for, “Getting More from Less: Collection Development Strategies in Smaller Latin American Collections,” and it did not disappoint. Orchid organized a great panel with Jesus Alonso-Regalado presenting on creative ways of collecting via book fairs and collaborative projects, Agnieszka Czeblakow presenting on Emory University’s experiences using the OCLC collection analysis tool to help fill gaps in Latin American History, and Linda Russo from Latin American Book Store giving the vendor’s perspective on collection development challenges given the current budget situation.
Most of us know Jesus as being extraordinarily creative in his work at SUNY Albany, following his innovations such as Librarian with a Latte, and so I looked forward to his presentation in particular: “Enriching Collections with Limited funds: Getting the Most out of Book Fair Acquisitions and Cooperative Projects.” After seeing how his pre-planning for the Guadalajara Book Fair resulted in more dollar savings than represented by his entire Latin American Studies collections budget, I highly recommend that you all speak to him before going yourselves! I know that I will! Jesus also discussed the results of a collaborative collection development project between SUNY Albany and SUNY Binghamton for Puerto Rican materials. Those of you in LANE have heard about this project before, and it was good to see some additional data about how the project has continued, even after Martha Kelehan’s move to Tufts from SUNY Binghamton. The project has resulted in the combined acquisition of 33% of all Puerto Rican monographs offered by Barlovento.
I was also excited to see how Phil McLeod and Agnieszka Czeblakow at Emory successfully used the new OCLC collection analysis tool to generate lists of materials that had not been acquired by the university, using these lists to ask for purchase recommendations from faculty. The work appeared to be tedious, but ultimately worthwhile. It was suggested that bibliographers enlist some assistants to help with the analysis for a project of this type.
Finally, Linda Russo gave an overview of the changes in collection development strategies among libraries that she has seen as a vendor. Particularly helpful were her comments on the difficulties of collecting for universities given the difference between academic dialogues taking place in North America and Europe and those taking place Latin America and the Caribbean. The materials published there do not necessarily correspond to those materials desired by faculty.
Overall a great panel, and I look forward to reading Gayle’s write-up in the newsletter.
Posted by Melissa Gasparotto.