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Ann Arbor, MI
May 20, 2017

LASER Meeting At SALALM LXII, University of Michigan
In Attendance:
Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Gayle Williams (Florida International University), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University), Chelsea Dinsmore (University of Florida), Paul Losch (University of Florida), Christine Hernandez (Tulane University), Anton duPlessis (Texas A&M Univerity), Melissa Guy (University of Texas, Austin), Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University), Jessica English (University of Florida), Amanda Moreno (University of Miami), Holly Ackerman (Duke University)
Laura Shedenhelm, Interim chair, called the meeting to order and introductions were made. The minutes of the 2016 meeting were approved.
Old Business
(a) Institutional reports were sent before the meeting and are appended at the bottom.
(b) Discussion about approval plan comparison: (a) This data could be a basis for looking at less duplication among our institutions. Folks using the same vendor might want to compare their collections for coverage of regions, disciplines, or topics. (b) Colombia could be a problem – ex.: Serials are not coming for some institutions, while others seem to still have steady receipts. (c) Coverage for the large counties may have been split up among institutions, but whether it’s really working is questionable. Holly Ackerman discussed a good example for Brazil and she will send me the data for the Borrow Direct project. (d) There is a large contingency from Chile from their book dealers association attending SALALM this year. Everyone was encouraged to stop by their tables.
(c) Mid-year meeting for FY2018 – Hortensia Calvo has requested funding for a meeting at Tulane if they get the 4th year title IV funding. No one knows if the funding is coming through. Tulane should know if they will get the money before Aug. 14, 2017. The proposal is for ravel support for 7-8 attendees ($1,000) and per diem ($1,478) – would be about $300 per person. Suggested dates: need to be between Sept. 2017 – early Aug. 2018 – earlier rather than later. Hortensia will do Doodle poll to find best dates. Content of meeting proposals: (1) Revisit the kind of WorldCat analysis type of project such as the pilot Gold Rush project in ASERL – before the meeting each member should find out what tool their institution is using (if any). (2) Expand the approval plan data: Identify areas or countries [On the Borrow Direct model for perhaps Argentina, Peru, or Colombia] for cooperation possibilities; or for indigenous materials – Melissa Guy noted how difficult it was to acquire this type of material due to its scarcity and distribution.
(d) Other: There was discussion about cooperative borrowing programs such as “Kudzu” in ASERL, and the SEC funding library ILL shipping.
New Business
(a) Review membership: Given the lack of attendance and participation, University of Virginia and Florida State University will be taken off the website. They are welcome to rejoin in the future. Other institutions, such as Texas A&M, are considering if or where their participation and membership would be most productive.
(b) Set a deadline for updating website: updates go through the SALALM website. Laura Shedenhelm will find out from Betsaida Reyes about how to log into the site to do this.
Elect new chair
Laura Shedenhelm (2017-2020).
Minutes (pending approval) submitted by Laura Shedenhelm.
Institutional reports for 2017 (In order of receipt)
Florida International University

For the last two years, the library budget has had to reduce all firm order allocations by 20% in order to pay for some siginifcant databases formerly supported financially by Florida’s statewide consortium. Latin American/Caribbean approval plan allocations were not reduced but will remain flat in years to come. Budget shifts also mean it is no longer a given that we can submit new database proposals throughout the academic year and start accessing them. We now wait for spring accounting of available surplus funds to determine what we can get. We have been warned that in the future, subject librarians may have to request cancellation of one database to acquire another. While it is possible to acquire new databases with the university tech fee proposal, this is not always practical.
The exciting news for 16/17 is that the FIU Libraries now subscribe to DialnetPlus, the subscription-based value-added version of Dialnet. Dialnet Plus provides filters for searches to help narrow results. Our faculty are very happy to have an easier way to access Dialnet’s rich Latin American and Iberian content. I have not been able to ascertain if we’re the first US academic library to subscribe but we might be!
Laser members are invited to consider participating in the LACiC Exchange Database operated at the FIU Libraries. Go to http://lacic.fiu.edu/exchanges/ to search the database and get an idea of titles it holds. For the last 3 years, I have been working with the Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, and they took about every Colombian title in the database! I am considering bringing the database to a close and dispersing the collection to Better World Books in a couple of years.
Submitted by Gayle Williams
Latin American and Caribbean Information Services Librarian, FIU
University of Georgia

The Libraries benefited from National Resource Center grant funds again this year. As in previous years, I designated the funds toward mini-approval plans that focused on the four areas highlighted in the grant: Brazil, general Latin American studies, environmental studies, and Indigenous Latin America. This year the general areas emphasized the Caribbean, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina.
The University System of Georgia Libraries are moving to the Alma system. UGA is currently preparing to make the turn over. We have closed receipts into the current catalog and will come live with the new catalog on May 26.
Submitted by Laura D. Shedenhelm
Tulane University

On-site events & happenings:
June 8-10: We hosted CALAP partners Margarita Vannini from Insituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica-IHNCA) and Guisela Asencio from CIRMA in Antigua, Guatemala. CALAP is a multi-year collaborative Title VI-funded digitization project that identifies complementary primary sources in the three repositories to create digital collections with complementary material. We are working with presidential papers and rare newspapers. We are also initiating a project to digitize independence-era primary sources.
March 17 to July 15: We hosted a stunning photographic exhibit, John Edward Heaton’s Guatemala, with an opening reception that attracted a wide audience from the campus and local community. The exhibit debuted in the fall of 2015 in Paris at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), the city’s main museum for photography, and the LAL was the first venue in North America to host it. Heaton’s work documents the fascinating worlds of contemporary Guatemala. He has spent 30 years immersed as a curious witness to this Central American nation, among the most historically rich and complex nations of Latin America. Occupying the space between historical documentary and fine art, Heaton’s stunning photographs capture the ironies and poignancy of Guatemala and its people with a penetrating gaze that is nonetheless thoroughly engaged, sympathetic and not without a good dose of humor.
September 23. 12th Annual Open House, Book Sale and Exhibit; Invited speaker, Viki Ospina. Our annual event is designed for faculty, students and friends of the LAL to meet staff, advertise a selection of the Library’s recent acquisitions, learn more about collections and services, and browse our book sale. This year we invited Colombian photographer Viki Ospina who gave a talk during the open house on her work. We also held a graduate student photo contest for submissions by students who traveled abroad over the summer and took photographs relating to their research. The open house drew over 160 people.
October 12. Celebration of Día de la Hispanidad (aka Columbus Day) featuring a presentation of rare LAL materials, a guest speaker and a reception, with the members of Sociedad Española. The event was held in memory of longtime member Juanita Pradel who recently passed away and featured a presentation of three albums she donated to the LAL documenting goodwill missions from New Orleans to Latin America in the 1960s. Invited speaker was Robert Freeland who spoke on New Orleans Mayor Chep Morrison and the history of Latinos in the city. 43 members of Sociedad Española.
November 9. “Writers as Readers: A Conversation with Jorge F. Hernández and Yuri Herrera.” Inaugural event of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Words and Music Festival. The event was part of the NEA-funded Big Read program, and co-hosted by LAL and the Faulkner Society. I moderated a dialogue with Mexican writers Jorge F. Hernández and Tulane professor Yuri Herrera on a variety of topics. LAL held a reception and hosted an exhibit titled “Mexican Literature and Society at the Latin American Library” following the event. Over 120 attendees.
March 31: We prepared an exhibit on Costa Rican rare materials in honor of the visit to the Latin American Library of Tulane alum and Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís.
Major Acquisitions:
We acquired a splendid collection of over 3300 stereoscopic glass slides documenting daily life in Mérida (Yucatán) Mexico from 1910-1930s. The images were taken by a local medical doctor and photography aficionado, Marcelo Martínez Palma (1873-1953). The collection documents life in a sisal hacienda, local architecture, carnival and other public celebrations in Mérida, family life, local inhabitants from different social strata, as well as trips abroad to Cuba, Paris, England, Germany and, Austria, even including a visit to New Orleans in 1915.
The LAL also received a very special gift in kind from longtime donors Jim and Penny C. Morrill consisting of 21 original drawings, photographs and other rare items by renowned silver designer William Spratling. The collection will be included in the Library’s extensive Spratling-Taxco Collection, founded in 2004 thanks to a substantial donation from the Morrills. Among the drawings is a sketch by Spratling depicting himself and his good friend and roommate, William Faulkner, on a trip to Europe. The previously unpublished drawing will be featured this fall on the cover of The Double Dealer, the literary journal of New Orleans’ Faulkner Society.
In September, we received from a donor an important collection of rare maps of Latin America and the Caribbean to be donated over several years. In 2016 we received the first group, a collection of 17 rare maps dating between 1640 and 1873 of Brazil, Colombia, Panamá, Perú, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, the Caribbean as well as several with a continental scope. In early 2017, we received a second set of 27 rare maps.
Other notable events:
With funding awarded by the Latin American Research Resources Project (LARRP), we completed a pilot project to digitze194 reel to reel audio tapes from the Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban American Radionovelas. These reels contain master recordings from eight radionovela and comedy radio programs produced by the America’s Productions Inc. (API) and broadcasted during the late 1960s. We combined the digital recordings with images of API marketing materials to create a collection in Tulane University’s Digital Library. The collection is now published providing access to 198 audio recordings and 60 pages of marketing materials.
We awarded Richard E. Greenleaf Fellowships to three scholars from Guatemala/Mexico, Argentina and Honduras to develop research projects at the library. They are: Sixta Yesenia Martínez García (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras-Francisco Morazán, Departamento de Historia – Honduras) Dates of Fellowship: February 1- March 31, 2016 – Project: Illnesses and the Ill: Towards a History of Health in Honduras, 1880-1949 = Enfermos y enfermedades, hacia una historia de la salud en Honduras, 1880 a 1949; Inés Yujnovsky (Universidad de San Martín, Escuela de Humanidades – Argentina) Dates of Fellowship: February 1- March 31, 2016 – Project: From Mexico to Tierra del Fuego: The Circulation of Photographs and the Impact of the Photographic Image in the Cultural, Social, Political and Economic Life of Latin America; Francisco Rodolfo González Galeotti (El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico – Guatemala/Mexico) Dates of Fellowship: April 1-May 31, 2016 – Project: Intertwining Paths: Clans, Commerce and Power Between Oaxaca and the Kingdom of Guatemala, 1740-1840.
Acquisitions budgets have remained fairly steady though we will likely not cover inflation this coming year.
Space remains an issue. From the circulating collection, we weeded duplicated titles, sent low circulating items to the offsite facility for remote retrieval, and incorporated all pre-1900 imprints to our Rare Books collection.
Submitted by H. Calvo and C. Hernández
University of FLorida

Still advertising for “Head Curator” Position: will bring together old LACC / special collections / digital projects under one expanded LACC unit.
Jessie English hired as Cuban Heritage Coordinator (attending this SALALM as new member).
CLIR Fellow Dr. Crystal Felima to start this summer (Caribbean Digital Humanities and Data Curation).
Lara Lookabaugh will be pursuing PhD in Geography at UNC Chapel Hill.
No replacement for Peter Bushnell in Cataloging.
Richard Phillips doing well, volunteering regularly – sends greetings.
Dr. Margarita Vargas-Betancourt (Special Collections, active in LACCHA/SAA) planning to attend SALALM in Mexico City.
Digital Projects at UF:
Exchanges of visits between UF Library Deans and Director of National Library of Cuba resulting in agreements for cooperation in bibliographic and digital projects.
Also: digitization of Puerto Rican newspapers (NDNP), Mexican Jewish newspaper (LARRP), Voodoo Archive (NEH), other selected items from LACC (Title VI).
Upgrades coming to Sobek system (basis for Digital Library of the Caribbean).
Chelsea Dinsmore, UF’s Head of Digital Production Services planning to attend SALALM this year.
Budgets flat since major cuts in 2014.
Continuing strong commitment to Caribbean and to biological sciences/environment/ag.
One growth area: Latin American Judaica (in conjunction with UF’s Price Library of Judaica).
Exhibit Activities at UF:
Two temporary exhibits prepared by Special Collections curator: Mysteries of an Autograph (signed works of literature) and The Cuban American Dream (Cuban presence in UF’s Florida History collections).
Judaica Library exhibit on Jewish Argentina.
Another exhibit in campus art gallery: Cuban film posters.
New permanent exhibit space dedicated to Panama Canal history.
Library Travel Grants:
Eight awarded through Title VI funds this summer.
New library-funded competition – not restricted by Title Vi regulations, not LA-specific.
UF (and all other Florida public colleges/universities) moving to Sierra ILS system.
LACC materials currently on three open stack levels – will reduce to 2 with 1 closed stack level.
Center for Latin American Studies News:
Most retirement vacancies filled, except in Spanish-American Literature.
Growth in Master’s in Sustainable Development (non-thesis program) and in undergrad certificates.
Uncertainty about Title VI future, planning to re-apply this year.
Submitted by P. Losch
Duke University Libraries

