Presidential Message

For the last few months...

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:

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. 
- 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: 

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

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: 

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