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First Presidential Message SALALM LX

Dear Colleagues:

As I write these lines, the memories of SALALM LIX are still fresh in my mind.  Past President Roberto C. Delgadillo and the Local Arrangements Committee, chaired by John B. Wright with support from the SALALM Secretariat led by Executive Director Hortensia Calvo, offered us a remarkable conference experience.  The variety of sessions in the academic program and other conference activities, including a live performance of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, provided ample opportunities for academic, cultural, and professional advancement.  The panels and conference sessions showcased the breadth and depth of both the individual and collective expertise in our organization.  Participation by new, mid-career, and veteran colleagues is a healthy sign of SALALM’s continued role as a vibrant forum for the discussion, exchange, and dissemination of library practices and scholarly issues related to the Latin American Studies field.  I particularly enjoyed the panel session “SALALM: Back in the Day.” Presented by David Block, Paula Covington, and Mark L. Grover, the session offered an enthralling account of SALALM’s achievements as an organization.  Over the years, SALALM members have spared no effort in building collections documenting historical and current Latin American affairs.  Paula and David shared vivid memories of traveling to Nicaragua in the early years of the Sandinista Revolution looking for materials to enhance library collections on this historical event.  Reflecting on SALALM’s decades-long history in the light of current developments in the library profession, Mark reminded us of the centrality of our expertise as Latin Americanists in the work we perform as research librarians.

SALALM will be observing the 60th anniversary of its foundation in 2015, making it a landmark year.  For the occasion, I have selected Brazil as the core theme of the SALALM LX conference program: “Brazil in the World, the World in Brazil: Research Trends and Library Resources.”  Hosted by Princeton University, the conference will take place on June 13-17, 2015.  The motivation for this theme is fully explained on the SALALM website.  But succinctly stated, I drew inspiration from thinking about the implications cooperation agreements between North American and Brazilian universities, research centers, and cultural heritage agencies may have on library collections and services.  These academic initiatives have been prompted by the growing recognition of Brazil’s rising global influence and its artistic, cultural, and intellectual effervescence.  Taking Brazil as the core theme, SALALM LX will explore the role of the research library within the current internationalization agenda of North American universities.  For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Brazil will be showcased in a SALALM conference.  Brazil was last featured in 1990 during the 35th annual meeting of SALALM, held in Rio de Janeiro.  Planned by Ann Hartness, Librarian Emerita from the University of Texas, the theme of the conference was “Continuity and Change in Brazil and the Southern Cone.”

Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez (Chair of Local Arrangements) and I have been working diligently throughout the year in the planning of SALALM LX.  I had the opportunity to visit Princeton on March 10-11, 2014.  During my site visit, I met with high-level library and university officials who enthusiastically supported Princeton’s invitation to host our conference in 2015.  Most prominently among these officials were University Librarian Karin A. Trainer and Professor Rubén Gallo, Director of the Program in Latin American Studies, who are the heads of the two units that will jointly host the conference.  Both directors are very pleased to see Princeton as the conference host and have given Fernando their full support in the organization of the event.  Some of you may recall that SALALM has met once before at Princeton.  This was back in 1985, when then-President Dan Hazen and Peter T. Johnson, serving as chairman of local arrangements, planned the 30th annual meeting of SALALM.  Much like in 1985, nearly all of LALALM LX’s conference events will take place on the university campus.  Fernando and I toured the campus to see various venues of possible interest for lodging, vendor exhibition space, as well as facilities for holding meetings, panel sessions, and other conference events.  I will report more on the conference venues in my next message.

Fernando crafted a packed agenda for my two-day visit, but as busy as we were, we still managed to squeeze into the itinerary a few events that were quite gratifying.  One such event was a presentation by renowned historian Serge Gruzinski on his recent work L’aigle et le dragon.  In a skillful exercise in comparative history, Gruzinski explores the radically different outcomes of the sixteenth-century European expansion into Mexico and China.  Whereas the Spanish achieved control of Mexico, the Portuguese failed in their attempt to conquer China.  The English language edition of this book is scheduled to come out under the title The Eagle and the Dragon later this year.  We also had the opportunity to share a close moment with Princeton University Professor Emeritus Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, the prominent scholar and former director of Latin American Studies.  Professor Díaz is one of the 27 Caribbean authors and intellectuals that are featured in Las Antillas letradas, a portfolio by graphic artist Antonio Martorell, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection in the Firestone Library.  The portfolio consists of woodcut prints of the letters of the Spanish alphabet representing a selected author, or letrado, from the region.  For each letter, an image of the individual and excerpts of a representative work in the original language (English, French, and Spanish) is presented on the text.  This pictorially rich composition is juxtaposed on an image of a map of the Caribbean.  More information on this splendid work is available on the Graphic Arts Collection blog.

