Reporting from Guadalajara's 2014 Book Fair

FIL-Guadalajara-final-620x330More than 20,000 book professionals descended into Guadalajara for a peregrinación del mundo del libro, as Madrid’s daily El País called the Feria del Libro (FIL). It is indeed a pilgrimage to the most important book event in the Spanish-speaking world, and there we were, over 100 librarians in the middle of it all!
For the second time in FIL’s 28 years Argentina was the featured country, bringing celebrations of Julio Cortazar’s centennial and homages to Juan Gelman and the ever-present Jorge Luis Borges. At a round table discussion on the author of Ficciones his widow commented on the most peculiar meeting of Mick Jagger (from the Rolling Stones) and Borges.
On opening day I overheard a group of students looking for Alfaguara, which in previous years had one of the largest FIL stands. I told them it was now part of Planeta. When I realized it was the wrong multinational publisher I chased after them to give the correct answer. Never say that accurate reference was lacking on a weekend! Off they went, to the Penguin Random House booth.
eraJesuspoemAnother novedad at the exhibit hall was a more visible stand for Ediciones Era, one of Mexico’s leading independent publishers. True to its progressive voice, photos of the recently disappeared 43 student teachers and the words of David Huerta’s moving poem Ayotzinapa , were a constant reminder of a tragedy that has sparked civil society demonstrations all over Mexico. See English-language version.
In fact, that most tragic incident called the attention of the featured country’s delegation of artists, writers and publishers, which issued a statement of solidarity for the missing students. There was also a demonstration that left from the Fair to join another group at one of the main public spaces in Guadalajara. I was returning from an artist book exhibit downtown and was caught in the ensuring traffic jam. “Están en todo su derecho”, I remarked, when the taxi driver appeared impatient. “If our children were missing, we would be equally upset,” I added. The taxista agreed.
FIL2014PresentationTitle The many events held at FIL : (presentaciones de libro, foros, encuentros, congresos) included an homenaje to this year’s Librarian (Elsa Margarita Ramírez Leyva) and Bibliophile (Juan Nicanor Pascoe Pierce). Pascoe’s Taller Martín Pescador is familiar to many Special Collections in North America.
There was also a session with a literary translator, a vendor and a librarian (ME) to learn about publishing in the United States. For the section on libraries as a market for Spanish-language books I discussed distribution channels and differences in bibliographic materials acquired by academic and public libraries.
See also:
Special coverage from El País
Photos:
*FIL logo (Feria Internacional del Libro)
*Jesus Alonso Regalado (Edicione Era stand)
Adan Griego, Stanford University Libraries.

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: D. Ryan Lynch

Photo of D. Ryan Lynch
D. Ryan Lynch. Photo by Peter Bailley, Knox College

D. Ryan Lynch was awarded the SALALM Scholarship in spring 2013. He is currently working as Assistant Librarian for Instructional Services at the Seymour Library at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and is a SALALM member.
Ryan earned an MSIS with a focus on collection development, reference, and instruction at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He also holds a master’s degree in Latin American history from Emory University.
Ryan learned about SALALM some years ago while diligently doing his research before a job interview. Later, when Ryan attended UAlbany, he saw a poster for the SALALM scholarship and, after some enthusiastic encouragement from SALALM’s own Jesus Alonso-Regalado, decided to apply.
What drew you to the field of librarianship/archival studies?
I previously worked as an archivist and museum professional, so I had been at the fringes of librarianship for years. However, I decided on librarianship because my real passion is helping college students think critically and understand the world around them (particularly cultures and perspectives different than their own). I realized that through reference, outreach, and instruction work, I could have the direct impact on students in a more immediate and regular way than at the art museum.
I also had a background in Spanish language and literature and Latin American history (with an emphasis on modern Brazil), and had long sought opportunities to do something related to those academic interests. I am still hoping for that opportunity, although I am very happy to be the liaison to Latin American Studies and Spanish at Knox.
How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia? Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and/or traveling in Latin America.
I started taking Spanish on Saturdays when I was five years old and chose to attend Spanish-language summer camp in elementary and middle school. In college at Brown University, I was fortunate enough to benefit from amazing faculty in the History, Spanish, and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies departments; Thomas Skidmore, Douglas Cope, Luiz Valente, and Wada Rios-Font in particular inspired me to pursue graduate studies. I also spent a year in Barcelona, took an intensive Catalan course, and became a Catalan nationalist.
I was very fortunate at Emory to receive generous funding for a Portuguese-language program. I also received ongoing research funding both from the university and through a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Grant. In all, I have spent over three and one half years in Brazil as a researcher and teaching English, and continue to go there regularly. I am, in the words of my friends, “o americano mais paulistano.”
Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?
In a past life, I helped to complete a Latino history project for the New York State Archives (Ventana al Pasado). I also worked with the Columbia and Cornell Latin American and Iberian Collections for my internship while at UAlbany. Due to a very tight job market [when] I graduated (there were no available LAS librarian positions for about a year), I did not have the opportunity to apply for LAS positions before taking my current job. I was very lucky to have experience and expertise in (and a passion for) liberal arts colleges, which led to several job interviews and offers, including my current job.
Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?
Yes, I went to both the Miami and Salt Lake City conferences. [Although] we were not required to give a presentation when I got the scholarship, I presented two papers in Salt Lake City. One was on outreach efforts with our first-year seminars. The second was part of a panel that I organized on different approaches to collecting histories of immigrant communities.
What was the most interesting or unexpected thing that you learned at the conference?
I was amazed at how welcoming SALALMistas are, even to people without jobs (or without LAS-related positions).
Did you attend any committee meetings?
Yes. But be forewarned: attend committee meetings and you might find yourself in charge.
Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?
Because of the job market at the time I graduated, I depended much more on my liberal arts roots [to help me in] the job market and in actually doing my job. However, SALALM has been instrumental in helping me to find a community of Latin Americanist librarians and form invaluable connections not just with Latin Americanists and Iberianists, but also with others facing many of the same reference, instruction, and outreach challenges that I face.
Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?
I used my scholarship to attend my first SALALM conference, in Miami.
 