Department of International and Area Studies Staff:
During 2016-2017 we filled two positions in the Department of International & Area Studies in the Duke Libraries.
Sean Swanick joined us from McGill University Libraries in Montreal as the new Librarian for Middle Eastern and Iberian Studies.
In July 2017 Heather Matthews from the University of Alabama Birmingham will join us as the new Librarian for African and African-American Studies.
Digital Projects:
Together with partners at the University of Florida and the National Library of Cuba we completed digitization of the Spanish language edition of Sputnik, the news magazine from the USSR that circulated widely in Cuba. The Cuban library had an incomplete collection and we were able to assist in gathering a complete run.
We completed digitization of the Monograph on the Republic of Haiti. A rare compilation of intelligence information gathered by U.S. forces during the U.S. occupation of Haiti 1915-1934. The Monograph was donated to Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library by the U.S. Marine Archive in Quantico, VA.
With support from a LAMP grant and partners at the University of Florida and FIU’s Digital Library of the Caribbean, we digitized the base newspapers from the Guantanamo Naval Station 1948-Present.
Acquistions budgets remained the same for FY 2017 as in FY 2016 except for notable growth in Brazilian purchases to keep pace with academic programs in this area. There will be reductions in travel funds in the coming year.
We purchased $5,000 of materials on the history, politics, public policy and sociology of education in Brazil with particular focus on higher education and the Baixada Fulminense.
We continue to fulfill our shared resources commitment by collecting on Political Humor and Labor History.
Recent acquisition in our special collections include:
Works by Sergio Sánchez Santamaría who was a guest here this year. He donated the prints from his exhibition at Duke. In addition, the Rubenstein Library just purchased a folio of 17 additional prints by Sergio on historical figures from Morelos. Personajes de Morelos portfolio: obra gráfica. http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE007757368;
A magnificent artist’s book, Havana, by Leslie Gerry. The images in the book were inspired by a recent visit and a reading of the early 20th Century works of Irene Aloha Wright. See the book at http://www.lesliegerryeditions.com/index.php?mact=Products,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01hierarchy=books&cntnt01productid=171&cntnt01returnid=78;
An addition to our collection of artist’s books from the Matanzas, Cuba collective Ediiones Vigía on Bob Marley’s redemption song called Canción de redención. Our collection from Ediciones Vigía is at http://search.library.duke.edu/search?Nty=1&sort=2&source=duke&Ntk=Keyword&Ns=PubDateSort%7c0%7c%7cTitle+Sort%7c1&Nr=OR%28210969%2cOR%28206474%29%29&Ne=2+200043+206474+210899+210956&N=0&Ntt=%22ediciones+vigia%22 UNC has a much larger collection which can be seen by clicking on the TRLN link in our record. Additional “cartonera” books owned at Duke can be seen at http://search.library.duke.edu/search?N=0&Nty=1&Ntk=Keyword&Ntt=cartonera&sugg=;
Our collection of political satire serials from 1850-1945 continues to grow. A complete list is available on request.
Grants & Awards:
The Duke Libraries continue their partnership with the Washington Office on Latin American to award the Duke/WOLA Book Award annually for the best book written in English on Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year’s winner was Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities by Chad Broughton. Holly Ackerman served as judge for this year’s competition.
Holly Ackerman and Patrick Stawski, Archivist for Human Rights, were awarded a grant from the Trent Foundation to prepare a week-long program on Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea Migration for fall 2017.
Holly Ackerman completed field work in Italy and Malta in Summer 2016 for a comparative study of Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea migration. An additional grant from the Trent Foundation supported the work.
We offered Summer Library Fellowships jointly with UNC to three scholars in 2016 and expect three more to participate in summer 2017. All were from universities in the South who were developing new courses using special circulating collections.
Cooperation with other Duke Departments:
Holly Ackerman served as the faculty leader of the Duke Alumni tour of Cuba in April 2017.
Holly Ackerman is now the Co-Director of the Duke Engage – Miami Program which provides summer civic engagement opportunities for Duke Undergraduates. Students will be working in three legal aid agencies serving immigrants with particular focus on Cuban and Haitian clients.
Academic Programs and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center Activities:
We have a new Director of Educational Programs, Dr. Kenneth Maffitt. Ken taught previously at Duke and holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of California-San Diego and an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University.
Associate Director for the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Natalie Hartman received the 2017 Award for Dedicated Service for Promoting the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean March 24, 2017 at the banquet for the South Eastern Council on LAS conference held at UNC as part of the annual conference Duke/UNC consortium conference.
Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj ,a journalist, social anthropologist, and international spokeswoman was this year’s Mellon Visiting Professor. She has been at the forefront of struggles for respect for indigenous cultures in Guatemala.
The CLACS Burning Issues in Latin America Series hosted New York Times Latin American Bureau Chief, Simon Romero as the special guest for the Burning Issues in Latin America series.
Three programs of Brazilian Studies have developed at Duke over the last two years and will continue next year. The Duke Libraries worked closely with all three programs to expand our collection accordingly. These include:
A Global Brazil Humanities Lab aims to generate new conversations between the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences by including students in research focused on Brazilian arts, social movements, and natural environment.
The Duke Brazil Initiative (DBI) which supports faculty and student research exchanges with Brazilian universities and research centers, providing funds to promote the exchanges. A dozen Duke students from seven Duke Schools and equal numbers from Brazil participated this year.
A Bass Connections Program supported eight duke students spent three weeks in the Baixada Fluminense, a low-income district on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, interviewing university students, their parents and faculty at the Multidisciplinary Institute of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro.
Submitted by Holly Ackerman

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Charlottesville, VA
May 12, 2016

LASER Meeting at SALALM LXI, University of Virginia
In Attendance:
Gayle Williams (Florida International University), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University), Jade Madrid (Tulane University), Christine Hernandez (Tulane University), Holly Ackerman (Duke University), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University), Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Paul Losch (University of Florida), Lara Lookabaugh (University of Florida),Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami), Melissa Guy (University of Texas at Austin)
Visitor: Daniel Arbino (University of Arizona)
Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) called the meeting to order at 9am since our current convener, Phil MacLeod (Emory University), had to cancel conference at the last minute due to family illness. Gayle Williams (Florida International University) agreed to take minutes.
Introductions were made for the benefit of our visitor.
Minutes for the 2014/2015 meeting at Princeton were approved with revisions. Teresa Chapa added one item to the agenda: new LASER convener.
Discussion on mid-meeting for FY 2017 or FY 2018 sites and potential topics:
In previous meetings, Tulane, Duke/North Carolina, and Vanderbilt had agreed to ask that funds for an outside LASER meeting would be included in the new round of Title VI funding. Duke/North Carolina reported that their Title VI doesn’t include those funds. Tulane does have Title VI funding. Vanderbilt does not but is willing to support meeting costs. The latter two will continue to investigate the feasibility of a meeting thought it might not be for 2016/2017. There was a suggestion to look at the dates/location of the annual SECOLAS meeting as a possible venue for LASER. During the discussion we provided background information about Title VI programs for the benefit of our new members and visitor.
State of Iturriaga Collaboration:
We all noted that there has been a total cessation of the single title offers from Iturriaga due to Roberto’s deteriorating health. However, his associates have asked some of us about whether or not we want to continue receiving their title lists. We agreed that what makes having the lists useful is the turnaround on the Laser listserv to indicate whether or not our institutions will purchase certain titles.
Potential LASER Projects:
In the past 5 years LASER has discussed various collaborative projects: collection of Paraguayan materials, collection of Argentine university press titles, collection by state of Mexican materials, indigenous (including Haitian Creole) language coverage from Latin America, and small press coverage.
Discussion noted that we have varying interests in these projects and that the disparate scale of our respective institutions doesn’t make it likely that all of us can participate in any one initiative.
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt) suggested a comparison of our LARRP Distributed Resources Project reports. We agreed this would be of interest.
Melissa Guy (UT—Austin) asked if there was any interest in collecting science materials. We shared our respective interests at our institutions and Melissa will do a survey to get a better sense of collecting in the sciences among us.
Other Business:
Paula asked for our webpage updates.
Teresa reported that Phil MacLeod has decided not to finish up his final year as convener next year. No one was ready to commit to follow him. Teresa agreed to serve as interim convener for next year but we will then need to find a new convener starting in 2017/2018.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30am.
Submitted by Gayle Williams (Florida International University)

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May 17, 2013
Coral Gables, FL
May 17, 2013

LASER Meeting at SALALM LVIII, West Colonnade Hotel, Coral Gables, FL, May 17, 2013, 3-5pm
In Attendance: Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University), Mei Mendez (University of Miami), Peter S. Bushnell (University of Florida), *Christine Hernandez (Tulane University), *Alejandra Méndez (Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú, Oaxaca, México), *Tomás Bocanegra (Colegio de México), David Block (University of Texas), Gayle Williams (Florida International University), *Emma Marschall (Tulane University), Phil McLeod (Emory University), *Miguel A. Valladares (University of Virginia), Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State University), Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina), *Licet Ruiz (Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (IHNCA)- Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), Nicaragua), *Margarita Vannini (Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (IHNCA)- Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), Nicaragua), *Jade Mishler (Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA), Guatemala)
*Attendees new to LASER are starred (to be added to the list serve)
1. Approval of Minutes from Trinidad: The first item of business was to ask for amendments to the minutes for the last meeting in Trinidad. There were no amendments and the minutes were approved.
2. Introductions: The second item of business was to go around and introduce ourselves, including longer statements from Presidential Scholar Tómas Bocanegra and Enlacista Alejandra Méndez on their work which they would be presenting during the conference.
Tómas Bocanegra, the Presidential Scholar from the Colegio de Mexico (México, D.F.) described his work on indigenismo as an examination of how various cultural entities, including language, political organizations and services treatment of and engagement with indigenismo have social, economic, and political impacts on indigenous communities (Presentation: “Epistemic Communities: Trends in Building Knowledge on Indigenous Issues in Mexico and Its Impact on the Social Environment, Government, and Academia,” Sunday panel 4:00-5:30: Kipuism, Epistemics, and Language: recording, Interpreting and Preserving Indigenous Knowledge.”)
Enlacista Alejandra Méndez, from the Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú, Oaxaca, México, described her work as a discussion of how to create a “vocabulary” to catalog a huipil from a community in Oaxaca in order to adequately represent it in an archive (Presentation: “Aproximación al tesauro del huipil tradicional triqui de San Andrés Chicahuaxtla,” Monday panel 8:30-10:00: “Bibliotecas, archivos, manuscritos y tesauros: nuevos descubrimientos, continuos retos y propuestas innovadoras.”)
3. Update to LASER website: After introductions, LASER discussed the question of how to proceed with updates to the LASER website. Due to various technical problems, minutes and other information was lost in the transfer from one site to another. Members resolved to send Paula Covington updates and/or new content for their institutions to be added to the website. Later on we also discussed the fact that anyone can be an institutional member of LASER, so if a new institution would like to join and be represented on the website, please look at the content other institutions have provided and draft something similar.
ACTION ITEM 1: Send updates for the website on behalf of your institution to Paula Covington ASAP.
4. Cooperative collection development/acquisition projects: Next, LASER discussed cooperative collection development/acquisition projects.
4a) Paraguay: Laura Shedenhelm asked at the beginning of this discussion where serials fit in because she remembered David Block discussing Paraguayan serials in Philadelphia. David responded that UT Austin collects everywhere, but Paraguay is not a strength, and perhaps focusing on official documents and statistics would be a way to start because no one in LASER is doing this systematically for Paraguay. Hortensia Calvo said the same was true at Tulane; they collect everywhere and Paraguay is not a strength. Meiyolet Méndez said that University of Miami collects on Paraguay in selective categories. Teresa Chapa said that University of North Carolina has a great interest in Paraguay and she is going to Paraguay on May 28 which would be a great help in identifying what we can collect. What does the government publish? Laura offered to put together a survey of what LASER institutions collect or would like to collect on Paraguay.
ACTION ITEM 2: Send Laura Shedenhelm collection interests for your institution on Paraguay.
4b) Mexico: In the past, LASERistas had considered committing to collect for certain Mexican states. Teresa Chapa had offered to talk to Mark Grover, Carlos Delgado and others in California. Teresa spoke with Mark Grover in Philadelphia and Mark said that California no longer had such an agreement or project in place. Hortensia Calvo added that it looks like the CALAFIA page has not been updated for a while.
David Block said that UT Austin collects heavily for most of the northern Mexican states. Teresa Chapa shared that she had Holly had worked their way through Mexico by interests, themes, and languages. Hortensia Calvo said that Tulane was especially interested in the southern Mexican states. Sarah Buck Kachaluba said that Florida State University has some interest in Pre-Colombian Mexico, especially the Mayan regions, and in the second half of the twentieth century (the new left, rural organizing, the dirty war, violence, and drug trafficking, especially in the state of Guerrero).
David Block asked what we meant when we offered to take charge of a state – to him, this implied that we would be committing a certain amount of money and certain themes. It also suggested that would be willing to give up allocating a certain amount of money to the collection of other regions and themes. Sarah Buck Kachaluba said that as someone representing a smaller institution, she saw it differently. By committing what was often a small amount of money (more than one thousand but less than $5,000) to a certain theme and/or region, she knew she could focus on that area and that she didn’t have to focus on something else, because someone else would take care of that. She also indicated that to some degree this has been a success with our experiment communicating about which Andean titles we are ordering. Sometimes she still ordered something because she knew it would interest someone at FSU or it would be good to have it in the state of Florida, but in other situations she passed, relieved to know that someone else had it.
4c) Andean region: the discussion turned to our experiences communicating about which Andean titles we are ordering. David Block observed that it seemed as though we generally decided to buy the titles that we wanted or our faculty needed, so we were continuing to duplicate at times. He asked whether this indicated that we are not ready for collaboration. At this point, someone (Teresa Chapa?) pointed out that one of the issues wrapped up in this is the risk of not acquiring something because of low print runs. She asked what a typical print run was in, for example, Nicaragua, since we had two Nicaraguan librarians present. The answer was 1,000 books, which explains why librarians sometimes want to duplicate to ensure there are copies. Emma Marschall from Tulane asked why we are approaching these projects, to ensure preservation or access? Those present affirmed that it was both of these things. Teresa Chapa indicated here that our efforts were something like the distributed resources model within a focused region, to ensure that we had at least one copy to be preserved and have access to in areas in which we were interested in collecting.
4d) The Andes, Mexico, and new idea to focus on languages: Hortensia Calvo asked what is agreeable for us to try to do as a group and if we could try to do something similar to what we’ve done for the Andes with Mexico. We agreed that this was too complicated as there were several vendors with Mexico and many more variables as to what we were ordering. Through discussion, we decided to focus on collecting materials in and focusing on different languages and language groups in Latin America. Laura Shedenhelm and Sarah Buck Kachaluba shared that the University of Georgia and FSU are both developing Quechua study programs. Laura Shedenhelm offered to collect language interests from members of the group.
ACTION ITEM 3: Send Laura Shedenhelm language collection interests in Latin America.
4e) Challenges of collaborative collection development: Through the discussion about Andean, Mexican, and linguistic areas, we continued to struggle with defining a productive collective collection development project. Miguel Vallardes observed that the problem is not deciding on topics to collect; it is narrowing down collecting by institutions. Institutions have different things in mind even for the same topic and it’s hard to find common ground. If we try to do too much we will fail. Hortensia Calvo added that our struggles with this issue pointed to LASER’s biggest obstacle – we are very different among ourselves – we have large, focused Latin American collections, and smaller Latin American collections which are part of broader, less specialized collections. The method that is coming up here is that we approach this in terms of distributed resources. We will focus on what we can commit to and what we can take responsibility for rather than saying “if I get this I’m agreeing not to get this.” This is the approach that will be reflected in the survey that Laura Shedenhelm will put together indicating collection areas, themes, and formats by institution for Paraguay and languages and dialects throughout Latin America.
Miguel Valladares also offered to do an assessment of who in LASER has what in these areas.
5. The final agenda item was to discuss the possibility of a future LASER meeting in the winter time. Paula Covington was going to ask for NRC funds from the Dept. of Education and Teresa Chapa asked if we could have the meeting at UNC Chapel Hill if we get the funding. However, we realized that this would not be until the summer of 2015.
Return to Action Items:
1. Send updates for the LASER website on behalf of your institution to Paula Covington ASAP.
2. Send Laura Shedenhelm collection interests for your institution on Paraguay.
3. Send Laura Shedenhelm language collection interests in Latin America for your institution.
4. Miguel Valladares will do an assessment of who in LASER has what in Paraguay and Latin American language collections.
Submitted by Sarah Buck Kachaluba
Florida State University

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June 16, 2012
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
June 16, 2012

LASER Meeting at the Pool Terrace Café, Port-of-Spain Hilton, June 16, 2012, 12:30pm-2pm
This meeting was scheduled for the lunch break, and due to problems with the service, lunch was served nearly at the end of the meeting. We were also sorry that Teresa Chapa (North Carolina) was not feeling well, and could not attend the meeting. We went on, hungry and leaderless, and did manage to have some fruitful conversations.
In attendance: Philip Macleod (Emory), Laura Shedenhelm (Georgia), Holly Ackerman (Duke), Mei Mendez (Miami), David Block (Texas), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane), Gayle Williams (Florida International), Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State), Paul Losch (Florida), and Miguel Valladares (Virginia), who was welcomed to the group, having moved south from Dartmouth since the previous SALALM.
1. Minutes from the Philadelphia meeting were approved. These had been circulated ahead of the meeting via e-mail, along with a request that e-mails substitute for the oral “institutional reports” that had become customary at LASER meetings, in the interest of saving time.
2. The organization’s website ( http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/laser/) was discussed.
Paula Covington explained that various updates made to the site since 2008 had been lost, due to technical problems. These included minutes for meetings held since that year.
Members were asked to please send any needed updates of institutional profiles (found on http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/laser/institutions.htm ) by August 20. Updates to newspaper and microfilm union lists were also requested.
3. Coordination of acquisitions within LASER was the third agenda item. Paraguay was discussed as a country for which it might be possible to make coordinated purchases. Block, Mendez, Shedenhelm and Calvo indicated interest in this, and the name of Oscar Rolón, a bookdealer in Paraguay, was mentioned as a possible source.
There was brief discussion of examining other countries (such as Argentina and Uruguay) as fields for coordination. Phil Macleod shared with all a list of Argentine provincial sources, with the idea that internal geography could be used for dividing responsibilities (as is done by CALAFIA in the case of Mexico). Various members expressed interest in David Block continuing to share news about Texas purchases of Peruvian materials.
The meeting adjourned as people ran with their sandwiches off to the afternoon SALALM meetings.
Submitted by Paul Losch
University of Florida