During my site visit, I had the pleasure of meeting in person Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, who will deliver the keynote address at SALALM LX.  Professor Schwarcz is a distinguished Brazilian anthropologist and historian at the University of São Paulo and a Princeton Global Scholar.  A prolific scholar, she has published extensively on the institutional history and the collections of the Brazilian National Library.  Her works include A longa viagem da biblioteca dos reis (2002), O livro dos livros da Real Biblioteca/ The Royal Library’s Book of Books (2003, bilingual edition), and most recently a chapter in Mestres da gravura: Coleção Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (2013), a book that features the unique collection of European prints and engravings in this impressive repository.

One of the oldest national libraries in Latin America and one of the largest national libraries in the world, Brazil’s Biblioteca Nacional has a peculiar history.  The provenance of the core holdings of the original library collection—over 60,000 volumes plus manuscripts, maps, and prints, and other rare materials—can be traced back to the personal library of King João VI of Portugal.  In 1808, the Portuguese crown, the government, and many members of the aristocracy resettled in Rio de Janeiro, fleeing from the Napoleonic invasion of the peninsula.  Rio became not only the new seat of the vast Portuguese empire, but also underwent important social and cultural transformations.  Besides introducing the Royal Press and the first newspapers, João VI ordered the transfer of his treasured library to Brazil.  The complete collection was shipped from Portugal in three stages from 1810 to 1811.  The installation of the library in Rio’s Carmelite monastery in 1810 is considered as the official foundation date of this institution.  The Real Biblioteca opened its doors to the public in 1814.  João VI returned to Portugal in 1821, but this time the royal library remained behind.  Control over the royal library became a key issue of contention during the negotiations leading up to Brazilian independence.  The newly independent country led by Emperor Pedro I, King João VI’s son, agreed to indemnify the Portuguese crown for the property and assets left behind in Brazil, including, remarkably, the formerly royal library collection.  As this story shows us, libraries and their collections represent more than knowledge—power.

Hosting SLALAM LX in the Northeast will hopefully attract participation by specialists and graduate students enrolled in library programs as well as in Latin American Studies programs in that region.  We will tap the support of our LANE colleagues to help us reach out to this potential pool of participants.  Please stay tuned!

As Hortensia recently reported, the state of SALALM’s financial health is good, which is always reassuring to hear.  So please renew your memberships on time.  This type of simple, straightforward action works wonders for maintaining our organization’s strength.

Finally, I started this message by referring to two of our veteran colleagues, David Block and Mark L. Grover.  David retired just last month.  Mark had retired a year earlier, but at the last SALALM conference, he was elected as Honorary Member of the organization by the Executive Board.  This distinction recognizes Mark’s multiple professional accomplishments and contributions to SALALM.  Thank you to you both, estimados colegas, for everything you contributed to SALALM during your long productive careers.

Luis A. González
President, SALALM (2014-2015)
Indiana University
luisgonz@indiana.edu

Presidental Message

For the last few months I have been diligently working on the organization of the SALALM conference. Before I proceed to talk about the progress I have made in organizing the conference, I would like to mention two major events that deeply affected all of us in the organization.

The end of an era: Adán Benavides retired from the University of Texas 

With this suggestive title, David Block and Margo Gutierrez from the University of Texas, beautifully describe what it means for SALALM to see our dear friend and colleague retiring from his remarkable life as a librarian. He was indeed, a corner stone of the organization. David and Margo’s article reminded me of Adan’s remarkable career and accomplishments, his valuable contributions to the world of librarianship and more importantly, the indelible path he traced for all of us. Although I will not repeat here the wonderful things written about Adán, I recommend all of you to read the article:

http://salalm.org/2013/02/06/adan-benavides-retires/

Barbara Valk’s Legacy: A HAPI family 

The unexpected news of Barbara passing away shocked many of us in the organization. Several messages were sent through LALA-L, expressing moving sentiments of love, respect and admiration for her extraordinary accomplishments as HAPI’s founder and director.

Perhaps her most enduring contribution to librarianship was the creation of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index – HAPI. Barbara was a visionary in her own right, who foresaw the impact that the electronic resources have in our profession. She was the mastermind and the architect of this invaluable resource. She recruited volunteers from SALALM, creating, developing and nourishing a happy family of HAPI indexers.

I would like to paraphrase here what Orchid Mazurkiewicz, new Director of HAPI, shared with us, the indexers: Barbara designed HAPI as a project that relied on the close collaboration, hard work, and expertise of volunteers. She had great respect for our indexers. She had a dynamic personality and keen intellect.