The Earth Shakes in Ecuador

Ecuador sits uneasily on a tectonic fault line. A catastrophic quake leveled the provincial city of Ambato in 1949. But temblors close to Quito like those of August 13th and 14th are rare occurrences. The last instrumentally-recorded event there was in 1990, and to go beyond that one would have to consult documents from the 19th century. With so little experience to rely on, Quiteños seemed at a loss to explain these seismic events.
For a better understanding, I went right to an unimpeachable source, cab drivers. Riding to dinner on the 13th, I learned that quakes are correlated with the weather. “It’s the humidity,” one driver assured me. The next day more sinister attributions came my way. “In your country they predict earthquakes, don’t they?” My negative response produced only disbelief and suspicion. In an attempt to disengage, I thought of other topics, like the Ebola outbreak. “You know how to predict that, too, don’t you?” I asked the driver to drop me at the next corner. Walking half a mile to my destination seemed a small price to pay.
Newspapers on the morning of the 14th pictured enormous dust clouds, the most prominent feature visible from the city center. From closer up came accounts of landslides, highway closures and the tragic death of a six-year-old, crushed by a fifty kilogram sack of rice that fell from a shelf in the family bodega. That afternoon the government dialed up a fierce charm offensive. President Correa and several functionaries made television appearances to laud disaster response and to point out how their preparedness had saved lives. They made no mention of the six-year-old.
Then at 11PM another quake– or perhaps an aftershock, accounts varied– shook the city. I was fast asleep but awoke long enough to look for my shoes in case the hotel ordered an evacuation. Two consecutive days of temblors clearly
worried people. “I’m not afraid” one bystander confided, ”but I’m wondering.”
I have lived and traveled in the Andes regularly since 1968, and this was my first experience with a seismic event. Quake and temblor, the expressions most often used to describe the phenomenon, now seem to me misapplied. Rather than trembling or quaking, the buildings I was in gently swayed, back and forth. Nothing fell from the shelves, no one ran into the streets, no sirens wailed. But movement was palpable, 5.1 on the Richter scale.
On the 15th terra firma returned. I left town that night with a group of tourists fresh from the Galapagos Islands. They hadn’t heard a thing.

Report from “Imagining Latina/o Studies Conference” in Chicago

There I was, humming the melody to Amor, amor by Andy Russell at a panel on Latin@ representation in mass media. Indeed, an innovative technique to engage the audience at an 8am presentation when some in attendance were still functioning in an earlier time zone 2 hours away.

international-latino-studies-conference-700x300This was one of the more than 100 panels encompassing 277 presentations as part of the inaugural International Latina/o Studies Conference. It had been in the planning since the 2012 Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in San Francisco when a group of scholars met informally and envisioned a LASA-like conference focusing solely on US Latin@ issues.

The result was an overwhelming show of support with more than 500 participants addressing multiple aspects of US Latin@ culture. Many of those attending were younger scholars quite active in social media, as the Twitter Archive of #lschi2014 shows.