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May 28, 2011
Philadelphia, PA
May 28, 2011

LASER Meeting at SALALM LVI, Philadelphia, PA, May 28, 2011, 11am-12:30pm
In Attendance: Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia); Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University); David Nolen (Mississippi State University); Richard Phillips, Peter S. Bushnell, Paul Losch ( University of Florida); Adan Benavides, David Block (University of Texas at Austin); Gayle Williams (Florida International University); Hortensia Calvo ( Tulane University); Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State University); Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami); Holly Ackerman (Duke University); Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Non-members in attendance: Tomás Bocanegra (Colegio de México); Gerada Holder (NALIS); Sofía Becerra-Licha (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Margarita Vannini (IHNCA, Universidad Centroamericana)
Teresa Chapa, the LASER Convener, opened the meeting by remarking on the gratifyingly large number of attendees. Introductions followed. A list was circulated for attendance and for those who want their names added to the LASER listserv.
Holly Ackerman moved that minutes of the last meeting be accepted. Laura Shedenhelm seconded and minutes were unanimously approved.
Teresa reminded the group that institutional updates will not be reviewed at the LASER meetings but will be sent out on the listserv.
Teresa announced that this was the 25th anniversary of ENLACE and encouraged our participation.
Teresa reviewed the themes from out last meeting – collaboration and cooperation in collection development. How to achieve greater coordination is the key. David Block summarized our efforts to date. In New Orleans we agreed to share information on whether we would purchase offers sent from one vendor for Andean publications. David pointed out that we do not need 12-20 copies of a work. Following the meeting in New Orleans David sent out offers for collective consideration and we initially were indicating intention to buy an item. It seemed that we were not reducing the number of institutions acquiring titles. As the experiment progressed we felt comfortable indicating that we would not buy an item. Gayle Williams asserted that it was still too early to judge the success of this experiment.
Richard Phillips questioned what the relationship of this experiment was to the Farmington Plan wherein universities had committed themselves to collecting along lines of faculty and institutional strength. Richard added that under the Farmington Plan, Florida has been committed to collecting on the Caribbean for so long that it would make no sense for them to alter that pattern or to reduce the amount they buy.
Teresa pointed out that, in contrast to the Farmington commitments, our current efforts are regional rather than national and that they are informal. She reminded the group that we had also discussed dividing up deep collecting by choosing to collect comprehensively on selected Mexican states. Mai Mendez suggested that we also do this by publisher and/or state in Argentina. She offered to draw up a list of publishers derived from the approval plan from her university and to circulate it to LASER members.
David felt we needed more specificity as far as what our specialties include. Phil suggested that we define a core and then divide up the more detailed subjects. Adan Benavides pointed out that some vendors’ catalogs, for example those from Books from Mexico, show which institutions have received a book on approval thus allowing us to see the extent to which a book is held in our region. Paula thought that we need to focus on lists earlier in the selection process. David recommended that we organize around some benchmarks such as assuring that one institution has the national gazette and a major newspaper for each country. The need for coordination among SALALM’s regional groups was also discussed and Teresa Chapa agreed to talk with the conveners of the other regional groups to let them know what we are doing and to see what collaborative efforts they may have in place.
David suggested we select a country for which no LASER library has collecting responsibility, and try a cooperative experiment to avoid overlap and to increase uniqueness. The possibility of a Central American country was discussed. Phil and Laura described the cooperative efforts they have in place with Emory buying in the social sciences and Georgia selecting in the Humanities. They compare invoices; identify duplication and core authors and subjects and are now coordinating their plans through Vientos Tropicales.
Laura agreed to coordinate an experiment on Paraguayan imprints. Participating institutions are Duke, Emory, Texas, U. Georgia, U. Miami, UNC. Laura will contact the group regarding next steps.
Paula reminded us that the LASER website is now at Vanderbilt and that she would like to receive suggestions on features to be added to the site. She demonstrated a website constructed in Omni software. She would like to convert the LASER page to an Omni format but does not want to do so unless other LASER institutions have OMNI so that the site can move to another institution with minimal difficulty. Members will check with their institution and report back to Paula. Suggestions for website additions included: a listing of digital libraries; a chart showing institutional collection strengths; acquisitions news; lists of OP vendors by country; a LASER blog. Paula requested that members send updates to their microfilm union list this summer.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30.

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July 4, 2009
Berlin, Germany
July 4, 2009

LASER Meeting, Berlin, Germany, July 4, 2009, 2-4pm
In Attendance:
Holly Ackerman (Duke University), Mariana Baravalle (Biblioteca Nacional, Argentina), Adán Benavides (UT-Austin), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Martha González Palacios (UT-Austin), Sean Knowlton (Tulane), Phil MacLeod (Emory), Gloria Núñez Flores (UNAH), Richard Phillips (U. of Florida), Margarita Vannini (IHNCA, Nicaragua), Gayle Williams (FIU), Elizabeth _______ (Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut)
Minutes from the 2008 SALALM meeting in New Orleans approved.
FIU Report
Gayle Williams announced that this is the final year for DLOC’s TICFIA grant. They have sought renewal specifically for digitizing newspapers. Hemisphere will once again be published by the FIU Latin American and Caribbean Center but as an annual publication. Williams also reported her submission of a request for FIU to host a LASER meeting in Miami. FIU’s budget remains stable but next year’s may not be.
U. Florida Report
Richard Phillips reported that this is a difficult budget year and next year is uncertain. The Center for Latin American Studies has a new director, Phil Williams (Political Sciences). Florida will be unable to host a LASER meeting in February 2010.
Tulane Report
Hortensia Calvo reported that the second year of the Richard E. Greenleaf Library Fellowships was highly successful. Four fellows have been selected for the upcoming third year: 2 Cubans, 1 Mexican, and 1 Brazilian. Tulane now offers a Fall semester in Cuba program and has strengthened collection of Cuban materials. The Latin American Library has submitted a proposal for an IMLS digitization grant for the Merle Greene Robertson Collection. An agreement to microfilm the Viceregal Ecclesiastical Mexican Collection has been signed with Gale-Cengage and scanning of the manuscripts should be completed by Fall 2009. Many titles (print and microfilm) damaged by flooding in the wake of the failure of the federal levee system post-Hurricane Katrina have been treated and re-cataloged and are beginning to be reincorporated in the collection. There was a small book and serial fund increase. Calvo also reported that Tulane will seek funding for hosting a LASER meeting before the next SALALM.
Vanderbilt Report
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt) reported that they are in their fourth year of the NRC grant and will be reapplying this year. A grant proposal was also submitted for digitizing the Helguera Colombian collection, which includes 19th-century pamphlets, educational programs, and Colombian newspapers of which 80% are unique. Covington will send LASER the URL of the prototype. Covington reported on an acquisitions trip to Peru and Bolivia, which included selecting from the older collections of Alfredo Montalvo (Libros Andinos) in Cochabamba, which is strong in anthropology, archaeology and history. She recommends those interested in these areas should plan a trip to Libros Andinos. Vanderbilt purchased the Manuel Zapata Olivella papers (150 boxes) and hopes to apply for a digitization grant. The Colombian collection contains anthropological material and Afro-Colombiana, as well as manuscripts of unpublished novels and other works. Zapata Olivella was a doctor, anthropologist, and Afro-Colombian author. Covington reported that she is consulting at the Bodleian at Oxford on their Hispanic collections for two and a half months. Vanderbilt faced travel cuts this year but no hiring freeze. The libraries have a new Dean. It is quite possible there will be serials cuts in the future.
UNC-Chapel Hill Report
Teresa Chapa reported that they are under a hiring freeze but will still pursue hiring a Latin American cataloger. There is a budget cut on the horizon. A small serials cancellation has occurred. Library travel funds are also frozen. This is the 4th year of the Title VI grant. UNC plans to expand the grant to include Purepacha (Michoacán) language to the grant. There is now a cluster in Mesoamerican studies in art, anthropology, romance languages and linguistics. UNC Libraries will soon exhibit 100 handmade books from Cuba, Mexico, and Argentina. The exhibit will also be digital. In August, Ambar Past of Taller Leñateros will speak about her book and paper-making collective. A traveling exhibit of Ediciones Vigía books (Cuba) will soon be at UNC as well.
UT-Austin Report
Adán Benavides reported on the status of the open position of Director of the Benson Collection. A future job description for this position may seek to raise the bar (similar to the Ransom Center) by seeking highly visible, well-known academics with fund-raising experience to apply. Additionally, a position of Sub-Director for day-to-day library activities may also be in the works. An announcement is possible in August. Benavides reported that David Block will join the staff as Bibliographer, replacing Don Gibbs (retired). An anonymous donor gave a substantial amount of money for cataloging and acquisitions. Pamela Mann resigned her position of Latino Studies librarian on June 10th. Benavides then stressed the importance of the Benson’s exchange program with the IAI and his work for the art and architecture library at UT facilitating an exchange with the Kunst Bibliotek. UT-Austin is engaging in a number of human rights initiatives and the Benson’s Christian Kelleher is the point man for hiring and training the new archivist for this digital collection. The Benson continues to lend serials for projects, such as the providing 30-40% of titles for the American Anthropological Society’s project. They have also contributed positive microfilm copies of Mexican titles, the Mercurio Peruano (1920’s) and El Hoguero (Peru) to the World News Archive. In September their contribution to the Google Books project will end after two years of cooperation. UT’s long-term storage facility is now open to materials from the Benson and 30-40% of storage will be dedicated to the Benson’s materials. Budget-wise, there are no raises; the budget is not grim but cautious.
Duke Report
Holly Ackerman (Duke) reported that her Humanities Fellowship at Duke resulted in two exhibits on “The Sea is History,” one at Perkins Library and the other focused art at the John Hope Franklin Center. She also organized two symposia. There is an increase in focus on the Caribbean at Duke, including the addition of Haitian Creole to the curriculum. Duke Engage has several projects in Latin America and the Caribbean for undergraduates to engage in service learning projects, including projects in Haiti, the US/Mexico border, Medellín, Colombia, and Chile. Ackerman reported the acquisition of a new collection of Gary Monroe photos that includes images from the Krome Detention Center (1981-1982) of Haitian immigrants, Little Haiti (Miami) and Haiti. Photos from the Deena Stryker Collection of Cuban photographs from 1960’s Cuba, including Fidel Castro and other leaders of the Revolution, are now digitized and online. The National Museum of Cuba has asked for a traveling exhibition. Duke’s budget is flat with a probability of cuts from 5-8%. There is no freeze on major positions. A new Associate University Librarian for Information Technology starts in June. Duke is in its fourth year of a Title VI grant (together with UNC-Chapel Hill).
Emory Report
Phil MacLeod reported that he has engaged in several acquisition trips to Latin America. Also, the University of Georgia and Emory will apply together for a Title VI consortium. Emory has hired a Vice Associate Provost and plans to build a new rare books library. There has been a 10% cut in the budget, which will include personnel. An additional cut of 10% is estimated for next fiscal year.
WorldCat Collection Analysis
Richard Phillips reported that he and Gayle Williams presented at a panel at a conference this past March on the increasing needs in Florida to serve diverse populations. They used the analysis program to compare holdings of Latin Americana in LASER-member libraries. It revealed many unique holdings. One issue reported is that UT-Austin is not a SOLINET member and they cannot access and compare to other LASER libraries. Adán Benavides reported that UT-Austin is not participating by administrative directive.
Phil MacLeod reported on an Emory study to assess collection to address a retrospective collection development project. Research revealed a strong collection on Mexico but one that lacked many Spanish and Portuguese-language titles from the 1950s through 1970s, especially in anthropology and archaeology. They compiled a list of titles using WorldCat Collection Analysis tool using call number ranges (PQs and Fs). Work was principally completed by a library fellow (Agnieszka Czeblakow) who is presenting on this work later in the week in SALALM Panel 20 (entitled “Retrospective Collection Development at Emory using the OCLC Collection Analysis Tool”). We agreed to revisit the use of this tool and to discuss approval plans at the next LASER meeting.
Collaboration and Cooperation
With the present fiscal environment in mind, we discussed possibilities of collaborating and cooperating more among LASER members. Gayle Williams spoke of FIU’s exchange database with 3,000 titles. She will distribute the list within LASER. Adán Benavides reported that the Benson Collection has 575 exchange partners and creates a thematic list five times a year of retrospective duplicates in their collection. He stressed the importance of exchange for the Benson. Phil MacLeod reported that CALAFIA also has a duplicate exchange program.
A possible addition to the LASER site is to create a list of archival collections held at LASER-member libraries with links to finding guides at individual institutions. It was also suggested that LASER members share their lists of any serials cancellations to ensure at least one depository of last resort in the region.
Meeting adjourned at 4:05 PM, Central European Time.

