Collection Development Strategies in Smaller Latin American Collections

I just got out of the panel we’d all been waiting for, “Getting More from Less: Collection Development Strategies in Smaller Latin American Collections,” and it did not disappoint. Orchid organized a great panel with Jesus Alonso-Regalado presenting on creative ways of collecting via book fairs and collaborative projects, Agnieszka Czeblakow presenting on Emory University’s experiences using the OCLC collection analysis tool to help fill gaps in Latin American History, and Linda Russo from Latin American Book Store giving the vendor’s perspective on collection development challenges given the current budget situation.
Most of us know Jesus as being extraordinarily creative in his work at SUNY Albany, following his innovations such as Librarian with a Latte, and so I looked forward to his presentation in particular: “Enriching Collections with Limited funds: Getting the Most out of Book Fair Acquisitions and Cooperative Projects.” After seeing how his pre-planning for the Guadalajara Book Fair resulted in more dollar savings than represented by his entire Latin American Studies collections budget, I highly recommend that you all speak to him before going yourselves! I know that I will! Jesus also discussed the results of a collaborative collection development project between SUNY Albany and SUNY Binghamton for Puerto Rican materials. Those of you in LANE have heard about this project before, and it was good to see some additional data about how the project has continued, even after Martha Kelehan’s move to Tufts from SUNY Binghamton. The project has resulted in the combined acquisition of 33% of all Puerto Rican monographs offered by Barlovento.
I was also excited to see how Phil McLeod and Agnieszka Czeblakow at Emory successfully used the new OCLC collection analysis tool to generate lists of materials that had not been acquired by the university, using these lists to ask for purchase recommendations from faculty. The work appeared to be tedious, but ultimately worthwhile. It was suggested that bibliographers enlist some assistants to help with the analysis for a project of this type.
Finally, Linda Russo gave an overview of the changes in collection development strategies among libraries that she has seen as a vendor. Particularly helpful were her comments on the difficulties of collecting for universities given the difference between academic dialogues taking place in North America and Europe and those taking place Latin America and the Caribbean. The materials published there do not necessarily correspond to those materials desired by faculty.
Overall a great panel, and I look forward to reading Gayle’s write-up in the newsletter.
Posted by Melissa Gasparotto.

SALALM’s Opening Day

The opening reception for SALALM’s annual conference in Berlin saw about 15-20 attendees from the previous meeting in 1986 also held in Berlin.
Some things have not changed much since then: the LAMP meeting lasted more than 2 hours. But other changes have taken place: there was no forum to discuss emerging technologies and now the Electronic Resources Subcommittee has become one of the most popular gatherings on the 1st day of the conference.
Victor Federico Torres (University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras) received the Jose Toribio Medina Award, given each year by SALALM to the best reference work published by one of its members.
Attending were also about 20 members from REDIAL, the European counterpart to SALALM which had its origins at the 1986 meeting when colleagues from Europe saw the need to have a forum for Latin American Studies information professionals to exchange ideas. REDIAL was celebrating its 20th anniversary and its “Asamblea” coincided with SALALM’s annual meeting.
At a joint afternoon session more than 30 members from each group discussed possible ways of cooperating (both formal and informal) in areas of shared concerns: providing access to information from/about Latin America in all its multiple formats.
The day ended with the “Fiesta de Libreros” held at the Gemaldegalerie where we had the run of the museum and were able to enjoy multilingual guided tours of the varied rich visual treasures of the Old Masters Gallery.
The traditional “Rifa de Enlace” was also held at the Fiesta gathering where many coveted “recuerdos” from Latin America were raffled away. The many souvenirs were donated by dealers as a way to raise monies for the Enlace Fund. Since 1986 more than 60 professionals from Latin America have been invited to take part in SALALM thanks to this endeavor which is about to celebrate its silver anniversary.
 