Current issues like immigration were certainly at the forefront, along with literature, popular culture and even libraries. With barely 3 information professionals and a library intern, our presence was felt throughout the 3 days of presentations beyond a roundtable discussion devoted to archives and libraries.

*At a panel on Latino masculinities and sexuality one of the presenters lamented the absence of an author’s literary archive whose life had to be re-constructed from oral histories of those who knew him. This was an excellent opening to suggest that those histories be deposited in a library and make them available to future researchers.

*The presentation showcasing a decade of La Bloga was another opportunity to insinuate the importance of archiving a born-digital resource when some of the panelists themselves were not sure how to access early postings of the site that has already reached the one-millionth visitor mark.

*At one of the final presentations on alternative venues of cultural activism, it became apparent that one of Stanford’s collections would be most useful to document the history of a recently deceased Chilean activist. By coincidence,an independent filmmaker in the audience also inquired about another part of that archive.

*Above all, the group realized the importance of libraries and would ensure that a permanent space on its future executive board include a librarian.

Planning is already underway for a future conference in two years. The location has yet to be decided but it’s never too soon to seek ways in which libraries and archives can have a presence among those many interesting panels.

A last minute visit to the Art Institute only a few blocks away surprised with an unexpected exhibit on Mexican graphic art. What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print showcased the Institute’s extensive holdings from one of the best known groups of politically engaged artists in Latin America.

Adan Griego
Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Stanford University Libraries.

Report from "Imagining Latina/o Studies Conference" in Chicago

There I was, humming the melody to Amor, amor by Andy Russell at a panel on Latin@ representation in mass media. Indeed, an innovative technique to engage the audience at an 8am presentation when some in attendance were still functioning in an earlier time zone 2 hours away.
international-latino-studies-conference-700x300This was one of the more than 100 panels encompassing 277 presentations as part of the inaugural International Latina/o Studies Conference. It had been in the planning since the 2012 Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in San Francisco when a group of scholars met informally and envisioned a LASA-like conference focusing solely on US Latin@ issues.
The result was an overwhelming show of support with more than 500 participants addressing multiple aspects of US Latin@ culture. Many of those attending were younger scholars quite active in social media, as the Twitter Archive of #lschi2014 shows.
Current issues like immigration were certainly at the forefront, along with literature, popular culture and even libraries. With barely 3 information professionals and a library intern, our presence was felt throughout the 3 days of presentations beyond a roundtable discussion devoted to archives and libraries.
*At a panel on Latino masculinities and sexuality one of the presenters lamented the absence of an author’s literary archive whose life had to be re-constructed from oral histories of those who knew him. This was an excellent opening to suggest that those histories be deposited in a library and make them available to future researchers.
*The presentation showcasing a decade of La Bloga was another opportunity to insinuate the importance of archiving a born-digital resource when some of the panelists themselves were not sure how to access early postings of the site that has already reached the one-millionth visitor mark.
*At one of the final presentations on alternative venues of cultural activism, it became apparent that one of Stanford’s collections would be most useful to document the history of a recently deceased Chilean activist. By coincidence,an independent filmmaker in the audience also inquired about another part of that archive.
*Above all, the group realized the importance of libraries and would ensure that a permanent space on its future executive board include a librarian.
Planning is already underway for a future conference in two years. The location has yet to be decided but it’s never too soon to seek ways in which libraries and archives can have a presence among those many interesting panels.
A last minute visit to the Art Institute only a few blocks away surprised with an unexpected exhibit on Mexican graphic art. What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print showcased the Institute’s extensive holdings from one of the best known groups of politically engaged artists in Latin America.
Adan Griego
Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Stanford University Libraries.