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May 30, 2008
Tulane University
May 30, 2008

LASER Meeting, New Orleans, LA, May 30, 2008
In Attendance: Gayle Williams (Florida International University), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University), Holly Ackerman (Duke University), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University), Sarah Buck Kachaluba (Florida State University), Sean Knowlton (Tulane University), Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Richard Phillips (University of Florida), Paul Losch (University of Florida), Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill), Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami), Lesbia O. Varona (University of Miami), Víctor F. Torres (Universidad de Puerto Rico – Río Piedras), Olga Espejo ( University of Miami), Elizabeth Johnson (ETSS), Rita Wilson (University of Texas – San Antonio), Peter T. Johnson (Princeton University), Joan Osborne (Heritage Library, National Library of Trinidad & Tobago), George Gause (University of Texas – Pan American), Adán Benavides (University of Texas – Austin).
Meeting called to order at 1:15 pm
Introductions (we went around the table/room and introduced ourselves)
Approval of minutes from the 2007 annual LASER meeting in Albuquerque, NM
Approval of minutes from the 2008 meeting in Nashville. Gayle Williams (Florida International University) will send the minutes to Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) to put on the LASER website.
Gayle Williams (Florida International University) asked if anyone might be able to host a LASER meeting between now and SALALM. There were no immediate offers but the door is always open to an invitation. Sean Knowlton (Tulane University) agreed to be the LASER convener for 2009.
Announcements/New Business:
Gayle Williams (Florida International University) talked about the Digital Library of the Caribbean (DLOC) and encouraged all of us to urge our institutions to become members and contribute, if possible. Peter Johnson (Princeton University) asked how DLOC is related to what Google is doing. Is Google creating an opportunity or overwhelming projects like DLOC? Gayle Williams (Florida International University) responded that Google includes a lot of information but the format is not always so good. She also said that she wonders about whether there is a duplication of effort and whether DLOC should be in touch with Google. Holly Ackerman (Duke University) commented that the question of what Google is doing can be raised when one is applying for grants. She explained that she was asked how much of the content in a project she was working on was also in Google and that the grant-funders involved were not interested in the project if the content was already in Google. SOLINET was a grant-funder on the project Holly discussed. SOLINET contacted Holly Ackerman (Duke University) and Duke University, but Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University) and Richard Phillips (University of Florida) said that they had not been contacted (and maybe should have been).
Victor Torres (University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras) shared that his institution no longer has a Collection Development Officer and he is now head of rare books. The Natural Sciences Library has a new hybrid structure and is no longer part of the library system. Instead, the university libraries acquires and catalogs for the Natural Sciences Library. Also, the University is celebrating the centennial of the work of Jaime Benítez, the university’s most important chancellor.
Olga Espejo (University of Miami), Lesbia O. Varona (University of Miami), Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami), and Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) all had no new business to share. Paul Losch (University of Florida) deferred to Richard Phillips (University of Florida).
Adán Benavides (University of Texas – Austin) announced that the University of Texas – Austin is still searching for a head of the Benson Library.
Richard Phillips (University of Florida) shared that the Florida State economy is in bad shape with unfortunate repercussions for educational and library funding but, on the positive side, there are some digital possibilities. In particular, the University of Florida may be creating a digital library of Latin American theology. At Richard Phillip’s (University of Florida) request, Paul Losch (University of Florida) explained that one of the more interesting materials that would belong to such a collection is a series of sound recordings of Haitian voodoo made in Haiti in the 1940s by Maya Deren. They were acquired by the University of Florida libraries in 1951. DLOC provides an outlet to preserve them and offers wider access to them. This is an example of something that Google would not have picked up.
Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia): The budget is static but the University of Georgia libraries are doing some initiatives with web streaming.
Sean Knowlton (Tulane University) deferred to Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University). Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University) asked Sean Knowlton to speak on Tulane University’s Latin American Library’s website. Sean explained that the website has been totally redone with new finding guides, descriptions of major collections and rare materials, etc. Hortensia Calvo shared also that Tulane University’s Latin American microfilm holdings have been removed from LASER’s list on the SALALM website because they were damaged in Hurricane Katrina and work is being done to recover them. A large part of what was saved from Katrina is Latin American and Louisiana materials. Hortensia Calvo further announced that Tulane University’s Latin American Library is finally fully-staffed with the arrival of Sean Knowlton. The Curator of Manuscripts and Photographs is also able to do a lot more with Sean’s assistance. This staff has have also created a Richard Greenleaf fellowship to support short-term research visits for fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean to use the collection from one to three months. Out of thirty-eight applicants, they have selected two – one is from Venezuela and the other is from Brazil.
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) announced that Vanderbilt has a newer program in Andean archaeology with five archaeologists. All archaeologists on campus are now Latin Americanists. Vanderbilt University also just had the first anniversary for the Institute of Brazilian Studies. Fernando Henrique Cardoso came. Rigoberta Menchu was also present because she was on campus for the opening of the exhibit. Vanderbilt University is currently applying for an NEH Grant to pay for the Latin American popular Opinion Project. It is now subscription based, but one can view the summaries for free.
Holly Ackerman (Duke University) announced that the Special Collections’ Department just purchased 2000 negatives of photographs taken in Cuba in the mid 1960s by photographer Deena Striker. Less than 200 of these have been published. All will eventually be digitized by Duke University. Technical Services is moving to a separate building from the library. The Area Studies Department has expanded to have a specialist on Korea and another for the United Kingdom and Canada. In total, they now have eleven members. Holly will be a fellow at the Franklin Center for the Humanities (at Duke) half of the following year. She will be working on a book manuscript.
Gayle Williams (Florida International University) is working on augmenting the Díaz Ayala Collection of Latin American Music (which is particularly strong in Cuban and Caribbean Music). There is a Díaz Ayala Fellowship Competition at Florida International University to bring in people to work with this collection.
Examination of the LASER section of the SALALM website:
LASER members examined the addition of a background (of a map) to the main page and the possibility of also placing it as a background on the rest of the pages of the LASER section of the SALALM website. They decided to leave the background on the main/introductory page only. Some discussion followed about how to make the items on this page clearer visually, about visual appeal of the entire LASER section, and about understanding of the material contained on these pages. With these desires in mind, those present decided to change the heading “LASER Cooperative Efforts” to LASER Union Lists” and capitalize the main two headings to read “ABOUT LASER” and “LASER UNION LISTS.” They also decided to remove videos from the union list. Several present pointed out that there were at least two different fonts used. Instead, one, uniform font should be used. A few present suggested that they would prefer Times or another font to Ariel. It was pointed out that new members had not yet been added to the website.
At this point, non-members were asked to leave for the remainder of the meeting, which became a closed session.
Approval Plans: LASER members compared some approval plans to assess how well they are functioning. This led to a general discussion about the purpose of this exercise. Main concerns were to determine how unique various institutions’ collection strategies are and to make sure that someone in the group is getting core and necessary materials. An important conclusion was that it would probably be most productive to compare collections and approval plans for institutions of the same size, and especially different profiles and approval plans between institutions of a similar size.
WorldCat Collection Development Analyses: Paula Covington (Duke University) synthesized the findings from various LASER members’ collection analyses with particular attention to uniqueness in different collections within LASER. Major observations included that the biggest collections were not necessarily the most unique, Duke and University of North Carolina’s collections seemed to overlap a lot, and Dewey call numbers don’t show up in WorldCat, which is a big problem as it skews results considerably. Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina) suggested that it would be useful for LASER to come up with a couple of useful templates for profiles for approval plans that all LASER members can use as models to construct institutional profiles and approval plans, to identify the specificity and uniqueness of each of our collections, and to identify collection needs for each of our institutions. Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) offered to send out an explanation and examples of how she’s changed hers.
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) explained that World Cat Collection Analysis overlaps between two institutions report differently depending on which university’s perspective one is looking at. The percentage of uniqueness reported is the percentage of that institution’s collection. Therefore, even though two institutions will have the same number of titles overlapping, the percentage of each collection will differ because the percentage that number constitutes of the institution’s entire collection will differ.
Someone pointed out that vendors are dealing with more approval plans now so they have fewer books in their catalog. They have to buy multiple copies of one book that they can provide to various institutions, rather than a larger distribution of titles.
Richard Phillips presented his findings on agricultural holdings and found that University of Florida’s collection is quite large.
Conclusion: Gayle Williams (Florida International University) facilitated a wrap-up on the closed session on approval plans and WorldCat collection analyses. One point to be aware of is the fact that not everything held in a given institution’s library will appear in WorldCat. Following up on this point, Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University) shared that she talked to someone in Acquisitions about this, seeking to find out what had affected WorldCat reportage in Tulane University’s history. She learned that changeovers from catalog to catalog, titles not coded properly for foreign languages, and Hurricane Katrina have all created discrepancies between WorldCat and Tulane’s catalog.
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) asked for advice on how to do statistical counts of collections. Richard Phillips (University of Florida) said that at University of Florida they have counted shelves and multiplied by thirty. Gayle Williams (Florida International University) has done it with a combination of World Cat analyses and browsing the online catalog in call number order.
Gayle Williams (Florida International University) summarized that those present agreed to share their subject profile information, leaving out dollar amounts, of their approval plans. Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico were identified as case studies.
Meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.
Submitted by Sarah Buck Kachaluba, Florida State University.

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February 7-9, 2008
Vanderbilt University
February 7-9, 2008

LASER Meeting, Nashville TN, Feb. 7-9, 2008
Attending: Holly Ackerman (Duke University), Adán Benavides (University of Texas at Austin), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane University), Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University), Sean Knowlton (Tulane University), Richard Phillips (University of Florida), Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Lesbia Varona (University of Miami), Gayle Williams (Florida International University)Laser Convener
LASER, the SALALM regional consortium for the Southeast, met at Vanderbilt University, Feb. 7-9, 2008 with Paula Covington as our gracious and efficient host. Thursday evening kicked off events with the opening reception on campus of the exhibit Oswaldo Guayasamín: Of Rage and Redemption. The exhibit is part of a North American tour that will show the Ecuadorian artist’s works in the US for the first time in over 50 years. Rigoberta Menchú was present to make opening remarks and shared some stories of her friendship with Guayasamín. After the exhibit, Dr. Menchú also gave a lecture at the Vanderbilt campus.
Friday events were a combination of database demonstrations and discussion of potential collaborative projects. We saw 3 Vanderbilt-based projects: the Vanderbilt News Television Archive, the Cuban Digital Collection (presented by Dr. Jane Landers, a frequent speaker at SALALM), and the Latin American Public Opinion Project. Lesbia Varona updated us on the Cuban Heritage Collection’s digital collection and Gayle Williams gave a demonstration and update of the Digital Library of the Caribbean. Paula Covington and Richard Phillips followed up with the assistance of Paula’s student assistant, Megan Garstka, with a demonstration of LASER’s Latin American holdings in several subject areas in the OCLC Collection Analysis program.Holly Ackerman presented data on our respective collecting activities and we finished the day with a discussion of how we could further share data.
Saturday was a short wrap-up morning in which Teresa Chapa led a quick brainstorming activity on improving the LASER website. Gayle briefly reported on the activities of the other SALALM regional consortia and the resurrection of the Latin American Exchange Database at FIU. Sean Knowlton discussed the SALALM Bibliographic Instruction webpage and Adan Benavides gave an update on UT’s involvement in the Google Project. The group then finalized a project for reviewing our collections data in several subject and country areas before the Tulane meeting. Outcomes will be discussed at our business meeting in New Orleans.
Submitted by Gayle Williams
Florida International University

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April 27, 2007
Vanderbilt University
April 27, 2007

April 27- Afternoon Session
Attending: Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia), Teresa Chapa (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Adán Benavides (University of Texas, Austin), Miguel Juárez (Texas A&M), Melinda Gottesman (University of Central Florida), Holly Ackerman (Duke), Lesbia O. Varona (University of Miami), Regina Nowicki de Guerra (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Víctor Federico Torres (University of Puerto Rico), Gayle Williams (Emory), Caroline Kangalee (National Library and Information System, Trinidad and Tobago), Alicia Garay (ECLAC Library), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Paul Losch (University of Florida), Sean Knowlton (Tulane).
Meeting called to order 1:14 pm.
Agenda items added: Request from SALALM InterLibrary Cooperation Committee (Adán Benavides); Regional LASA Groups – discussion of LARRP (Paul, SECOLAS); OCLC World Map.
Nashville LASER meeting – Paula could host a meeting in Nashville during the next four years; no other LASER institutions have funding at this time. Spring is the best time, end of March or beginning of April. Teresa requests that it not compete with the Buenos Aires book fair. Paula will let us know what costs Vanderbilt will cover and will poll the group for best time.
Exchange database at FIU – Gayle reported for Cathy Marsicek that the database is currently in limbo. Cathy may try to bring it to University of New Mexico. Contact her if you have questions.
LASER web pages – Please send ASAP to Teresa updates to the holdings for the microform and newspaper union lists. Her student will only be at UNC until the end of May. Other suggestions: drop the video list (send links to local lists instead). Consider other changes we might like to see. The group expressed their appreciation for Teresa hosting the website.
SALALM InterLibrary Cooperation Committee – Adán Benavides requests that one member of LASER (and all other regional groups) please attend the InterLibrary Cooperation Committee meeting during SALALM. Hortensia volunteered to attend in Albuquerque to report on our activities.
This is LASER’s 10th anniversary. Gayle asked for reflections on the group:
Knowing peers has been helpful.
Possibility of creating a list of travel grants to different institutions (Paul suggested adding to the webpage).
Teresa suggested LASER bookmarks to hand out to students during bibliographic instruction sessions. Laura will try to see if the Instructional Technology students at UGA would design a template for this as a project. We could all them customize for our particular schools.
Miguel suggested adding to the webpage a statement such as Celebrating 10 years of Cooperation.
Hortensia suggested a hot topics discussion for the Nashville meeting.
The LASER listserv was noted (Laser-L@emory.listserve.edu).
Miguel suggested that a blog might be useful on the webpage sometime in the future
Paul discussed the possibility of LASER working in coordination with the SECOLAS meeting. The next one may be in Tampa. He will try to put together a panel. Hortensia noted that there are other southeastern groups that touch on Latin American topics. Paul will put together a list of the other small regional groups that we can attach to the website.
OCLC World map collection analysis project – since many of the LASER libraries already have it, we might look at hot topics through this lens. Perhaps we could have a demo of some of the products at the Nashville meeting.
Round Robin:
University of Georgia suffered a severe budget shortfall and cut back on serials. The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute is now offering an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Title 6 funding; may have a reduction; have new faculty in Meso-American anthropology and Mayan literature); Mayan literature collection; the Portuguese MA and PhD degrees have been suspended; restructuring the library; the Latin American cataloger is about to retire.
University of Texas, Austin – did not get the NEH grant to work on 16th century collection, but the MLS students may be doing a website for it; microfilm of Mexican newspapers now in 4 libraries; Google books – Benson and other UT libraries committed 1 million volumes over 6 years; physical abatement to remove all concrete sidewalks to stop the building sinking.
Tulane – Sean Knowlton will be starting July 16th; Richard Greenleaf Fellowships for Latin American scholars from Latin America has an application deadline of June 15th this year; New Orleans continues to improve; freshman class for 2008 was about 1,400 students; there is a $250 million settlement with insurance following hurricane and water damages for Tulane as a whole; library received an 8% increase in the budget.
University of Florida – Judith Russell is the new Dean of Libraries; search for Area Studies dean is still on; renovation is complete; $25 million beneficiary to library at the death of Smather’s widow; U. of F. is contributing to the Digital Library of Caribe; García-Pimentel sugar hacienda papers now at U. of F.; there is a map exhibit (passed out exhibit catalog).
Texas A&M – 19th century collection is under review; Mexican Army artifacts were donated; African presence in Latin America collections; Latin American poetry readings and conference; new collection on Sephardic Jews in Mexico.
Vanderbilt – received National Resource Center grant; Andean area is growing (more students and faculty); now teaching Mayan; 3 new chairs in Spanish; large Colombian broadside collection is still being processed; Cuban digital library now available online; continuing to teach the research methods course.
Duke – library is restructuring; moving from Dewey to LC classification – this has meant major physical shifting in the building and lots of processing functions are moving off campus; research methods course is now team taught as a general area studies course.
University of Miami – 3 library positions open (Head of Special Collections, Head of ILL, grant manager in Cuban studies); offsite storage of Cuban materials – had to move to accommodate researchers; Exhibit in the library; 2 grants: $100,000 from Council of Women, and another from the state of Florida); new librarian working with Latin America; budget is growing.
University of Puerto Rico – there is a new library director; the Puerto Rican Digital Library is now available.
Emory – there is a new library director (Rick Luz); there is a graduate fellow program.
Meeting adjourned 3:05 pm
Submitted by Laura Shedenhelm, University of Georgia

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Feburary 11-13, 2005
UNC-Chapel Hill
February 11-13, 2005