Posted by Adán Griego

The Little Foxes

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I should either be A) at the interlibrary cooperation meeting OR B) preparing for the Executive Board meeting, but instead I am here in the nerve center of the SALALM 54 conference, juicing up my laptop and blogging. Things have been going quite smoothly so far and I can take absolutely no credit for this. The Berlin local arrangements team runs a tight ship and it seems like they have thought of everything. I think many of us are starting to think they can order up the weather. Today has been much cooler and sunny–perfect weather for sitting in committee meetings!
Following up on Adan’s post, we had a good LAMP meeting in the lovely Bolivar room at the IAI. They graciously held a reception for us afterwards (big incentive to finish the meeting). We had a look at the wonderful exhibit they have prepared !Al pueblo argentino de 2010! Culturas en movimiento en el Rio de la Plata. (sorry can’t make accents on this computer). And some wine and empanadas, along with German sandwiches.
And enjoy a nice photo of our new members orientation. Yes, I can confirm that the Latin Lover was the drink of choice at our reception.
So where do the foxes come into the picture? On the way back to our hotel each night, I’ve been seeing little creatures that I now know are foxes. At first I thought they were jet lag induced hallucinations but I have independent confirmation that they are indeed foxes. I’ve never seen them in an urban setting like this. We are just blocks from Berlin’s Tiergarten, which literally means animal garden. It was laid out in the 18th century as a hunting ground so perhaps this all makes sense. Berlin can be a magical place indeed. . . Back to business

Prelude to a LAMP Meeting

July 3, 2009
Roberto Delgadillo (UC Davis) and I enjoyed a Berlin city tour from a low budget and quite entertaining group. The double decker bus had no air conditioning and when we were caught by an unexpected “chubasco” in front of the Branderburg Gate, the lower deck started to leak! But the tour guide and the driver were quite friendly and when the driver heard us speaking in Spanish, he made sure we noticed the Mexican Embassy building, which is quite interesting indeed.
We arrived back at the hotel on time to attend the much dreaded LAMP meeting, which has traditionally been scheduled for the first night of the conference. It did not disappoint this time around, not only did it last the usual three hours!!!! But the proposals were certainly varied and of great interest: from digitizing 20th century women’s journals from Brazil to cataloging Bolivian colonial documents. All of which touched of topics of interest to SALALM but also indicated LAMP’s original mission to preserve rare/unique/brittle materials as it moves into integrating new technologies and now considers digitization projects, all in concert with its original mission to provide access to rich resources in need of long term preservation.
After the meeting ended, our hosts at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut treated the 36 attendees to a reception at the Institute’s library main floor where we also enjoyed their newly mounted exhibit Al pueblo argentine de 2010! Culturas en movimiento en el Rio de la Plata!
Adan Griego, Stanfoard University Libraries.

Berlin and SALALM

The trip here was long and frustrating but Berlin is really interesting. I am staying in a hostel called Pfefferbett, which I can recommend, and now I am using the free computers in the breakfast room aka bar to write this. The committee meetings yesterday were interesting and frank… I think everyone feels free to express themselves in this group. The hotel is about 4 km or more from here so I walked yesterday and got my exercise… maybe today I will figure out the subway. I promise to take some pictures today and post…
Yesterday I saw the Tiergarten, which was once a hunting preserve for the Kurfurst, some kind of prince, and gradually turned into something similar to Central Park, with statues of kings and queens. I saw a hippy mom, barefoot, with her little child, about one year old, and lots of other parents with kids on bikes. It is a good city for cycling, with lots of bike paths, and bicycle rickshaws. I even saw what looked like newlyweds on a two+person rickshaw, followed by a couple other rickshaws carrying the other members of the wedding party. The bride wore white and carried flowers and had a big smile on her face.
I alo tried to visit the Musical Instrument museum, but when we got there the man at the door told us that it was too close to closing time, and I will have to try again another day. It is close to the Maritim Hotel.
Dining possibilities are good here and food is better than I remember from my student days in (west) Germany back in the olden days… a large group of us went to a Croatian restaurant and had schaschlik (shishkabob) and schnitzel and the best beer… It.s true, the beers in Berlin are great.
 

