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!
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.
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!!!
Libros de Barlovento
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!
Lizette Guerra (CSRC) and tatiana de la tierra at library opening. Photo courtesy of Sócrates Silva.
The Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) Library at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) celebrated its reopening on March 8, 2011. Thanks to support from The Ahmanson Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Major League Baseball Players Association, and individual donors, the library has been renovated with new shelving, computers, a vibrant new coat of paint, a new sound system for special events, and a new librarian’s office which is glass encased and makes a statement of accessibility to the user. According to Chon Noriega, director of the CSRC, the new layout and remodeling will help “bring the library in synch with its activities.”
The reopening program highlighted special collections and initiatives at the CSRC Library such as the Edward R. Roybal Papers, which reflect Roybal’s family history and his years of public service as a Los Angeles City Councilman and U.S. Congressman; the Strachwitz Frontera Collection, the largest repository of Mexican and Mexican-American vernacular recordings in existence; and the Latino Theatre Initiative/Center Theatre Group Papers, an initiative at the Center Theater Group’s Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles which sought to increase theatrical programming relevant to the Latina/o community. Donors and scholars spoke not only about the unique collections and their importance to the historical record, but the sense of community and collaboration that is part of the ethos at the library. The program also included a performance by Raúl Pacheco from the Los Angeles band Ozomatli who was joined by the audience in the singing of his song “Gay Vatos in Love.”
University of California, Los Angeles