February 11 – Morning Session
Attending: Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill); Irene Munster (Duke); Gayle Williams (Emory); Laura Shedenhelm (Georgia); Richard Phillips (Florida); Cathy Marsicek (FIU; LASER Chair); Lesbia Varona and Olga Espejo (Miami); Hortensia Calvo and Paul Bary (Tulane); Adán Benavides (UT-Austin); Marian Goslinga (FIU).
Sarah Mahalik, University Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Teresa Chapa welcomed the group to the campus and wished us a successful meeting.
Cathy asked for any changes in the agenda. Hortensia asked if the microfilm discussion could be moved to an earlier time on Sunday because she had a mid-morning flight. The previous minutes, from SALALM 2004 in Ann Arbor, were distributed and approved without changes.
Cathy said the LASER meeting at SALALM 2005 will be two hours long. Since representatives from the University of the West Indies are considering attending the meeting as new LASER members, an important part of the meeting would be devoted to welcoming and orienting them.
Institutional News
Gayle reported that the money situation is looking good. She is engaged in a collection assessment project. The Andean history program is growing. There are two ongoing job searches in Spanish: one in film and theater, and the other in 19th century Latin American literature. Gayle is involved in the planning for a Latin American film database project.
Richard has been wrapped up in planning for the SALALM @ 50 conference. The ALEPH library management system has had a difficult startup, causing the ordering to be slow. It has been difficult to adapt to the new People Soft financial management system. The Humanities/Social Sciences Library is under renovation, and has been closed for over a year for a $30 million renovation causing staff to be temporarily housed in the Latin American Collection area. The money situation has been good.
Adan reported that the libraries’ name has been changed to the University of Texas Libraries at the behest of Fred Heath, the new library director who has been a breath of fresh air. Heath has hired two well-qualified library development officers to fill new positions, which should help build the Benson’s endowment among other things. The Mexican American Library Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and special events related to the anniversary helped bring in a new donor. The Benson acquired a seriographic collection of works by Mexican-American artists from the 1980s and 1990s. Another new acquisition is of Mexican state governors’ annual reports, which have been captured for conservation in electronic format.
Hortensia reported that the staff is settling into renovated space that was completed in Fall 2003 with funding from the Zemurray family endowment given in memory of Doris Stone. The endowment’s annual yield is around $20,000, but the sum is expected to increase somewhat. The funds have been used primarily to increase the library’s visibility through special events, lectures and receptions, and for special acquisitions. Special events have included: 1) a lecture by Peruvian book scholar Pedro Guibovich; 2) an exhibit/reception celebrating the anniversary of Francisco Morazin, an event held in conjunction with the Honduran Consulate which attracted 300 people from the local community; 3) an exhibit/reception on images of race in Central America; and 4) an exhibit/reception in honor of Latin American historian James Lockhart, who gave a lecture in the library. Kathryn Burns, of UNC-Chapel Hill, will give a lecture this Spring. New acquisitions include: 1) additions to the Merle Greene Robertson Collection consisting of the remainder of the Maya rubbings, and her research and field notes; 2) The Spratling/Taxco collection of drawings of jewelry designs, including those of William Spratling and other Taxco designers; and 3) a collection of radionovelas, produced in Miami from the 1960s-1980s and broadcast to Cuba on Radio Marti. In addition to its traditional strengths, the collection is taking on the additional focus of the circum-Caribbean region and its connections with New Orleans. The Secretariat of SALALM is coming to Tulane this Fall, and an administrative assistant will be trained in August when the transition takes place. Paul added that he has been coordinating the library’s expanded reference service, and has also been coordinating the LAPTOC database.
Laura Shedenhelm reported that the library has received a grant to digitize and preserve some 2,000 hours of local television programs. The Latin American bibliographer position has been cut in half, so Laura spends half of her time working with the Peabody Collection of radio and television programs going back to the 1930s and 1940s including significant Hispanic content. The library’s money situation is not looking positive.
Marian reported that the library’s funding situation has improved slightly. The law school library will be moving out of the main library, which will help with space. Cathy said the library is working on a digital archive of Christian youth movements in Latin America. The library is getting used to new library management and accounting systems. A significant donation of Andean materials has been received from Alfredo Montalvo. A new grant will fund visiting scholars to use the library’s Cuban music collection. The library is losing its director on August 1.
Lesbia reported that Bill Walker, the active new director, has been doing a good job. For the first time there is a library development officer. Also, there is a development plan for expanding the library. The Latin American bibliographer position was left vacant by the departure of Carrie Leslie, although Lesbia continues as bibliographer for Latin American literature. The library is conducting a digitization project involving Latin American theater in the U.S. The Cuban Heritage Collection received a $1.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, which will be used to endow the Esperanza Bravo de Varona chair. The Cuban Heritage Collection’s website is being revised. Lesbia curated an exhibit about exiles. There was a lecture on Cuban balseros, and an exhibit about Cubans in Guantanamo. The AMIGOS library development group has been more active recently, and it has about 200 members who pay a $50 membership per year. The University is microfilming a collection of “periodiquitos” — over two dozen tabloid newspapers from the Cuban Heritage Collection. The collection is being made available for sale through Proquest, and the project’s scope will later be expanded to include newspapers and periodicals from Cuban exile municipalities throughout the world. Olga added that the additional collections have resulted in much more work in cataloging them.
Irene reported that she has taken on additional responsibility as the Jewish studies bibliographer, in addition to her Latin American responsibilities. The library has a new director, is in the process of moving to a new building and is changing to ALEPH integrated system, and to LC classification. Some new acquisitions are collections of Argentine comics and a Human Rights archive from the period of dictatorship.
Wake Forest
Emily reported that Luis Roniger has joined the University as the new endowed professor for a Latin American human rights specialist. There is a new area studies degree in East Asian Studies. The library’s wonderful new director, Lynn Sutton, is from Wayne State University. The library is seeking land for an offsite facility. Emily is leaving to become the Social Sciences bibliographer at UC Riverside.
UNC-Chapel Hill
Teresa reported that there is a new library director and a new library management system, Millenium, which is an Innovative product. The library has a revised collection development structure giving new prominence to area studies. Within the UNC-Duke consortium, there is a project to evaluate the Latin American serials collection, and Adan Griego has been selected to do the evaluation. In the Linguistics Department there is a new Maya linguist position, which has been filled by David Mora Moron, and there is a possibility of a Mayan anthropologist in the Anthoropology Department. The editorial operation of Cuban Studies has moved to UNC from FIU.
Demonstrations of Latin American Collection Web Pages
Cathy demonstrated several LACIC sites — http://lacic.fiu.edu/ — including news reports, acquisitions lists, exchange database, and electronic e-mail query form.
UNC-Chapel Hill
Teresa demonstrated the Latin American and Iberian Resources page — http://www.lib.unc.edu/davis/gras/lair/ — including acquisitions lists, microforms database, vendor list, library tutorial, and research guides.
Richard demonstrated the LAC site — http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/lac/ — including the SALALM@50 conference pages, e-mail letters to the faculty, and acquisitions lists.
Hortensia reported that the site will be revamped soon, but Paul demonstrated the current rare books, manuscripts and photographs sections of the site — http://lal.tulane.edu/.
Adan demonstrated the Benson site — http://www.lib.utexas.edu/benson/ — including online publications, Department of State microfilm list, major microform sets list, and Mexican newspaper projects.
Laura demonstrated the Peabody Awards Collection database — http://www.libs.uga.edu/media/collections/peabody/pbdatabase/index.html.
This session was wrapped up with discussion about access Latin American newspapers, both in original and microfilm formats. Discussion ensued about the purchasing of Latino materials in LASER libraries, and the blurring of collection development responsibilities between Latin American and Latino Studies bibliographers. Another aspect of the discussion about blurred collection responsibilities involved the disposition of deaccessioned materials in LASER libraries.
February 12, 2005, Afternoon Session
1. Central America Archives: Proquest announced this project at ALA Midwinter meeting. There are 4000 reels from the Archivo General de Centroamerica in Guatemala. It is VERY expensive ($496,000 or $126 per reel), but would be a good candidate for purchasing through the consortia, but it may not really be an option. There are subsets by subject and country. Concern was expressed about the negative advertising (ex.: “Will never be digitized”) and what the vendor’s agenda may be. How much has actually been filmed? Is the price really just start-up money?
2. Independent Mexican Newspapers of the 19th century: The Benson Collection has been working on this microfilming project and has received 4 ½ years of NEH funding ($500,000). The total effort cost about $1 million. (Compare this to the price of digitizing 4 newspapers from 10 years of the early 1800s which cost about $2 million.) The coverage is 1807-1940. CRL will have a full set and it is available from UT Austin on ILL. All Latin American newspapers in the Benson Collection have been fully cataloged in OCLC (about 2,000 titles), which took about 10 years. [We can scan his handout and put up as pdf here]
3. Adan Benevides brought forward a proposal for a 16th century library on the web consisting of about 160 titles. There will probably be a blog on this topic. They are looking for NEH grants for materials from U.S. libraries and finding private funding for items owned outside of the U.S. How will works in the small convents, etc. in Mexico and other Latin American countries be identified? Adan referred to the bibliographies in the proposal [scan and place here].
4. The LASER mission statement was discussed. Catherine Marsicek will work on the suggestions and submit to the LASER listserv for any other revisions.
5. Over cake in celebration of Emily Stambaugh’s new position, we watched several short films as a “LASER mini film festival.” Laura Shedenhelm brought a newsclip from Univision about land mines in Central America (from the Peabody Awards collection); Richard Phillips showed “El gigante de Tiwanaku” from the U. of Florida collection; Paul Bary screened “Sixth Section: Immigrants Organizing Across Borders” from the Tulane collection.
February 13, 2005, Morning Session
Attending: Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill); Irene Munster (Duke); Gayle Williams (Emory); Laura Shedenhelm (Georgia); Richard Phillips (Florida); Cathy Marsicek (FIU; LASER Chair); Lesbia Varona and Olga Espejo (Miami); Paul Bary (Tulane); Adán Benavides (UT- Austin).
1. Teresa Chapa reminded the group that the journal Cuban Studies has moved from FIU to Chapel Hill.
2. Catherine Marsicek discussed a grant proposal of 50,000 ($90,000) at FIU for a virtual archive of Christian movements in Ecuador.
3. Richard Phillips reminded everyone of the plans for SALALM at Florida in April.
4. Emily Stambaugh discussed a proposal written by her, Dan Hazen and Kees-Jan Waterman [scan and insert pdf of proposal here] for LAMI (Latin American Microform Index) that is under consideration. The project should improve access to microform collections. There was discussion about ALA’s efforts, the possibility of NEH funding or other sources (Mellon, Ford, Bill Gates, Kodak, Canon, ask Dora Loh about her sources), “on demand digitizing”, priorities of microfilming. Presently the only thing like this is EROMM (a register of microfilm masters in Europe). LAMP may be discussing this project at SALALM and there may be a no host lunch on this topic during the conference.
5. Catherine Marsicek demonstrated the upgrades to the exchanges database and announced members of a task force for LACIC Exchange Database (Paula Covington, Adan Benevides, Laura Shedenhelm and Lynn Shirey).
6. Emily Stambaugh demonstrated the updated LASER website. Laura Shedenhelm volunteered to move the website to University of Georgia since Emily will be moving to California. (This has since been approved and the website is in the process of moving.)
7. Future meetings: there was discussion about our next meeting after SALALM, but no firm dates or place were set. Gayle Williams volunteered to take the chair position for the next three years (2005-2008) beginning at the end of our meeting at SALALM.
Submitted by Laura Shedenhelm

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June 6 , 2004
Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 6, 2004
Members Present: Paul Bary (Tulane), Adán Benavides (U. of Texas-Benson), Peter Bushnell, (U. of Florida), Hortensia Calvo (Tulane), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Olga Espejo (U. of Miami), Becky Huckaby (UNC-Chapel Hill), Elmelinda Lara (U. of the West Indies, St. Augustine), Paul Losch (U. of Florida), Catherine Marsicek (Florida International, LASER Chair), Irene Münster (Duke), Richard Phillips (U. of Florida), Margaret Rouse-Jones (U. of the West Indies, St. Augustine), Laura D. Shedenhelm (U. of Georgia), Emily Stambaugh (Wake Forest), Víctor F. Torres (U. of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras), John Vickery (UNC-Chapel Hill), Gayle Williams (Emory).
Guests Present: Peter Johnson (Princeton).
1. Introductions. Welcome to Margaret Rouse-Jones and Elmelinda Lara, of the University of the West Indies.
2. Emily Stambaugh presented sample LASER web pages based on the groups’ discussion in March 2004 for the suggested changes. These were discussed and the following suggestions were made:
• have the Institutions page be a “list of lists” only
• have a list of librarians
• include a mission statement
• have bullets on the first page
• use a table format for the union lists
• have a colored background
• will change address of permanent page and announce it
3. Catherine Marsicek presented follow-up information on the Florida International exchanges database. Some of the discussion points were:
• should it be a LASER project?
• how much is the project worth to fund?
• should it be a subscription?
• should there be LASER dues to help cover it?
• include OCLC #s if possible
• there will be multiple entries
• programming and upkeep is an issue
• some institutions have large lists of duplicates (ex.: U. of Texas)
• Tulane is dismantling its current exchange program and deciding what to do with the duplicates
• various states have particular laws regarding the disposal of state property
• there needs to be a consideration given for rare or expensive items versus common titles
The outcome is that people are interested and recommend that Florida International continue development of the database.
4. There was discussion about dates for the next LASER meeting which will be hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke. The time would be set when they know more about their budgets.
5. Everyone should think about possibilities for panels for the next SALALM conference. We can discuss this on the list. Perhaps a program on unknown archival collections?
6. Catherine Marsicek will write an article for the SALALM Newsletter about our meeting last March.
Minutes submitted by Laura D. Shedenhelm.

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March 5-7, 2004
LASER in Miami, Minutes
March 5-7, 2004
In attendance: Holly Ackerman (UM), Paul Bary (Tulane), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbily), Olga Espejo (UM), Marian Goslinga (FIU), Carrie Leslie (UM), Paul Losch (UF), Cathy Marsicek, Chair (FIU), Irene Muenster (Duke), Richard Phillips (UF), Laura Shedenhelm (UGA), Emily Stambaugh (Wake Forest), Victor Torres (UPR-Rio Piedras), Lesbia Varona (UM), Gayle Williams (Emory).