Paradoxically, Barbara leaves us when HAPI is becoming more sophisticated and exciting: HAPI is now compatible with the open source citation manager Zotero. This means that we can now use an electronic form to input our work directly into HAPI. Until now, we have been sending our work in plain

text and the HAPI staff uploaded it into the system. For us, the indexers, this is a welcomed and exciting change. We attended a HAPI Central Indexer Tutorial held in a Blackboard Collaborate session and from now on we will use the new system. That is not all! Our dear HAPI database even got a last name: It is now called HAPI Central! :}

I believe that after all her extraordinary work, Barbara embarked herself on a journey that may lead her to join a group of friends and colleagues, who also have left us: Eduardo Lozano, Scott Van Jacob and many others… Together with Barbara, they inspired and mentored many of us.

Friendly invitation to new members to get involved in SALALM 

Thinking about those who have departed makes me reflect on the younger generation of SALALM members. Throughout its history, SALALM has been revitalized with the energy, creativity and fresh ideas of the new and younger members of the organization. I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite them to get involved. I am offering here few suggestions for their participation and involvement:

- Learn about the different committees; select the one in which you would like to participate and inform the committee chair. http://salalm.org/about/organization/committees/ 

- Volunteer as a Rapporteur in the SALALM conferences. The call for volunteers will soon appear in LALA-L

- VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Elections are generally held few months before the annual conference

- Embrace every opportunity to share with and learn from senior SALALM members. The mutual exchange of ideas contributes to the constant growth and strengthening of the organization

 

Comments about the SALALM conference in Miami 

I had the opportunity to travel to Miami twice. On my first visit, in October 2012, Mei, Gayle and I met with the Colonade Hotel Managers and talked about the general logistics and plan for the conference. I also met with members of the staff and faculty of the Host Institutions. They were very excited about the SALALM conference and offered their full support and hospitality. I traveled to Miami for the second time in February. Mei, Gayle and I visited the hotel again and finalized the details regarding hotel arrangements. The managers were very friendly and efficient and they said that they are looking forward to helping us in the best way possible.

To assist us with traveling to Miami, Mei Mendez and Gayle Williams started a section in the Conference web page entitled Memo from Miami where they are posting very useful information. I would recommend visiting the site regularly: http://salalm.org/Conf/hotel-transportation/memo-from-miami/ 

FILM FESTIVAL 

Teresa Chapa is enthusiastically organizing the Film Festival. If you would like to recommend a film to be included, please contact Teresa at: tchapa@unc.edu.

We are thrilled that “Garifuna in Peril” (Garifuna en Peligro) will be screened. The information below was published in the Honduras Weekly:

“Ruben Reyes and Ali Allie’s new film “Garifuna in Peril” (Garifuna en Peligro) — the first part of the Garifuna Trilogy — has opened in London, New York, Santa Fe, San Diego and Los Angeles since its release in December 2012. In April 2013, the film will play at the Boston International Film Festival, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, the 22nd Arizona International Film Festival in Tuscon, Arizona and at the WorldFest Film Festival in Houston, Texas, where the directors have been nominated for an award.”

Furthermore, the article goes on to mention that the movie will be shown at the SALALM Conference:

“University professors and libraries have also expressed interest in the film, possibly the first film produced for commercial distribution with the majority of the dialog in a language related to a Latin American Indian language. For example, the film has been invited to be shown at the SALALM conference in Miami, Florida in May 2013. SALALM is the professional organization of Latin American collection librarians of Europe, Latin America, and the US. Their conference this year is specifically related to collecting materials, many of which are in media other than traditional print books, related to Latin American Indian cultures, and to their social movements fighting for human rights.”

The full article is available at: http://hondurasweekly.com/2013030716609/news/culture/16609-honduran-garifunas-find-success-in-new-film-by-ali-allie-and-ruben-reyes.html 

I look forward to enjoying the delicious gourmet food in Coral Gables, going to the gym and eating light for a day or two before the conference. Miami is going to be a treat …….

Dessert at SEASONS 52 in Coral Gables: Highly recommended… 

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the people that have been helping me with the planning and organization of the conference. I think we are going to have a very enjoyable, productive and unforgettable meeting in Miami.

Warm regards to all,

Martha Mantilla
University of Pittsburgh 

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

Presidential Message June 2011

As I write this message, SALALM LVI is one short week away. Joe Holub, David Murray and I continue to finalize last minute details such as conference packets, room set-ups and menus. For those of you who enjoy statistics, there are 20 panels, 37 meetings and 6 miscellaneous sessions scheduled. It never ceases to amaze me that we carry out such a full schedule in just a few days! With regard to the program content, I draw your attention to the keynote address, “Forensic Archivists and Active Archives: Advancing the Cause of Human Rights in Latin America through Archival investigation,” which will be delivered by Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive. There is a wonderful selection of panels addressing memory and human rights as well as others exploring library trends and developments. This year we also have five panels dedicated to documentary screenings. I am very excited about the program and hope you will enjoy the content and mix of formats.