Enlace Fellow shares her experience at SALALM 59

Nora Domínguez

Nora Domínguez, Centro de Información y Documentación: Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Sociales y Desarrollo (INCEDES), e Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, (IGA)
Haber participado en SALALM fue un hecho de enorme satisfacción. Sabía de esta Comunidad Bibliotecaria desde mis años de estudiante de Licenciatura y muchos años después cuando  llegué a estudiar la Maestría de Bibliotecología a El Colegio de México, muchos de los profesores y profesionales de la Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas habían participado.
Además, el Congreso de este Año estuvo dedicado a un tema de mucha actualidad y por ello suscitó un gran interés, la reconfiguración de la familia tradicional, el embate que ha tenido la crisis económica sobre las familias latinoamericanas provocando el aumento del flujo migratorio y las nuevas identidades que se están configurando.
Me sentí como en casa. Los colegas de SALALM fueron muy expresivos, recibí de todos muchas muestras de afecto por el hecho de haber sido la acreedora este año de la Beca Enlace, lo que para mí fue un alto honor y se convierte en un compromiso.
En mi carrera profesional éste fue un evento excepcional, porque me permitió intercambiar con colegas de diferentes universidades estadounidense y algunos colegas latinoamericanos y pude aprender de todos y conocer del quehacer de los archivos y bibliotecas a favor de la gestión de las colecciones latinoamericanas, mismas que atesoran con esmero.
El encuentro con los libreros también fue muy importante al constatar el trabajo conjunto de ellos con los bibliotecarios y el conocimiento que tienen de la producción literaria latinoamericana y el importante rol que juegan en la selección y adquisición de nuevas obras.
Deseo dedicar una mención especial a Roberto Delgadillo por su apoyo desde el momento que me notificaron había sido ganadora de la Beca Enlace y a Sócrates Silva por su acompañamiento, ya que estuvo atento a cada duda y a cada necesidad que surgía. Muchas gracias.
 

Roberto Delgadillo Among ALA elected councilors



SALALM’s president, Roberto Delgadillo was elected  as Councilor-at-Large for a one-year term to begin at the end of the 2014 American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas and expire at the end of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. For more details of the official announcement, click here.

Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: David Fernández

david fernandez
David Fernández is the third awardee of the SALALM Scholarship. David  learned about the SALALM Scholarship through his faculty (Faculty of Information Science /iSchool at the University of Toronto). He decided to submit an application for the scholarship after seeing a flyer posted by the office of the register at the Faculty of Information.
David knew about SALALM before applying to the scholarship as he regularly consulted a number of reference resources on the SALALM website for his research during his first year as a graduate student in Book History (e.g. History of Printing in Latin America: A Selected Bibliography by Patricia Figueroa.).
David recently graduated with his Master of Information at the Faculty of Information in the University of Toronto (June 2013).He has focused his education in Book History and Print Culture, bibliographical studies, and has studied the history of the book in Latin America at his home institution and, more recently, at the California Rare Book School in Los Angeles. He also attended the Rare Book School in Virginia University for the course on Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description this past summer.
What drew you to the field of Librarianship/Archival Studies?
My passion for books and for learning led me to a career in special collections and rare book librarianship. I think that the role of the rare book librarian goes beyond documenting, preserving, and making accessible the multiple manifestations of human knowledge in our collections. The rare book librarian is crucial in the digital era since we offer alternative approaches to learning and teaching as a result of our expertise in material history, bibliography, and special subjects in connection with our collections. This is a very exciting time for our profession as we are now beginning to see the benefits of digitization projects for scholarship and for collaboration and partnership among libraries in the Americas.
How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia?
I have a Bachelor degree from the University of Toronto; my major was in Latin American Studies with two minors in Spanish and Portuguese. I became interested in area studies since it has so much to offer students as a result of the multidisciplinary approach to learning and teaching. For instance, I studied Latin America by associating literature and history with a focus on the social history of texts. This early interest in these two disciplines led me to study the history of books in the region.
Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and /or travelling in Latin America?
I have travelled to the Caribbean and Mexico, where I have found books for my collection (history of books).  I am also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?
I have catalogued and conducted research on a special collection of Spanish Plays at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), where I worked for a year as a Graduate Student Library Assistant. The vast majority of the plays were printed in Madrid between 1840 and 1940, but these books reached Latin American audiences in cities like Mexico, Buenos Aires, and Havana. The books in this collection provide us with an insight into the cultural and commercial practices of theatre life in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century, when the popular género chico or Spanish short theatre was thriving in Spain.
I am planning to continue working with this collection and, in the near future, catalogue and research a significant collection of Brazilian chapbooks or literature de cordel and other collections related to Latin American and Iberian history and literature at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.
Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?
No, but I plan to attend to the 2014 conference.
Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?
SALALM has served as a bridge between my professional training in librarianship and bibliography and my academic interests in the history of the book in Latin America. The Seminar is also a great community, since it stimulates interaction and communication among librarians, bibliographers, information specialists, and other members like book vendors and faculty around the topic of Latin American and Iberian library and archival materials and their value for knowledge.
Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?
The SALALM Scholarship was really useful during my second year. I used the funds to finish paying my tuition.