March 5, 9:00am – 4:30pm

  • Tour of Miami and Little Haiti, with Alex Stepick of FIU
  • Visit to Libreri Mapou (Haitian bookstore) and visit with Jan Mapou.
  • Tour of Little Havana, with Lisandro Perez of FIU
  • Visit to Ediciones Universal and visit with members of Salvat family.
    March 6, 9:00am – 12:00pm (Minutes by Emily Stambaugh)
  • Tour of FIU Green Library, LACIC and announcement of the Color Mulata exhibit
  • Institutional NewsFIU (Cathy, Marian)
    FIU has begun a new initiative for Immigration Studies and belongs to a new consortium for Andean Studies. An open invitation to the consortium was extended to LASER members. As a result of the financial crisis at FIU, the library collections have suffered immensely. The library hopes to gain new space in the Green building when the Law School moves to its own building. The Law School currently occupies 2 floors of the library. A new medical school has been proposed at FIU. FIU’s collection strengths are Cuba and the Caribbean. FIU’s ARL and LARRP focus is Colombia, therefore seeking to expand collections and reduce duplication in Florida (as UM is focusing on Cuba and UF on Caribbean for LARRP). The library recently received a gift of 500-1000 volumes of Colombian poetry.Marian recommended an article in v35 of Cuban Studies by Maria Montes which talks about collections related to Cuba in Miami. Miriam also asked members to consider reinvigorating library exchanges; last year the Casa de las Americas expressed an interest in exchanging with US libraries.University of Miami (Carrie, Holly, Olga and Lesbia)
    Carrie introduced herself. She is the newest member of LASER from UM. UM has a new director, Bill Walker, previously from New York Public Library. The University is engaged in a fundraising campaign for an addition to the library. UM is also conducting a search for the position of Director for the Center of Inter-American Studies. The North/South Center was closed at UM and the faculty will be redistributed to other area studies departments (dedicated to the EU, Post Soviet Union, Caribbean, etc.), or retire.UM’s collection strengths relevant to Latin American Studies include the Cuban Heritage Collection and Latin American literature. The library has enjoyed large budget increases in the last 2 years which has somewhat overwhelmed the ordering staff but is quite welcome! The Cuban video collection and rare books collection has been enlarged. Among the rare materials collected are maps, documents, ephemera and many items from the National Library of Cuba. The library is also filling in gaps in its literature collections, particularly in Brazilian and Portuguese materials. Three years ago, UM received an NEH grant to digitize 11 collections and is currently working on the Lidia Cabrera collection.UM may bid for the SALALM secretariat. UM is now a sponsoring member of SALALM. UM is also partnering with FIU on a project called “Cuban Rafters Ten Years After” which will present research on the Rafter’s social attainment in the past 10 years, a digital archive of photographs, and a website about Cuban immigration from the 1980s to the present which will include maps and a timeline.UM is currently working on updating its entries in the LASER Union List of Microfilm.UNC Chapel Hill (Teresa)
    Teresa welcomed Irene Muenster, bibliographer for LAS at Duke University Libraries and newest member of the TRLN consortium for cooperative collections. UNC CH has received a 3 year extension on the Title VI grant and will use part of it to request funding for next year’s LASER conference. Several LASER members expressed interest in holding it in the Fall (perhaps October). UNC CH is currently conducting a Director search. Arturo Escobar is the new director of the Institute of Latin American Studies. The Collection Development department at the library has split into 2 departments: Global Resources and Area Studies and Humanities/Social Sciences. The split has improved visibility in the library for Area Studies. Teresa serves on an IFLA standing committee, the subcommittee on ILL and Document Delivery and invites suggestions for ILL initiatives. She will attend the next 3 IFLA meetings. UNC’s Mayan Language program has added a 2nd year to the program. Marian Goslinga will transition the editing of the Cuban Studies Journal to Teresa and UNC. Cuban Studies will be added to Project Muse.UFlorida (Paul Losch, Richard Phillips)
    Paul and Richard distributed 3 films about Cuba produced in 1992 by the Documentary Institute (Last Days of the Revolution, Campaign for Cuba, and Giving up the Canal). SALALM’s 50th annual conference will be held at Gainesville in March, 2005. Pamela Howard will organize it, and Richard will be making the local arrangements. Budgetwise, this has been a good year for the library. The LAS related collections focus on the Caribbean, Tropical Development and Sciences. The main library is undergoing a $30M renovation during which time, the collections have been moved to off-site shelving and staff has been relocated to the Science libraries. The library will implement a new ILS, Aleph, on May 1st. Charles Wood, the current director of UF’s Title VI center, is stepping down, so the center will be conducting a director search. Paul L. spent 3 weeks in the LC Rio office as an intern at the Brazilian Popular Groups center.Emory (Gayle Williams)
    Gayle is compiling Emory’s union list for microfilm to contribute to the LASER list. Her new position includes collection management, reference and instruction duties. She conducted a serials review last year to get familiar with the serials collection and will become a member of ARL LARP and LAPTOC next year. One area of growth in the collections will be in Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender studies as the university is developing an LGBT program. Gayle also commented on a rising demand for Latin American film. She will be working on the Brazilian History collections. Gayle will attend the Buenos Aires Bookfair in April. Tulane (Paul Bary)
    Hortensia Calvo has been at Tulane now for 1 year, she is the new Director of Latin American Library (LAL) at Tulane. The space for LAS collections has increased by 1,000 square feet through a major reorganization and renovation. This includes new gallery space for exhibits. The library has had several exhibits, including the most recent exhibit of William Spratling original drawings donated to LAL. For the very first time, the Latin American Literature collection was consolidated into the Latin American collections last summer. The university has a new remote storage facility and a closed stacks area on campus. Some of the LAL collections have been moved to the University’s new remote storage facility and to the LAL closed stacks area. Tulane would like to propose hosting LASER after UNC-CH. Paul will take over LAPTOC operations soon and continues to update the microfilm union list. Vanderbilt (Paula Covington)
    The library is currently transferring 15K items to an off-site shelving Annex. A new Center for the Americas on campus is conducting a director search. The Center has received generous funding and has hired Canadian, US and Latin American specialists. The library received a large donation of Tango Music and Chilean and Argentine history from the estate of History Professor Simon Collier. A collection of broadsides and newspapers from the Colombia Historical collection (19th century) may be digitized. The library expects serial cuts next year. The library is near its 3 millionth volume and plans to make that title a Latin American one.UGeorgia (Laura Shendenholm)
    The Latin American librarian position at UGA has been reduced to ½ time. Laura splits her time between that and Media Archives. She is working on improving access to the Peabody material related to Latin America. An arson fire this past year affected all library personnel. Dr. Alvarez donated a Cuban film collection to the library. The library expects to have a 2-7% serials cut next year, perhaps mainly in the sciences. An anthropologist donated field recordings and slides about Chiapas from the 1940s-1990s to the library. Bret Berlin, director of the Latin American Studies center, has proposed a joint Peabody center speaking event focused on Latin America.UPuertoRico (Victor Torres)
    The director of the library resigned in December and the library currently has an acting director. The library is undergoing a renovation (no expansion) which will include new space for Reference and ILL. A master’s degree program in Caribbean Studies has been proposed at the university.Victor request 2 corrections to the minutes at the Cartagena meeting:
    – UPR received an NEH grant not for microfilming but for digitizing some Puerto Rican materials.
    – UPR submitted an application for but has not received yet a SOLINET grant to microfilm 2 collections. The final decision is expected by this summer.Duke (Irene Munster)
    Irene has been at Duke one month and is getting familiar with the collections. The library is engaged in an expansion project over the next 5 years. Selected items are being moved to remote storage. Duke is migrating to a new LMS, Aleph in May/June. Some budget cuts are expected next year. The cataloging department may switch to LC soon, that is, they may begin to catalog newly received items that were historically cataloged in Dewey, in LC.Wake Forest (Emily Stambaugh)
    The library is current conducting a director search and expects to fill the position between April and June. The University has a new Divinity School. The library will be looking for reference librarians in Business/Accounting and the Arts. The library is conducting a serials review and planning for an off-site shelving facility. Next fall, an endowed professorship for Latin American Studies will be filled and his role may include the development of an undergraduate major in LAS. Currently, the university offers an undergraduate minor in LAS and students study abroad in Mexico and Cuba. The LAS department is starting up a semester program in Chile.Update on LASER Union Lists
    Paul Bary reminded members of the 3 union lists maintained by LASER, which help as a collection development tool. These lists give extra visibility to LAS related microfilm, video and newspaper collections held in the libraries of the Southeastern US. Paul invited suggestions about how the union list can be better organized. Holly mentioned that it was difficult to compile the information and members shared how they do it. Members asked about the usefulness of the video union list. Cathy finds it easier to use WorldCat for videos. Most members agreed that our lending policies need to be updated. Members agreed to add entries to the video union list at their discretion.
March 6, 2:00pm – 5:00pm (Minutes by Holly Ackerman)
LASER Homepage (All)
  • We made a laundry list of what we want on the homepage. The list includes: Mission, members, policies, collection strengths, union lists, minutes, links to catalogs, history, listserv, LAC centers, SALALM, LAC libraries and archives, bib instruction page from MOLLAS.Paul raised a question about what archives should be included. Irene suggested that we only put those that are really available online in some form. Paul thought that it was still valuable to see a catalog even if you can’t see digital images or finding aids.It was mentioned that we should also have academic links to programs and to subject guides.Carrie said that what is meant by Centers is not clear. Cathy suggested a model of listing institutions and then doing a “What?Who?How?” on each one.Laura thought we should consider whether to have preservation policies up but this did not enthuse the group.Paul suggested we add a group picture.ACTION
  • Teresa, Irene and Emily will produce a draft of a new LASER homepage and present it to the group at SALALM in Ann Arbor.Exchanges (Cathy)Cathy demonstrated the LACIC Exchange Database: <http://lacic.fiu.edu/exchanges/>.
    We discussed the possibility of extending the FIU database to LASER and SALALMCathy – It works well for her institution particularly since they are dealing with a very limited materials budget. It is a volume-by-volume exchange. Users establish a relationship by getting get a code and password. Then you just click and order (amazon.com style). It operates via an Access database using Cold Fusion. To date there are two active partners: Brown and Duke.
    Cathy then demonstrated the administrative side of the database noting the total number of items in the database and the numbering system.
    Laura asked if it was only LAC materials. Answer is yes.
    Paul asked about who actually constructs and manages the system. LACIC and IT folks at FIU Libraries.
    Emily wanted to know how sets were treated. Answer is volume by volume.
    Paula asked how others could get involved in the project and suggested that this is an aspect where a grant might be useful to expand the project.
    Richard asked about postage and remarked that it was a good way to fix broken sets. Emily wondered what the cost per volume was as far as all the actions needed to actually receive a book. Sending institutions cover postage.
    Irene pointed out the importance of extending the database to Latin America and the Caribbean so that both sides could gain unique materials.
    Irene asked if other libraries were doing anything similar. Cathy knew of a project under development at LOC but no other. Cathy also remarked that the LOC will give you boxes of exchange materials if you go there and pick them up.
    Everyone agreed that we should see how the use of the present system goes and then consider a LASER project/proposal.
    Improving Access to Latin American Microfilm (Emily, Teresa)
    Download Presentation: Improving Access to Latin American Microfilm

(Minutes here may be incomplete, please correct any wrong or missing information. AFTER MINUTES SUBMITTED, EMILY ADDED LINK TO PPT PRESENTATION)
Microfilm is underutilized and how can we, as a group, work to improve access? Current tools that exist include: catalogs, unions catalogs, electronic indexes and databases, vendor on-line guides, print guides.
What direction might we take?
1) Catalog, MARC Records, WorldCat. Pros: Subject access by conventional LCSH, Accessible through the catalog, a familiar e-tool for the user, Indexing done by experts (catalogers, microfilm producers). Cons: Some sets lack MARC records, Lack of analytic cataloging – item level access, Does not allow for cross-institutional searching/access, Does not group content for area studies.
2) Web. Union Catalogs. Pros: Serves as a cross-institutional guide. Conducive to cooperative collecting, Maintained cooperatively, Groups subject/area studies content. Cons: No subject access, some country level access, No item level access, Access policy to microfilm unclear, Researchers unfamiliar with the electronic location of the union catalog.
3) Electronic Indexes and Databases. Pros: Cross-institutional searching, Groups subject/area studies content, May provide item level access, May use MARC records or other metadata standard. Cons: Subscription cost may be high, Heavy investment in IT for programming and indexing, May bypass our experts (catalogers).
Possible solution and question for LASER: Shall we create an electronic search tool that allows users to search across microfilm indexes, like an abstracts-and-citations database?
One stop shopping: a comprehensive finding aid for researchers to find microfilmed content specific to Latin America.
ACTION: Emily will look into doing a presentation at SALALM, along with representatives from various microfilming enterprises.

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March 7, 9:00am – 1:00pm (Minutes by Carrie Leslie)

Mission of LASER
Cathy began the meeting by reminding everyone that the group had begun discussions at SALALM about the goals and mission statement of LASER. At that time the group discussed; Who is LASER? What is LASER? What are the goals of LASER? Cathy outlined the following goals/purpose statements posted on the LASER website http://lal.tulane.edu/laserview.html:
1) increase and enhance exchange of communication between themselves (members of LASER)
2) more formal programming in matters such as preservation, electronic accessing and imaging, and structured collection development
3) LASER serves to bring Latin Americanist librarians of the Southeast U.S. together for review of ideas, professional dialogue and on-line discussions.
Paul B. questioned what electronic access and imaging referred to and suggested the wording be changed from electronic access to access. There were no objections.
Discussions began with trying to develop some action plans for the next year:

  • Richard mentioned we should have a goal of coming up with 1 consortium purchase and act on it. Paul B. suggested that perhaps consortium purchasing in microfilm and improving access to microfilm content could be a priority. Richard suggested that an individual be designated to catalog and create access (a guide) to a set of microfilm that could be added to our catalogs or LASER page. After a lengthy discussion it was decided that because of institutional consortium agreements and/or restrictions that consortium purchasing by LASER may be difficult. It was decided that we should inquire with LANE or MOLLAS to see how they are handling this issue. An idea was purposed that perhaps all the sections can act as a group to negotiate pricing
  • Holly felt that increased awareness of each other’s collection strengths should be a priority. Paul B. concurred with this idea saying that the need to know more about each other is important. Understanding what makes this group different from other regional sections is a good idea.
  • Richard mentioned the possibility of charging institutional membership dues. The money collected could be used to enhance microfilm access or digitize collections. It was discussed at length whether or not LASER could ask for dues and if we would have to establish non-profit status first. Richard and Paul L. agreed to look into this.
  • Victor suggested LASER focus on an exchange project for the year. Paula concurred that an exchange program should be one of the projects for the year. Many felt that it would be ideal to have a program in place much like Cathy’s. There was some concern about each institution having individual/independent exchange databases and re-doing what has already been done at FIU. Several people suggested the idea of FIU’s database being the basis for a larger exchange project. Cathy mentioned this is a great idea, but that it would require substantial staff to update and maintain a union exchange database. A technical consideration is that the database is currently on FIU’s server so only FIU has the ability to maintain it. Cathy also reminded the group that this type of project would take more than one year to accomplish, probably closer to 2 years. Paula mentioned that a LASER exchange database must be sustainable for a long period of time and we must be able to continue it. Teresa mentioned that perhaps she could use her LIS student to create an exchange database. Again the concern was raised that it may not be beneficial to have each of us creating our own independent exchange databases. It was suggested that perhaps the database be created as a subscription based product. Or that we seek grant money to create and develop it and that the maintenance would be a consortium decision. Cathy will ask FIU and propose this idea and she what the possibilities of expanding the database are.
  • Olga suggested we have a LASER panel at SALALM to tell other SALALM members and regional sections what we are up to and also gather some information about other sections. The group concurred that this was an excellent idea. Possible topics for the panel included: Olga’s cataloging system for pamphlets in the CHC, Cathy’s Exchange Database, Emily and Teresa’s presentation of microfilm access. It was also suggested that perhaps a consortium panel with LANE or other regional groups be included in the program at SALALM. There was some concern that it might be hard to fit the panel into the program and others wondered whether other sections would be able to attend.
  • It was suggested that for the next LASER meeting Libreros be invited. Also that we should become involved and establish a presence with SECOLAS (South East Council on Latin American Studies). It was also suggested that we invite other South East Caribbean institutions to join LASER. It was decided that we would extend an invitation to the University of the West Indies. However, it was also mentioned by Teresa that we not overextend or invite until we have a better understanding of who we are as a group. Laura motioned to invite, Richard seconded and the group unanimously agreed.
  • Victor raised the issue of improving/increasing digitized collections. He mentioned that some institutions are further along than others because of institutional support, technical support or staff knowledge. He asked if there was a way we could collectively identify collections to digitize and do this as a group. Cathy mentioned that this idea could turn into other projects similar to PALMM (Publication of Archival Library & Museum Materials) http://susdl.fcla.edu/collection.html and the future DLOC (Digital Library of the Caribbean-to be presented at ACURIL). The group agreed this idea is worth pursuing, but the logistics would take time. It was suggested that at the next LASER meeting one day be devoted to a workshop on digitizing materials.
    Teresa is still working out the date and time for the next LASER meeting, but June is a strong possibilty.To summarize the following goals/actions were agreed upon:
  • LASER Panel at SALALM. Cathy will pursue this with SALALM program organizers. Panel topics were suggested but nothing was formally decided
  • Teresa will ask her LIS graduate student to work on either creating an exchange database at UNC or to work with Emily on the microfilm project.
  • Pursue the idea of a subscription based exchange database. Cathy will investigate.
  • Pursue the possibility of membership/institutional dues for LASER. Paul and Richard (UF) will investigate.
  • Extend an invitation to join LASER to the University of the West Indies.
  • Offer workshop on digitizing collections at the next LASER Meeting (perhaps the 3rd day.)