Jean Dickson

Latin Lover


“Latin Lover” seemed to have been the drink of choice at the New Members and ENLACE Happy Hour

Book Burning, Berlin



This morning I started exploring Berlin, and one of the sites I wanted to make sure I visited was the memorial for the book burning event that took place on May 10, 1933, when students burned over 25,000 books considered “un-German”. It took me a while to find it, and it was only after I asked around that I figured out why I couln’t find it; a large tent for Berlin’s Fashion Week is sitting right over the memorial (yes, lovely contrast there). Still, I kept asking around and found out that the memorial is still open to the public, through a small side entrance.
Here are a couple of pictures I took there.
Esta mañana he comenzado a explorar Berlín, y uno de los sitios que quería asegurarse de visitar es el monumento a la quema de libros que tuvo lugar el 10 de mayo de 1933, cuando los estudiantes quemaron más de 25.000 libros considerados “anti-alemanes”. Me tomó un tiempo encontrarlo, y fue sólo después de preguntar que me di cuenta por que no lo veia, encima hay una tienda grandisima donde se esta organizando la Semana de la Moda de Berlín (sí, lindo el contraste). Igual segui preguntando y descubri que el lugar todavia sigue abierta al público, a través de una pequeña entrada lateral.

He aquí un par de fotos que tomé allí.

Willkommen in Berlin!


Greetings from Berlin! I arrived around midday Wednesday and am probably one of the first overseas attendees to arrive. I had a delayed but uneventful flight, direct from New York. At the baggage claim I discovered that Tina Gross was on my flight, but that was the only Salalmer@ I encountered today.
Here’s the entrance to our hotel, in the lovely Kulturforum district. The air is fragrant with some kind of blossom. I spent most of my day settling in and getting organized. I took a walk over to the nearby Potsdamer Platz. There are several shops and restaurants about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. I will be helping our colleagues at the IAI Library with conference preparations tomorrow (although they are so organized they probably do not need my help!). I hope to run into some arriving Salalm members on Thursday and Friday. It’s warm here right now, highs near 80 F but it will be a few degrees cooler after Sunday, according to the forecasts.
Hasta pronto, pamela