And let me take this opportunity to thank Joe Holub and David Murray for their hard work in planning the local arrangements for SALALM LVI. Local arrangements require a great deal of dedication and attention to detail. Joe and David have truly done their utmost to ensure a successful conference.  It has been a great pleasure working with both of them; I couldn’t have asked for better partners in this venture.

In other news…

Encouraged by the membership, the SALALM Executive Board sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan voicing SALALM’s concern over proposed cuts to Title VI funding. Many SALALM member institutions benefit in a variety of ways from the Title VI program. Because of the short time frame, we needed to act quickly. My thanks to David Block for drafting the letter and to the other Executive Board members for quickly commenting and voting. As you know, the letter was sent on April 29th. Though there has been no news about Title VI funding yet, we hope that SALALM’s voice will be heard.

SALALM will host a booth at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans June 24-27, 2011. I encourage those of you who will attend to volunteer to staff the booth. In conjunction with ALA, SALALM has been invited to participate in the Spectrum Leadership Institute’s Professional Options Fair. The fair, which will take place on Thursday, June 23rd from 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Royal Sonesta, is an opportunity for SALALM to outreach to Spectrum Scholars who are library school students from underrepresented groups. Both the booth and the Professional Options Fair are excellent opportunities to promote SALALM and its activities.

Congratulations to the newly elected SALALM officers, President-Elect, Martha Mantilla and Members at Large Paul Losch and Mary Jo Zeter. Welcome to the Executive Board! And, thank you to the Nominating Committee for once again gathering a great slate of candidates.

Finally, I am looking forward to reuniting with old friends and making new ones in Philadelphia. Planning the SALALM LVI program has been incredibly rewarding for me personally. I hope that you will be as pleased as I am with the results!

Nerea A. Llamas

University of Michigan

Presidential Message April 2011

As I begin this message, I am struck by how quickly my term as SALALM President is progressing.  Although several weeks remain until the presidency changes hands, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on my experience. It has been a genuine pleasure to serve as SALALM President. I have had the opportunity to learn in-depth about the organization and its function; engage more broadly with my fellow SALALMistas; and represent SALALM at both the Ferias del Libro in Bogotá and Guadalajara last year. I also greatly appreciate serving at a time of change within the organization. In my years as a SALALM member, I have seen many changes in SALALM, none perhaps as extensive as those proposed under the e-SALALM initiative. In short order, SALALM will not only revamp its communications and outreach models, but also modernize routine functions. It will likely take a couple of more years for all of the changes to take effect, but I am confident that we will accomplish this goal. This is truly an exciting time to be a SALALM member and officer. For anyone considering future service as SALALM President, let me say that it is truly a rewarding opportunity.

Now for a few updates…

First and foremost, I want to welcome Peter Johnson to his new role as SALALM Treasurer. As I mentioned in my announcement on LALA-L, Peter brings extensive experience with the Finance Committee and Investment Working Group. As a long-time SALALM member, Peter also has an intimate understanding of the organization. SALALM is facing significant challenges in the coming years. I feel confident that Peter is well-positioned to lead SALALM in matters of finance.

Hard to believe, but SALALM LVI is just around the corner! I am working on the program, which  is coming together nicely. The theme appears to have struck a chord not only amongst SALALMistas, but also with colleagues in Latin America. I received and accepted many interesting paper and panel proposals. Soon Roberto Delgadillo and I will be calling for moderators and rapporteurs. Please consider participating in one capacity or the other.

Some of you have asked about the keynote speaker. It is a pleasure to announce that Peter Kornbluh will be the SALALM LVI keynote speaker. Peter is Senior Analyst and Director of the National Security Archive’s Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects. Peter will share his perspective and experience in documenting human rights at the Archive. In turn, Peter expressed interest in talking with SALALMistas about the archive and its uses in research and instruction. Therefore, I have also arranged a session on Monday afternoon for a conversation with Peter.

SALALM LVI will also host a meeting of GPLASC: the Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies Consortium (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148270935213286). GPLASC is a co-sponsor of SALALM LVI and hopes to connect with librarians and libreros alike.

Lastly, to follow up on the many e-SALALM initiatives, I scheduled an update on Sunday, May 29th. I hope you will join us to learn about proposed changes to the SALALM Newsletter and website; recommendations for intra-SALALM communication and routing functions; and an update on the initiative to produce SALALM sponsored webinars.

I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

Nerea A. Llamas
University of Michigan

 

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