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May 26, 2003
LASER Minutes, May 26, 2003 / Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Attendees: Bottom row, left to right: Gayle Williams (Emory University), Guillermo Náñez Falcón (Tulane University), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University). Top row: Víctor F. Torres (Universidad de Puerto Rico), Peter S. Bushnell (University of Florida, Gainesville), Paul Bary (Tulane University), Holly Ackerman (University of Miami), Cathy Marsicek (Florida International University; LASER chair), Jody Pavilack (Duke University; not pictured),
Photo by Jody Pavilack;
Courtesy of Gayle Williams.

Institutional News
Emory University
Emory is a new member of LASER due to Gayle having moved there from the University of Georgia. Gayle surveyed Emory’s Latin American collection and judged the holdings to be strong in the following areas: Latin American videos; and Argentine and Peruvian colonial history which are strong since Susan Socolow is currently on the faculty, and Peter Bakewell was on the Emory faculty for a number of years. Emory’s Latin American newspaper holdings were submitted to the LASER web page. Microfilm holdings will follow later this summer.
Vanderbilt University
Paula purchased a collection of Colombian 19th century broadsides that is unique to the U.S. Upon his death, Professor Simon Collier left his Argentinean and Chilean history and tango collection to the Vanderbilt library.
Tulane University
Guillermo retired as head of the Latin American Library at the end of December 2002. In March, Hortensia Calvo arrived from Duke to assume the position as Doris Stone Director, and Guillermo was honored retrospectively as the initial Doris Stone Librarian. Paul served as interim head of the collection until Hortensia’s arrival. The Mexican Consulate in New Orleans closed its doors this year, but left its large library collection to the Latin American Library, which is now processing the donation. Since Hortensia’s arrival, an important priority has been the reorganization of the collections and office space within existing and newly added space.
Florida International University
FIU’s library has absorbed large unforeseen budget cuts this year. Fall 2003 will see a Haitian Studies meeting on campus. There is a new head of the Cuban research institute. FIU is carrying out a cooperative digitization project involving materials from the Virgin Islands.
Duke University
Jody Pavilack is working half-time, with Helen Dunn, as interim bibliographers in Latin American Studies in place of Hortensia after she left for Tulane. The search is ongoing for Hortensia’s successor, and the search was hoped to be completed in August.
University of Miami
The beautiful new Cuban Heritage Pavilion, which houses the Cuban Heritage collection, is completed and has fabulous furnishings. The main library’s renovation is scheduled to be completed in June. The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center is in the process of expanding and reorganizing. Holly received a grant of $25,000 from a budget of 1,000,000 new funds for materials approved by President Donna Shalala which will be used for the purchase of Cuban documentary and feature films. The Library and Professor Sandra Pouchet have completed arrangements for an electronic journal of Caribbean Studies entitled “Anthuriam” it is online at http://www.library.miami.edu/anthurium.htm
Universidad de Puerto Rico
The library received a two-year humanities grant to microfilm Puerto Rican cultural materials, and a second SOLINET/NEH grant to microfilm the West India Committee Circular (1907-1958) and the Blue Books of the English Caribbean Islands. The UPR microfilm holdings list was completed and submitted to the LASER web page.
University of Florida, Gainesville
The library is on the verge of starting a major expansion of Library West. There is an ongoing cooperative digitization project involving the Eric Eustice Williams Collection on Trinidad & Tobago. Some of the materials being digitized are from the University of the West Indies but the rest are from the UF collection. The library has recently acquired a large number of Latin American videos and feature films, which Peter has been cataloging.
Recognition of Guillermo Náñez
Paul thanked Guillermo for his contributions to LASER, and presented him with gifts and a card signed by the members in attendance, as a token of our appreciation on the occasion of his retirement. Guillermo thanked the group and noted that LASER had first been discussed at the SALALM conference in New York, and much progress had been made since then.
LASER Meeting in Miami
Cathy announced that funding was in place for a LASER meeting in Miami, to be jointly hosted by FIU and UF Gainesville in 2004.
LASER Web Site and Union Lists
Paul gave the status report and demonstration, and received several good suggestions for improving the organization of the LASER web pages. As of 6/12/03, Paul had implemented two of the suggested changes: 1) moving the link to the union lists higher up on the LASER home page; and 2) putting the word “Library” prominently in the header of the LASER overview page, http://lal.tulane.edu/laserview.html. Also on the overview page, Paul did some very light editing of Richard Phillips’s original wording about LASER’s raison d’etre. Additional editing suggestions are welcome. There were several questions about the organization of the union lists, and Paul encouraged the submission of holdings information by those institutions who have not yet reported.
FIU Exchange Database
Cathy demonstrated the web page – http://lacic.fiu.edu/exchanges/ — of the exchange database created at the FIU Latin American and Caribbean Information Center (LACIC), and she announced that the database could be used to facilitate the exchange of Latin American materials among the LASER institutions. She said a limit of 30 items could be exchanged in one transaction, and the receiving institution is responsible for postage. Guillermo asked about the utility of the FIU database for Tulane, which already has a Procite-based exchange database. Cathy said that any software compatibility issues could be solved.
Quoting from the FIU exchange database web page, “LACIC is looking to develop the Latin American & Caribbean (LAC) Collection at FIU Libraries through exchanges with other institutions, libraries and universities. LACIC wishes to exchange our duplicate LAC materials for publications relating to Latin America and the Caribbean that you have available for exchange.
Currently, the LACIC Exchange Database holds over 1000 volumes. Although covering all countries and disciplines, many titles focus on Cuba or Colombia, mirroring the strengths in the FIU Libraries’ Latin American and Caribbean Collection. Click here to see a list of all books currently available in the LACIC Exchange Database.
The LACIC Exchange Database is very simple and fully automated – you can search the on-line database to view the materials that are available. If you already have a login and password, you can request materials directly from this on-line database.
In order to develop an exchange relationship with FIU Libraries’ Latin American & Caribbean Information Center, please create an account, after reading and agreeing to the Exchange Conditions and Procedures.”
Minutes submitted by Paul Bary, Tulane University, 12 June 2003.

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June 1, 2002
Laser Meeting
Ithaca, New York
June 1, 2002
Present: Paul Bary (Tulane, LASER Chair), Hortensia Calvo (Duke), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Catherine Marsicek (Florida International), Gayle Williams (U. of Georgia), Lesbia Varona (U. of Miami), Olga Espejo (U. of Miami), Richard Phillips (U. of Florida-Gainesville), Emily Stambaugh (UNC-Chapel Hill), Becky Huckabee (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Absent: Guillermo Nánez-Falcón (Tulane), Adán Benavides (U. of Texas-Benson), Víctor Torres (U. of Puerto Rico)
The meeting started with institutional reports:
Tulane (Bary)–Guillermo Nánez-Falcón is not attending SALALM this year, and is in the process of preparing for retirement, either in June 2002 or December 2002. Tulane has recently received 3 endowments: 1 for a Political Economist Chair, 1 to support Latin American acquisitions, 1 to endow the Latin American library director position.
Georgia (Williams)–UGA became a member of the ARL Latin Americanist Research Resources Project this spring. Gayle made a presentation at the IFLA/SEFLIN Summit on Library Cooperation in the Americas (April 2002, Miami FL) about her work with the Project’s grant activities on the Latin American Partners Program. Georgia made it through the spring with fewer budget cuts than anticipated but is uncertain about FY03.
Duke Libraries has received a budget increase of $300,000 (excluding serials) FROM THE PROVOST’S OFFICE; OF THIS MONEY, $42,000 WILL BE ADDED TO THE LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN AND IBERIAN COLLECTIONS BEGINNING IN 2002-3. The university received $1,000, 000.00 from Mellon to support THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM AND will INCLUDE THE CREATION OF a position for a visiting instructor FROM LATIN AMERICA EACH YEAR.
(Corrections in BOLD e-mailed by Hortensia Calvo, November 6, 2002.)
Florida (Phillips)–Florida will be submitting an invitation to the SALALM Executive Board to host the 2005 meeting, SALALM’s 50th celebration. Florida has had a good year but may face budget cuts as of July 1 for the new fiscal year.
North Carolina (Chapa)–Teresa introduced Emily Stambaugh, a recent UNC library school graduate (and new SALALM member), and Becky Huckabee who works as Teresa’s assistant in Collection Development. UNC may also be facing budget cuts in the new fiscal year. Teresa is inviting Eliades Acosta, director of the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Cuba, and Enlace speaker at this year’s SALALM meeting, to UNC and will provide information about dates of his stay in the event that others might want to invite him to their campus to make a presentation.
Vanderbilt (Covington)–Budget remains in good condition. The library received 3 large donations of Spanish literature, and a donation from a Brazilian journalist of Brazilian posters, art exhibit catalogs, and other graphic ephemera. Paula made a book buying trip to Guatemala in February.
Florida International (Marsicek)–Gayle Williams (UGA) made a presentation to the FIU faculty and students on LAPTOC while in Miami for the IFLA/SEFLIN conference.
The Institute for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Institute of Haitian Creole Studies recently opened on campus. FIU, the University of Florida, and the University of the Virgin Islands are developing a cooperative project to digitize US Virgin Island documents. Tony Schwartz has been appointed as Director of Collection Development at the library. Cathy proposed including a proposal for hosting another Laser meeting outside of SALALM in the FIU/UF Title VI budget.
Miami (Varona)–Craig Likeness is the new Director of Collection Development. The Cuban Heritage Collection received funds from the Goizueta Foundation to build a separate building for the collection with matching funds from the library. Miami also received a $1million grant to digitize other documents in its Cuban collection.
UT-Austin (Benavides)–Adán was unable to attend since he needed to attend the LANE meeting which was held at the same time as Laser.
Puerto Rico (Torres)–Víctor was unable to attend SALALM this year in order to attend ACURIL.
General discussion took place on past efforts to make consortial purchases. Despite our efforts, this has not been successful. Some libraries decided not to purchase particular products, and vendors have not really offered the best price possible under this arrangement. We agreed we should still continue to investigate possibilities as they occur.
In lieu of Cathy’s proposal to host our next meeting outside of SALALM (date unknown as yet), we discussed the idea of a theme on which to base the meeting. General agreement preferred some topic regarding collection development. We have not meeting on a regular basis outside of SALALM as does LANE, but not because of disinterest. At last year’s Durham meeting, Gayle expressed interest in hosting the meeting in Athens in 2003 but upcoming budget cuts do not make that feasible. We will continue to attempt meeting annually outside of SALALM as conditions permit.
Gift and exchange issues were discussed. Rather than attempt to create uniform lists of items to offer one another, we agreed to let each member operate in whatever way suited their institution. There was encouragement to share “give away” items on the Laser list rather than on lala-l in order to benefit one another’s collections.
Paul Bary noted that this is the 3rd and final year of his term as convener and asked anyone to contact him who would like to succeed him in the role. The meeting was adjourned. SUBSEQUENT TO THE MEETING, CATHY MARSICEK VOLUNTEERED TO ASSUME THE DUTY OF CHAIR/CONVENER, AND THE MEMBERS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED HER NOMINATION BY E-MAIL.
(Above corrections in BOLD and overall document reformatting by Paul Bary, November 6, 2002.)
Submitted by Gayle Williams, June 1, 2002

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May 26, 2001
Tempe, Arizona
May 26, 2001
Present: Hortensia Calvo (Duke), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Holly Ackerman (Duke-UNC Mellon fellow), Adán Benavides (UT-Austin), Richard Phillips (Florida), Gayle Williams (Georgia), Victor Torres (UPR), Cathy Marsicek (FIU), Guillermo Náñez Falcon (Tulane), Paul Bary (Tulane), and Paula Covington (Vanderbilt).
The meeting largely consisted mostly of announcements about each institution’s Latin American collection and/or program, but we also discussed the status of the LASER union list projects (newspapers, videos and microform sets). The newspaper list is mostly complete, but is always subject to updating. The video list is still in the planning stages. The microform sets list is currently being constructed, with about half of the institutions having reported their holdings. We also briefly touched on the status of our individual efforts and abilities to purchase databases (EIU) and microforms (Yale) that we have considered purchasing consortially, and which some of the LASER institutions still may purchase consortially if we can get over some hurdles.
Highlights of the institutional announcements:
Tulane: Phil MacLeod, curator of Latin American manuscripts and photographs for the past three years, is taking a position at Yale University in charge of cataloguing the Latin American History and Culture microfilm series.
Universidad de Puerto Rico: UPR has a new library director, Ramón Budét; and the university is planning a new Master’s program in Caribbean Studies.
Duke: New searchable database of Duke’s pre-1800 imprints TBA; look for LASER writeup in SALALM Newsletter.
UT-Austin: No new archivist or head librarian had been identified; the 20th century newspaper microfilming grant project was being written; 359 19th century Mexican papers had been identified for filming; next year is the Benson’s 75th anniversary and there will be a commemorative conference which will be the focus of fundraising.
Florida: Purchase of Maury Bromsen Collection; acquisition about 200 rare/unique Cuban titles; completion of Caribbean Newspaper Index; Cuban National Archive microfilming project; budget downturn expected; each UF campus getting its own bureaucracy; microfilming operation backed up, but three cameras film several Latin American newspapers.
FIU: Seeking ARL status, and budget looks good as a result; new Colombian Studies program/institute largely focusing on drugs and development; Haitian Studies program in the planning stages; IFLA Library Cooperation in the Americas conference at FIU, April 2002.
Vanderbilt: 5000 volume Colombian gift now catalogued (Prof. Hilguera); you can keyword search his collection in the catalog; 15 students enrolled in Paula’s research methods course.
Georgia: Princeton microfilm purchased.
UNC: 2% budget cuts; Princeton microfilm purchased; searchable database for microfilm; campus visit of Eliades Acosta, the director of the Cuban national library.
Submitted by Paul Bary, Tulane University, July 10, 2001

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February 24-25, 2001
Duke-UNC-Chapel Hill
24-25 February 2001
Present: Holly Ackermann (Duke Mellon fellow), Paul Bary (Tulane, LASER Chair), Adán Benavides (U. of Texas-Benson), Hortensia Calvo (Duke), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Catherine Marsicek (Florida International), Guillermo Náñez Falcón (Tulane), Gayle Williams (U. of Georgia), Lesbia Varona (U. of Miami). Richard Phillips (U. of Florida-Gainesville) and Víctor Torres (U. of Puerto Rico) were unable to attend.
Saturday, 24 February 2001, 9AM – 12 noon session
Paul began by thanking Hortensia Calvo, Teresa Chapa, and Holly Ackermann for hosting the first LASER meeting outside of the SALALM.
Secretary’s note: The meeting did not follow a strict topic-by-topic order. To clarify the summary of the discussions, the secretary has grouped comments made by participants by subject. The morning session focused on cooperative projects and library consortia.

