Panel 6: Building Latin American Collections in the 21st Century: Emerging Trends and Challenges (2015)
June 15, 2015, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Moderator: Ruby M. Gutiérrez, Hispanic American Periodical Index (HAPI)
Rapporteur: John B. Wright, Brigham Young University
Paloma Celis-Carbajal, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Acquiring Latin American Materials in the 21st Century: A Prelimnary Report on the Collection Development Trends Task Force,
Debra McKern, Library of Congress, Rio de Janeiro Office: Brazil’s Popular Groups: Acquiring the Grey Literature Collection at the Library of Congress
Jennifer Osorio, University of California, Los Angeles: Serials Acquisitions in the Digital ‘Future’: If It’s All Online, What’s the Problem?
Ruby Gutiérrez announced a change in order of the presentations: 1) Osorio, 2) McKern, and 3) Celis-Carbajal.
Osorio discussed the different models of open access in Latin America (LA) and the United States (U.S.). Through her presentation she discussed answers for the following questions: Is open access in LA the same as in the US? How are the models different? Which if any are the implications for libraries and collections of the rapid adoption of open access in LA? Are there dangers to the breakneck speed of open access adoption in LA? What is in the open access portals and what is not. She described the transformation of LA universities from the former state-building enterprise, describing how higher education in LA now follows more the US research model and gives more visibility to women and lower classes. She then discussed LA journals and their status in open access portals. In 2003, 40 percent of LA journals were available through open access, and in 2010, 74% of LA journals were available through open access. LA open access portals have similar requirements for inclusion that monitored inclusion in the LA print journals and are still largely funded by government agencies. In LA, the assumption is that inclusion in open access portals equals quality. She showed several tables that showed in general terms the differences of the open access model in LA and the US. She indicated that because of the open access model of favoring international issues over regional issues, hard sciences over social sciences, English over Spanish/Portuguese, Large communities over small communities, Generic coverage over specialized coverage, Well-funded and stable over struggling, that some specific consequences result. They are, 1) regional or provincial voices are lost, 2) new scholars do not have a real venue for getting their research out, 3) voices in other languages than the dominant languages are lost, 4) publications are underfunded and erratic. There appears to be a sense of neo-colonialism inherent in this type of model. The implications on developing LA collections, require that representative voices not included in the portals be sought out. Regional, national and local titles in collection must be prioritized and acquired. Also, research in other formats must be sought out as well.
McKern discussed the grey literature collection from Brazil’s popular groups at the Library of Congress and the ways in which the Rio Office tries to acquire these materials for its collection. These popular groups include: Agrarian reform; Children & youth; Education & communication; Environment & ecology; Ethnic groups: Blacks; Ethnic groups: Indian; Ethnic groups: Others; LGBT; Humanitarian & civil rights; Labor & laboring classes; Political parties & issues; Religions organizations, ecumenical groups and movements; Urban activism; and Women & feminists. She focused in on one group type “Environment & ecology” to illustrate some of the challenges for acquisition of materials. A lot of material is only available on Facebook, but some of it will always be available in print because it is intended to be handed out to people on the street who don’t have internet access. LC’s collections are searchable, but you have to buy the physical filter to get access to what you can find in a searchable index. The researcher cannot currently access the collection. They are talking with Princeton to learn about possibilities of piggybacking on Princeton’s Ephemeral Collection. She had some extra copies of material fitting into these popular groups that were available for collecting by anyone interested.
Celis-Carbajal presented a preliminary report of the Collection Development Trends Task Force which has the following members: Lief Adelson, Alejandra Cordero, Lynn Shirey, Sandra Saores, Miguel Valladares and Paloma Celis-Carbajal. The group grew out of the Librarian/Bookdealer/Publisher Committee at SALALM LVIII in Miami. The LARRP Survey and the attempts of Inter-Library Cooperation Committee to construct an overall picture of collection development going on has become very difficult to pull together. The Task Force has created a 20-question survey instrument to go out to all members of SALALM who have primary responsibility for collection development in their respective institutions. The results of the survey will not be published because obtaining clearance through an IRB would have been overly complicated. To date, two individuals have taken the survey and provided feedback to the Task Force. In the panel today, Celis-Carbajal invited the group to look at two specific questions and take two minutes to read and answer the question, giving the Task Force feedback on whether or not the two questions adequately obtained the desired solicited information. The group responded that it is odd to have the entire Caribbean in one group, while other countries are broken out separately. It was pointed out that not everyone can answer the specific question about vendors as it does not give enough options for adequately answering. It was also mentioned that the survey should be routed to whoever is most capable of answering the questions. Many of our libraries acquire materials through various ways. Many libraries decide on a particular vendor as a result of service provided, not necessarily if the vendor resides in the country being collected. The time period referred to in the survey instrument is not clear, i.e. actual year, fiscal year (and many institutions have a varied of fiscal year periods). The survey instrument instructs to select the “preferred” outcome, instead of the “actual” outcome. The group asked Celis-Carbajal to explain the goal of the survey. She responded that it is hoped that the survey can be done over successive years so that SALALM can understand trends over time. It was pointed out that it may be difficult because of the size of country/region covered in survey, size of institution doing the collecting. It was asked if we would be able to understand any of the changes in trends.
Ruby Gutiérrez (HAPI) asked Debra McKern how exactly the gathering of Brazil’s Popular Collections grey materials is accomplished and what are the difficulties in obtaining this material? McKern replied that the four acquisitions staff members from the LC Rio Office, some retired staff, and some staff in São Paulo go out on the streets to acquire the materials. They go out to the hinterlands to collect materials and say, “We are from the Library of Congress” and people respond “Really?”. Jennifer Osorio (UCLA) asked if our individual institutions can send to LC grey materials we obtain for inclusion in LC’s collection? McKern indicated that they would accept materials. McKern clarified that as they go collecting, they do not put themselves at risk. She used to take photographs of materials, but was told not to do that anymore by the US Consulate who indicated that it looked bad for someone to be taking photographs of this material. Miguel Valladares (University of Virginia) explained that he has the professors take grey literature obtained by him and use it in their classes. Gutiérrez (HAPI) asked Osorio if there was an index for LA open access journals/portals. HAPI has an index of which materials they index that is open access. Paloma Celis-Carbajal (U of Wisconsin-Madison) indicated that there is a LARRP proposal for open access. Mei Mendez (U of Miami) asked about literary journals and their availability in open access if social sciences are not well covered in portals. Osorio responded that it is hard to find literary journals and hard to collect them. Leif Adelson (Books from Mexico) mentioned that there is still a strong government connection with the panels that create/monitor the portals and that there really is a de-emphasis on the humanities and social sciences. Debra McKern (LC Rio Office) suggested that grey literature needs to be put in an archive, but wonders how best to divide it up. Should it just be in the categories or types that they are collecting? It seems that a web archive would work well for the serials.