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Sonia Silva – Honorary Membership

The Membership Committee would like to nominate Sônia Terezinha Dias Gonçalves da Silva to honorary membership in SALALM.  Sonia Silva has been a constant and active presence in our organization both as a Librarian and as a “Librera.”

She received a law degree in Ribeirão Preto in 1965 and a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Campinas (UniCamp) in 1967, both in her native Brazil. Sonia joined the UniCamp library in 1967, working in several libraries, including as Director of Special Collections, until her retirement in March of 1999. She was influential in building a strong special collections library that includes several important holdings, most notably the 8,000 volume collection of the noted Brazilian historian Sergio Buarque de Hollanda.

Sonia was influential in the evolution of special collections in all of Brazil. An interest in expanding her knowledge and experiences lead her to pursue research and training grants to the University of Texas, Brigham Young University, and Brown University, with smaller experiences at the University of Miami and Florida International University.  She began attending SALALM in 1982 with the Washington meeting. Her regular attendance began with the 1987 meeting in Miami and she has attended, often at great financial sacrifice, all of the meetings since that time.  

She was voted to the Executive Board as member-at-Large from 1996-1998. She was one of the original committee members in organizing ENLACE, with Iliana Sonntag and Mark Grover, and she continues to be active in that committee. She introduced the idea of the SALALM raffle as a way of raising funds for ENLACE at the 1994 Salt Lake City meeting, a successful tradition that continues to this day. In addition, Sonia has served on several other committees, most notably the Marginalized Peoples and Ideas subcommittee. During her library years she made a presentation every year, often in this committee meeting, and some of her papers were published in the SALALM proceedings.

After her retirement in 1998, because of her knowledge and experiences in both Brazil and the United States, she was persuaded by many in SALALM to become a book dealer for Brazilian books, which she did between 2000 and 2014. This second phase of her participation in SALALM was different, symbolized by her presence on the opposite side of the book dealer’s desk.

The Membership Committee enthusiastically endorses the nomination of Sônia Terezinha Dias Gonçalves da Silva for honorary membership of SALALM.

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