LACCHA visited Tulane's Latin American Library's archives


Sorry for the long delay posting about this but between conferences, getting married and working on my PhD (in addition to my daily work), it has been hard to find the time to post about our wonderful experience at Tulane.
During the week of August 12- 17, 2013, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) was in New Orleans for its annual meeting. LACCHA (The Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives), a SAA roundtable, was in town too for our business meeting. As it is my usual practice, I sent an announcement to the SALALM list to invite local SALALMistas to attend our meeting. It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from our Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director of The Latin American Library at Tulane University, inviting LACCHA members for an inside tour of their archives.
We were thrilled by the opportunity to tour one of the best Latin American and Caribbean collections in the United States, and although we didn’t get as many people to attend, the few that attended really enjoyed their time with our Hortensia Calvo and Chris Hernandez (Curator of Special Collections).
We had the pleasure of visiting the off-site facility for the Latin American Library’s Archives. Prior to housing the Latin American collection, the site was used to do conservation and preservation to the materials damaged by the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina. Today, it houses the archives until the Latin American Library finishes restoration works in their facility at Tulane.
Hortensia and Christine shared with us an amazing display of their wonderful treasures in their collection–eye candy for us Latin American archivists: Mesoamerican reliefs transfers done by Merle Greene, Mesoamerican codices, Fray Bartolome de las Casas first edition of Historia de la destrucción de las Indias, holographic letters from Hernán Cortez  and several copies of tourist books for Argentina and Uruguay.
As my colleague Silvia Mejía (State Library of Massachusetts) shared with me: “I think the trip to Tulane University was the highlight of SAA. Hortensia showed us items that so important and meaningful to us and for Hortensia and her staff to give us such welcoming was unforgettable. I went back to my institution and could not stop talking about the visit. It was clearly very special to me. All I can remember saying was wow! oh my god! every time she showed us a new item, I was literary speechless.”
We hope that this type of tour is the first one of many. We hope that we can connect with other SALALMistas in the future to arrange these types of tours and have a great exchange between librarians and archivists since we all share the same love to Latin America and the Caribbean!
Thank you again, Hortensia and Christine for opening your archives and sharing it with us!
If you want to see more pictures of our visit, follow this link to the LACCHA Fan Page.
Cordially,

Marisol Ramos
Librarian for Latin American & Caribbean Studies,
Latino Studies, Spanish, and Anthropology,
& Curator of Latina/o, Latin American and Caribbean Collections

LACCHA visited Tulane’s Latin American Library’s archives

Sorry for the long delay posting about this but between conferences, getting married and working on my PhD (in addition to my daily work), it has been hard to find the time to post about our wonderful experience at Tulane.

During the week of August 12- 17, 2013, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) was in New Orleans for its annual meeting. LACCHA (The Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives), a SAA roundtable, was in town too for our business meeting. As it is my usual practice, I sent an announcement to the SALALM list to invite local SALALMistas to attend our meeting. It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from our Hortensia Calvo, Doris Stone Director of The Latin American Library at Tulane University, inviting LACCHA members for an inside tour of their archives.

We were thrilled by the opportunity to tour one of the best Latin American and Caribbean collections in the United States, and although we didn’t get as many people to attend, the few that attended really enjoyed their time with our Hortensia Calvo and Chris Hernandez (Curator of Special Collections).

We had the pleasure of visiting the off-site facility for the Latin American Library’s Archives. Prior to housing the Latin American collection, the site was used to do conservation and preservation to the materials damaged by the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina. Today, it houses the archives until the Latin American Library finishes restoration works in their facility at Tulane.

Hortensia and Christine shared with us an amazing display of their wonderful treasures in their collection–eye candy for us Latin American archivists: Mesoamerican reliefs transfers done by Merle Greene, Mesoamerican codices, Fray Bartolome de las Casas first edition of Historia de la destrucción de las Indias, holographic letters from Hernán Cortez  and several copies of tourist books for Argentina and Uruguay.

As my colleague Silvia Mejía (State Library of Massachusetts) shared with me: “I think the trip to Tulane University was the highlight of SAA. Hortensia showed us items that so important and meaningful to us and for Hortensia and her staff to give us such welcoming was unforgettable. I went back to my institution and could not stop talking about the visit. It was clearly very special to me. All I can remember saying was wow! oh my god! every time she showed us a new item, I was literary speechless.”

We hope that this type of tour is the first one of many. We hope that we can connect with other SALALMistas in the future to arrange these types of tours and have a great exchange between librarians and archivists since we all share the same love to Latin America and the Caribbean!

Thank you again, Hortensia and Christine for opening your archives and sharing it with us!
If you want to see more pictures of our visit, follow this link to the LACCHA Fan Page.

Cordially,

Marisol Ramos
Librarian for Latin American & Caribbean Studies,
Latino Studies, Spanish, and Anthropology,
& Curator of Latina/o, Latin American and Caribbean Collections