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First Presidential Message – SALALM 63

Greetings from New Mexico on this Day of Indigenous Resistance. I hope this message finds you well, but I know many are struggling with natural and human disasters that challenge your resolve. I send my very best wishes for strength and recovery. If your mind’s eye can muster the image, visualize me sending a friendly smile and leaning in with attentive ears.

In the next few days, we will post the theme and instructions for reserving hotel rooms for SALALM 63 in Mexico City from July 1-4, 2018. We will be staying at the Barceló Mexico Reforma  thanks to our excellent hosts at the Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas at El Colegio de México.  The hotel is offering incredibly low rates, but you must reserve before the deadlines announced in the mailing.  Please prepare to reserve your hotel rooms in the next month. This will help secure excellent rates and sufficient space. Arriving a little early will enable you to take advantage of Digital Humanities 2018 which is co-hosted by El Colegio de México.  While hotel reservations for Mexico will be open beginning next week, SALALM 63 Conference registration will not be available until January, as is our norm.

Our Secretariat is busy with our membership drive at the moment. If you have not already, please send your dues by October 31. You might also invite a friend to join SALALM and accompany you in Mexico City. Our Treasurer, Executive Director and Members at Large are working to recruit new personal members and they could use our help. As you prepare membership documents, please consider making a small donation to scholarships and fellowships. We have a new award for Institutional Collaborative Initiatives. This award is designed to highlight outstanding collaborative or partnership initiatives across national boundaries. I am excited to support it and I hope many of you will join me.

As SALALM enters sixty-three years in operation, I am compelled to acknowledge the balance our organization has achieved from conference to conference. The collective efforts of members who are committed to our mission of “supporting research and teaching on Latin America and the Caribbean and Iberia, as well as increased awareness of the regions by identifying and collecting information resources, developing discovery tools and providing research services” help secure SALALM’s stability. Our Executive Board, especially Executive Director, Hortensia Calvo and Treasurer, Peter T. Johnson, as well as Senior Program Coordinator, Carol Avila, and all of our Executive Committee Chairs, keep us in balance by administering operations and finances. Thanks to all who serve!

Reading and understanding SALALM’s Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation with reference to the Operational Handbook is an essential step toward comprehending our responsibilities as members. Please remember that SALALM is a 501C3 nonprofit organization. This formal tax designation comes with advantages and challenges, especially in the frenetic noise of current affairs. It is important to remember that all organizational correspondence or statements on our webpage or social media must to stick to our mission. Please set aside time to re-read SALALM’s organizational documents and send your answers to this anonymous survey.

As our esteemed Past-President and DJ Extraordinaire Daisy Dominguez observed, SALALM is stronger because our membership enables continuity year-round. In addition to thanking her, Barbara Alvarez, and Ann Arbor Local Arrangements for a stimulating conference last May, I want to thank you all for your membership and deep commitment to SALALM’s success year after year. The following list is taste of what is happening now thanks to our membership!

SALALM web page: Our new Webmaster, Lara Aase, with outgoing Webmaster, Melissa Gasparotto, Content Editor, Betsaida Reyes, and Tulane’s in-house technical staff, have been working to redesign and migrate our website. This interim solution will sustain and simplify communications while we identify external assistance in redesigning the website permanently. Melissa Gasparotto deserves extra special mention for many years of vision and hard work, which has sustained our growing web presence. Thank you Melissa! On related notes: Many thanks to Lara Aase, Melissa Gasparotto, Betsaida Reyes, Ryan Lynch, Beverly Karno, Manuel Ostos and Hanni Nabahe for agreeing to serve the SALALM Website Working Group. Join me also in welcoming as our new Social Media Coordinator, Beth Davis Brown, from the Library of Congress.

SALALM Archives: Many thanks to Christina Bleyer (Chair) Hortensia Calvo, Paloma Celis-Carbajal, Paula Covington, Orchid Mazurkiewicz and Lara Aase, who have agreed to serve the SALALM Archives Working Group. They will be developing a description of the duties of the SALALM archivist position as well as a retention schedule. Thanks to all!

SALALM Institutional Collaborative Initiatives Award: Many thanks to Peter T. Johnson (Chair), Talia Guzmán-Gónzalez, Micaela Chávez Villa, Paloma Celis Carbajal, Sarah Aponte, Irene Munster and Janete Estevão, who have agreed to serve as reviewers for the SALALM Institutional Collaborative Initiatives Award. This award will recognize outstanding collaborative or partnership initiatives for new or ongoing projects involving several (two or more) institutions with at least one being in Latin America, the Caribbean or the Iberian Peninsula. We will make our first call for proposals this year.

New Committee Chairs: We have several newly appointed Committee and Sub-Committee Chairs or Co-Chairs this year. Thanks to the following: Jade Madrid, Co-Chair, SALALM Scholarship; Antonio Sotomayor, Chair, Toribio Medina Award; Lisa Gardinier, Chair, Nominations; Wendy Pedersen, Chair, Acquisitions; Lara Aase, Chair, Marginalized Peoples and Ideas; Rafael Tarrago, Chair, Access and Bibliography; Jessica English, Chair, Cuban Bibliography; Christine Hernandez, Chair, Digital Primary Resources; Daisy Dominguez, Chair, Audio-Visual Media Subcommittee and Pamela Espinosa, Co-Chair, Research and Instruction Services.

SALALM’s statement on Racism and Recent Events was drafted in the wake of events in Charlottesville and Barcelona (seems like ages ago). It reflects the inextricable link between our collective mission and current events. In light of even more recent announcements on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the United States, it seems prudent to insert the word “deportation” between “bodily harm” and “or discriminatory travel restrictions.” That “simple” edit requires time, organization and consensus from our Executive Committee.

Stay tuned for that additional wording and for SALALM 63: S/Cites, Texts, and Voices in Critical Librarianship: Decolonizing Libraries and Archives. For now, suffice it to say that if SALALM 63 could be encapsulated in a geometric shape, it would be a triangle within which we would triangulate (too much?) analyses of how our tools and processes shape research and teaching on Latin America, Iberia and the Caribbean.

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