Beyond a Social Network: Using Facebook with an Advanced Spanish Class

I joined Facebook sometime in early 2008 and by July I had become more than just a novice user and saw its potential beyond “friending” those I already knew and accepting the “friendships” of those with whom I was having my first amicable meeting through their request to join their network of friends.
In experimenting with the site, I started by creating an open group (LASA Sexualities Section) for the Sexualities Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), a group for which I have been maintaining an online Bibliography for several years. The ability to upload images of book covers (and include reviews, interviews, etc) seemed a more visually appealing mode of sharing bibliographic information than the Yahoo list the group had created several years earlier to communicate with members. A brief note on this appeared in the February 2009 issue of the SALALM Newsletter.
In December of 2008 it was time to start planning for a class in the Spanish Department (Introduction to Literary and Scholarly Research) which had been redesigned and included a library component to expose students to “fuentes primarias” as part of their advanced research. This new incarnation had been taught once already during the Winter Quarter of 2007, a few months earlier. I proposed using Facebook as a way of integrating new technologies to introduce users to original/unique/special library resources.
After all, we already knew that approximately 80% of college students were avid participants in this popular social network. The materials to be consulted were non-circulating, thus having digital images of many of those resources would facilitate use of those items as they would reside in a site that would make them available 24×7, one of the expectations of the millennial library user. It seemed like a very logical way of exposing a new net generation to a range of….what word should we use? Older, Rare, Antiquarian….resources?
I immersed myself on maneuvering through the site and began to create Events for each of the sessions for which the class was to visit the Library to consult materials in our Special Collections Reading Room. The items to be used ranged from facsimile editions of Medieval texts and Pre-columbian codices to literary correspondence in its original as well alternative publications like theCartonera and Leñateros hand-made books or the controversial Memin Pinguin comics.
The process of mounting images for each class event appeared to be effortless. Simply “googleing” a topic/name like Sor Juana, and SAVE IMAGE AS via the right click of the mouse and the imaged was saved to my desktop. But it turned out to be a more complex task as the images did not load in chronological order but rather as last in/first out. REMEMBER THIS! After that “small” glitch was caught, I entertained myself during a 2 week vacation (mostly rainy days) reloading the images to fit the desired chronology and through the Edit this Photo Facebook function, I was able to add/modify text (Copy & Paste is wonderful, right?) to accompany each image of the materials to be shown in class.
On the first day of class, I went to the meeting room, held outside the library, to provide a brief overview of the library component of the course: a basic demonstration of how to search the online catalog to find items housed in Special Collections. What I hoped would be a simple “repaso” of basic OPAC searching proved to be a novelty for the students. There was something else other than Google to find library resources!
The first task was to have the students join the closed group that had been created within Facebook for their class: Span Lit 120 (see images below). They had the option of searching for the group and ask for permission to join, the group’s administrator(s) can be the gatekeeper(s). I discovered that if had their email addresses and they were not part of my network of friends, I could not invite them to join, or at least that appeared to be one of the initial logistical “pegas.” A simple step became a bit cumbersome as sometimes students had to “friend” me so that I could give them access. Not all of them followed these steps right after class, some waited until a week later, the day of the next meeting! Net user comportment does not seem to deviate much from that of those of us born before 1980, the so called “Digital Immigrants.”
How did students navigate through the site?
It became clear that for them Facebook was a social network to keep track of the whereabouts of their friends through fragmented status updates: “research paper…done” all in a brevity that would make a Twitter posting resemble an unending Joycean sentence.
One of the students was already on Facebook but assumed another “identity” just for the class, reiterating what others have noted: they use it only for social networking and connect with those with similar interests. This may change as others start to explore how to integrate Facebook as teaching tool in the college classroom.
Indeed, of the 15 registered students, few realized the extent to which the site contained multiple images (of some texts that were shown in Special Collections) with notes supplementing my class presentation. Others did not realize that the “invitation” to attend an event (a class visit to the Library) meant there was further need to consult the site for materials related to the class visit.
The “Wall” was used to communicate with the group either to give exact bibliographic citations of the materials shown in class, to suggest further reading or alert some one of an article/book/site of interest related to their final class project or simple to clarify one of those questions I had not answerer…but I had promised to check and report back. For lengthier postings the Discussion Board was more appropriate given the “Wall’s” limit of 1000 characters.
What could have been done differently?
The class will be taught again during the Fall Quarter (2009)and one of the basic changes would be to have it be less unidirectional (I mount the images and text) and be more user-centered (students coud be asked to comment on the images of the materials shown in class).
To ensure that students are conversant in searching the online catalog to retrieve non-circulating materials housed in Special Collections, having them do the actual paging of items would become a more engaging experience. Sometimes this process can be done online and at others a form needs to be completed in writing, that old fashioned modus operandi, so 20th century.
The class will have the added advantage of meeting twice of week. This should provide a more cohesive manner of presenting materials and not having to wait 7 days to meet in person. The online activities (students posting comments on the materials examined in class) can also provide more continuity that was lacking in the previous class settings.
Readings of Interest
Facebook and Academic Performance: Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data (2009)

A Response to Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data (2009)


Opening Facebook: How to Use Facebook in the College Classroom (2009)

Use of Facebook in Academic Health Sciences Libraries (2009)
Reaching Students with Facebook: Data and Best Practices (2007)

TechMatters: Going Where the College Students Are: Facebook and the Library (2007)