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Doing a HAPI Internship Remotely

In the digital age one can obtain a college degree, work, and yes even do an internship from home. Many professional, economic, and lifestyle options exist today that were unimaginable a decade ago. Indeed, long distance collaboration, both synchronous and asynchronous, is becoming an increasingly commonplace feature of work and learning.

A HAPI internship can be completed remotely and designed with considerable flexibility. I chose to do mine over the Fall 2012 semester so that I could obtain 3 credit hours toward my MSLS degree at the University of Kentucky. The professional knowledge I gained was invaluable, and the compensation I earned paid for the college credit and then some.

The purpose of my internship was to help HAPI director, Orchid Mazurkiewicz, evaluate the quality of the journals indexed by HAPI and help her devise more objective criteria for selecting and deselecting titles. A bibliometric analysis was undertaken to explore how HAPI’s content “measured up” in the universe of Latin American serials, its content representing about 3% of known Latin American titles. This task was a tall order. It involved considerable fact finding that taught us about the strengths and weaknesses of various Latin American databases (Latindex, BIBLAT, SciELO, Redalyc, and SCImago). We also discovered the strengths and weaknesses, uses and misuses, of different bibliometric measures (impact factors, use measures, etc.). In addition, we got a good sense of the challenges involved in soliciting qualitative information from the SALALM membership. In the end, we learned important things about HAPI, about the global imbalance of scholarly literature, and about judging the worth of journals. In essence, we laid the groundwork for developing a systematic approach to improving and ensuring the intellectual caliber of HAPI’s indexed content.

Elements that contributed to the success of the project were: (1) weekly Skype meetings with Orchid, (2) coordination of all project tasks using a project management software, BaseCamp, that was accessed online with a password, (3) open source software for designing surveys, (4) my past experience with database design, data analysis, and statistics, and (5) free online access to the bibliometric data of Latin American databases. Abilities to work independently, communicate effectively in writing, as well as set and meet deadlines were also important.

Factors that affect the success of an online internship are similar to those that would impact an in-person one. Clarifying expectations at the outset along with the nature/content of deliverables is of paramount importance. Integrity, that is, following through on what you say you are going to do is also critical. Flexibility and understanding on the part of both mentor and mentee are also necessary to accommodate life’s inevitable unexpected events. Dedication to a quality outcome, as exhibited through hard work and creativity, is also a big plus.

The most rewarding aspects of my internship may be yet to come. There’s no telling where the new friendships and professional associations will lead. Orchid and I plan to share the results of our bibliometric project at SALALM Miami as a prelude to publishing them in an academic journal. No matter who you are or where you reside, a HAPI internship could be a valuable step in your professional development.

Summer 2012 Newsmakers

Sócrates Silva has been appointed to the position of Latin American and Iberian Studies Librarian at the University of California at Santa Barbara as of July 16th. Sócrates has been with HAPI now for almost 6 years and will be sorely missed. Nevertheless, we wish him much happiness and success as he moves on to this exciting challenge and look forward to his continued involvement in SALALM. Please join me in wishing Sócrates well and congratulating him on his new beach-side office!

Orchid Mazurkiewicz
HAPI

 

I am delighted to announce that, effective July 20th, Emma Marschall will be the new Research and Instruction Librarian at The Latin American Library, Tulane University.

Emma comes to us from Gettysburg College where she was most recently employed as a cataloger in the Musselman Library.  Prior to that position she was an Academic Library Fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Digital Archives Intern at the Missouri History Museum Library and Archives.  From 2006 through 2008 she was Lecturer in Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis.

Emma earned her MLS at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010.  She has a M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College (2006) and a B.A. in Latin American and Iberian Studies from Bard College (2001).  She also earned a Certificate in French Language from the Sorbonne (2005).

In addition to her specialization in reference and instruction, Emma also has a strong background in processing digital collections.

In the words of our Dean, Lance Query, “those of us who met with Emma were impressed with her knowledge, experience, energy, and strong inter-personal skills.”  I can add that Emma is sure to be a great colleague and contributor to SALALM.  I know you will all get a chance to meet her in Miami next year, if not before.

Hortensia Calvo
Tulane University

 
 

Our good friend, colleague, activist, and former SALALM president, Molly Molloy (New Mexico State University), is in the news again.  She will receive the New Mexico Library Leadership Award from the New Mexico Library Association at their annual conference this month.  Kudos, Moll!!!

René Grullón
Libros de Barlovento

From the Secretariat

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!

Hortensia Calvo

Executive Secretary

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