KUDZU. Of the schools represented at the meeting, only Vanderbilt and Tulane are members of the KUDZU shared catalogues consortium, although others may join. Paul said that he has searched the KUDZU catalogue, and it is slow. The user can place an ILL order online. Paula explained that through Iris, a subset of KUDZU, Vanderbilt, the U. of Tennessee-Knoxville, and the U. of Kentucky have a joint catalogue, with a link from the Vanderbilt library home page. Patrons can search the three catalogues simultaneously and place an ILL order online. Courier service provides overnight ILL. The arrangement differs from regular ILL, because even books that are checked out can be borrowed. She showed borrowing statistics. The arrangement is expanding to include journal articles. Project Athena is a consortium in the Nashville area. Students use IRIS first. Athena has van delivery of ILL three times a week. If a book is requested through IRIS, KUZDU, or Athena, ILL gives it immediate priority. If ordered through regular channels, the loan is handled through regular channels until the borrower is identified as a member of the consortia. Vanderbilt uses IRIS first, because it offers overnight service. The members are working out an agreement with Fed Ex. All participants come in through an OCLC site search. The present system is only a trial. A different system may be used in the future. IRIS has worked out consortial agreements for the purchase of databases, such as the Tozzer catalogue. It also will send out atypical loans, such as current imprints, rare items, and reference works. Paul asked to have a demonstration of KUDZU tomorrow. Hortensia said that the Duke library had voted on the name of the consortium, but declined to join it for now. UNC did not join either, said Teresa. The U. of Miami supports membership, Lesbia added, but is waiting for a new university president. Cathy noted that the Florida state university library system already has a cooperative lending agreement, and Gayle said that the Georgia state university library system has a uniform catalogue and is looking at universal borrowing within Georgia first through Galileo. Adán explained that the UT catalogue is unique and thus has technical problems becoming part of a shared catalogue.
LAPTOC (Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents database). Hortensia asked about the status of LAPTOC. Paul, who is a Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee, said that the more countries are included in the database, the more useful it will be. Adán said that UT had entered many articles from Brazilian journals. Gayle observed that the database had had 4-million hits last year.

Paul has worked with Dora Loh (UCLA), Scott Van Jacob (Notre Dame), and the U. of Miami to test ILL delivery speed of articles to member institutions. The first attempt took three weeks. There has been a more recent cycle of tests with Scott, Paul, Sara Sánchez (U. of Miami), and Ruby Gutiérrez from HAPI through regular ILL. A request to Duke came very fast. Lesbia attributed the slow turnaround to staff shortages and high turnover in ILL departments. Paula asked how a library is identified as a member of LAPTOC. Paul said that this is a problem, and Gayle added that Dora is forming a committee to look into this. Adán had received a call from Scott about charges for delivery to LAPTOC. Free the first year, he believed that libraries were to reimburse the LAPTOC database for ILL costs. There is discussion underway to market the database. If this were to happen, Adán asked, what would be the charge to institutions that had input the data?

The group also discussed the inputting of additional records. There is an agreement among LAPTOC members to input records back to 1990, and some libraries are going even further back. Partners receive a small amount of money for adding back records. Gayle noted that some institutions have never input data from journals assigned. The grant for the cooperative project did not include funds for internet access, Adán said, and this has been a problem.

Gayle gave an update on two foreign partners. INCA has taken responsibility for 77 Andean titles and CIRMA for 27 Central American titles. There have been problems on both fronts. Gayle is working with INCA to start the staff inputting records. Cathy said that FIU was not a member of ARL, but was interested in joining the cooperative serials acquisitions project.

Hortensia asked if any library had cancelled a subscription as a result of membership in the ARL serials project. No one had. There is strong faculty pressure at all schools to maintain subscriptions active and to initiate new ones. All present agreed that faculty would rather have an article available in a journal in the library than to have to request a copy through ILL.

PRIMARY SOURCE MEDIA MICROFILMS. Paula has been in conversation with Brian Aertker, Sales Manages for Primary Source Microfilms. He was promoting group purchases of the Yale and Harvard manuscript collections. The company offered up to a 45% discount if 10 libraries bought sets. UNC has already bought the Yale microfilm, and Duke is interested in the collection of Peruvian manuscripts on film. This was in response to a faculty request and the availability of special funds. Paula cautioned against purchases until there is an agreement among LASER members to negotiate a discount. Guillermo said the purchase of the same collection of films by several libraries, despite the large discount, was not really a “consortial” purchase. He suggested purchase of a single set within LASER and allowing members to borrow reels through ILL. The discussion continued in the afternoon session.

A discussion of microfilm lending policies ensued. What are the policies of each institution regarding the loan of commercially purchased and other non-archival microfilms? What about the loan of uncatalogued films? Paul proposed including on the LASER home page a union list of large microfilm sets owned by the LASER libraries and the lending policy of each institution. This discussion too continued in the afternoon session.

EIU ELECTRONIC DATABASES. Paul initiated discussions of possible consortial subscriptions to the databases of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Two sales reps from EIU had visited Tulane library last week and had given a demonstration of the various databases that they produce. The company is amenable to group purchase, and each institution can select the services to which they want to subscribe. The EIU resources are not just Latin American, but global. Duke subscribes to reports for all of Latin America, Hortensia said. Would EIU be willing to renegotiate an ongoing subscription? FIU has a trial for City Data, Cathy noted. It has valuable information, and she recommended it, but the subscription is very expensive. At U of George the business school subscribes to the electronic and print publications. Gayle would have to have more specific price figures before making a commitment since the business school pays. Teresa observed that the decision to purchase electronic databases is usually made by other persons, not the ones who select and use them.

Paul asked if non-LASER libraries might be interested in subscribing. Guillermo had been in correspondence with the bibliographer at Ole Miss, who responded positively. Paula will talk with the head of collection development at UTN-Knoxville, who is in charge of site licensing. Adán noted that site licensing can be a nightmare in arrangements such as this.

There was interest in pursuing the consortial subscription, and Víctor has sent word via e-mail that UPR was also interested. Paul offered to give a demonstration of the various databases. Guillermo will contact the EIU rep about setting up trial subscriptions for the LASER libraries, while the group will canvas other non-LASER libraries in the Southeast. Paul asked members to send him lists of EIU publications, print and electronic, to which each one’s library subscribes. The group agreed to March 15th as the target date for sending holdings information.

IDB PUBLICATIONS. Hortensia said that Duke was considering purchasing the films of anarchist journals from Latin America, which cost about $15,000. This was in response to a faculty request. UT has purchased the collection, along with four other institutions, Adán interjected. Some of the film is not of high quality and the runs are incomplete. Sue Fuller, serials cataloguer at the Benson, is cataloguing the individual titles on the set. Other libraries that buy the films can use these records.
TAVERA CD-ROMS. Paul asked if anyone was buying the Tavera CD-ROMs. Several of the libraries have purchased some of the disks. Lesbia observed that CD-ROMs are used very little, and the others agreed. Guillermo remarked that the low usage may be because the individual titles of the books included in compilations are not separately listed in the online catalogue.
Saturday, 24 February 2001, 2:15-5:00 PM session
The minutes for this session are based on a report submitted by Hortensia Calvo and on my own notes.
[Secretary’s note: During the lunch break, Hortensia took the group to the Perkins Library for a tour. One of the highlights was the exhibit Hortensia had prepared of the history of the Latin American program and library collection at Duke.]

There was a clarification of Lesbia Varona’s duties at Miami. She is responsible for Latin American literature, all Cuban and Cuban-American selection, and is also a member of the electronic resources committee.

MICROFILMS CONTINUED. Discussion returned to the consortial purchase of the Yale/Harvard microfilm from Primary Source Media. Paula said that PSM offered a 45% discount if 10 institutions agreed to buy the set. Paula polled the group about which libraries would be interested in buying the Gale microfilms if a 45% discount were available. Duke, Vanderbilt, FIU, Georgia, UT, and Tulane are interested in Part 1. There was a question about the quality of the microfilming. With regard to Series II on Cuban History and Literature, there is lack of information in the brochure on the number of issues included in each serial run. Lesbia said that there were issues missing. Also, was microfilming done to preservation-quality standards?

NEWSPAPERS. Paul said that the union list of newspapers on the LASER home page was “under construction.” He asked members to continue to send him information about holdings for incorporation into the list. Adán asked if we would consider shortening the 5-year run restriction to 2 years, so that he can include the UT holdings. Many of the titles are not in OCLC. If the limit is lowered, what should it be? We should decide this in Tempe.

MICROFILMS. All agreed on the desirability of having a union list of the large microfilm sets owned by the members. The difficulty was identifying holdings at each institution, especially uncatalogued sets. UT has catalogued most of their microfilm holdings of two or more reels, and Adán stressed the importance of including the OCLC number in any union list to identify the film precisely. The Tulane Latin American Library home page has a list of sets owned. The question arose about how to organize the list. By country? By topic? Does LANE have a microfilm union list that can serve as a model? It was decided to include on the list microfilms that the institution will lend. The group agreed to make a union list of microfilms a first priority although there were still questions about organization and format.

VIDEOS. Several of the members were interested in compiling a union list of videos, and it was decided that a feasible goal would be to have a good start on such a list by SALALM 2002. Hortensia will talk to Peter Johnson about how LANE is doing about videos and how members handle requests for films. As members talked about video collections at their institutions, it was clear that there are differences with respect to responsibilities for selection, cataloguing, and housing of videos. For the list, the information that the institutions provide are: title, director, year, country, OCLC#, language, format, and the existence of subtitles. Each library will state its lending policy. The group agreed to make a union list of videos our second priority although there were still questions about organization and format.

RELATIONS WITH OTHER CONSORTIA — LANE AND CALAFIA: Adán, who had recently visited the California schools, was asked for a comparison between the efforts of LASER and CALAFIA. He pointed out that it is easier for CALAFIA to arrange consortial agreements, because the institutions are more homogenous. They are state institutions and belong to the same system, which compels them to cooperative arrangements.

Several questions were asked: What are the relations between LASER and LANE and CALAFIA? Are the lending agreement between LASER members applicable to the other consortia? CALAFIA has no lending policy specified on its home page. Teresa volunteered to find out such policies. The members agreed that a blending of the newspaper union lists of the regional consortia would be valuable.

Paul observed that before the formation of regional consortia, there was more cooperation between institutions. Now, members of the regional groups just communicate with each other. The group decided that there was a growing need to know what other groups are doing and that a representative from each consortium be present at each others’ SALALM meetings. This is a problem, because meetings of the individual consortia are normally scheduled simultaneously. Adán suggested a joint meeting of the regional consortia. Paul volunteered to send an e-mail message to Laura Gutiérrez-Witt and to Víctor Torres about the possibility of scheduling a joint meeting. Gayle suggested sending messages to Chairs of the other groups, to Víctor and to Orchid Mazurkiewicz, head of the local arrangements at Tempe. If a joint meeting does not work this year, we can plan for it in 2002, perhaps as a joint breakfast or lunch.

MICROFILMING PROJECTS: Adán gave an update on the NEH-funded project at the Benson to film Mexican newspapers from the period 1900-1929. He initially solicited other institutions to complete runs held at Texas. Tulane responded and offered 140 new titles to include. Harvard, Boston Public, and LC have also contributed a sizeable number of titles. UT is now submitting another proposal for 350 titles of 19th-century Mexican newspapers. There is also the possibility of digitizing in the future. At present more than 500 newspapers out of 700 have been catalogued and have records in OCLC. The microfilm will have a series title and an individual guide to each reel, with a pamphlet describing the collection. A total of 309 reels is projected. LC now allows the subject heading “Mexican newspapers” and OCLC differentiates between newspapers with the same title. UT will sell copies at cost.
CLOSING DISCUSSIONS. The group decided to make the microfilm and video union lists the first and second priorities. Gayle noted that work on the microfilm list can start immediately and continue throughout the year. Paul set as a goal for completion the SALALM meeting of 2002. Gayle suggested that for the video list, the members look at other video collection lists for models. Adán asked about shortening the time span for newspaper holdings on the LASER union list. The group agreed to include titles with runs of less than five years. Paul asked about the practicality of listing exact dates or single issues. Since it was approaching 5 PM, the members decided to table further discussion until the Tempe meeting. Paul will do a test run from one institution to see how much work is involved.
Sunday, 25 February 2001, 9AM – 12 noon session, UNC-Chapel Hill Library
Present: Holly Ackermann (Duke Mellon fellow), Paul Bary (Tulane, LASER Chair), Adán Benavides (U. of Texas-Benson), Hortensia Calvo (Duke), Teresa Chapa (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paula Covington (Vanderbilt), Catherine Marsicek (Florida International), Guillermo Náñez Falcón (Tulane), Gayle Williams (U. of Georgia), Lesbia Varona (U. of Miami).

The minutes for this session are based on minutes submitted by Paula Covington and on my own notes.

Paul introduced Catherine Marsicek, Latin American and Caribbean Information Services Librarian at Florida International University. Cathy is in charge of the Latin American and Caribbean Information Center, a new center in the library that provides instruction, collection development, and reference services.
Hortensia introduced Holly Ackermann, the Mellon post-doctoral fellow in Latin American research librarianship at Duke. Hortensia and Teresa both began their careers as Mellon fellows at Duke. This is the final year of the Mellon grant for the fellowship. Holly said that she had been a social worker and had been on the faculty of the School of Social Work at Tulane. Her research interest has been Cuban emigration to Venezuela and to the United States, and her project this year has been to compile a bibliography of journals edited and published since 1959 by Cuban emigrants.
Paul reviewed the previous day’s decisions, assignments, and deadlines.
EIU. The group decided that inclusion of non-LASER institutions in the consortium would result in a larger discount from EIU. The members set March 15 as the date to report to Paul the names of any other interested institutions from respective home states or regions and for members to report to Paul EIU holdings and current subscriptions in both print and electronic formats. To determine holdings it is necessary to include keyword searching of respective catalogues for: EIU, Economist Intelligence Unit, and titles such as Business Latin America, Country Report and variant titles, Country Profile, Country Commerce, Country Forecast, Viewswire, Country Date, and City Data. Guillermo will check with EIU to arrange for database trials for all interested parties. Subsequent to the trial, members will report to him in what portions of the database they have an interest (e.g., global coverage, City Data, Viewswire).

Latin American History and Culture (microfilm set from Primary Source Media). Paula said that Part 1 consists of 13 reels, with 50 reels in the set when publication is completed. She will poll other interest institutional members of Kudzu, identify a list, and discuss our proposal with the representative. She will talk to César Rodríguez at Yale to find out more information about level of cataloguing, content, manuscripts included, and microfilming standards.

Latin American History and Culture. Part 2. Cuba (microfilm set from Primary Source Media). Paula will request a list of serials and years of coverage from the representative for the LASER libraries to check holdings and to have additional details on the set’s content. After holdings are checked and interested institutions identified, a proposal will be made. Paula will report on microfilm standards used.
IDC microfilm of Anarchist journals. Hortensia will investigate content, interested parties, and prices.

Centenary Conference of Mexico City Transvestite Ball of 1901. Paul thanked Adán and UT libraries for lending materials for an exhibit to be mounted in conjunction with a conference being organized by Professor Robert Irwin of Tulane for the Centenary of a raided Transvestite Ball held in Mexico City in 1901. The exhibit, which will include original newspaper issues and Posada prints relates to the 41 men arrested in the raid. The organizers plan to publish the proceedings of the conference. Irwin has a web site on sexuality in Latin America.

Papers at SALALM conference. Paul will be presenting a paper on the use of images in Tulane’s photographic archive and their interpretation, based on his work with Professor Irwin in preparation for the above-mentioned conference. Guillermo will present a paper entitled “Actas prohibidas: Documenting Sexuality in Colonial Mexico,” based on sexual practices described in selected documents at Tulane.

Union lists: 1) EIU. Paul will compile a list of holdings. 2) Microforms. Paul will compile holdings of commercial sets and lending policies. This was considered the second highest priority for LASER. Members are to review Tulane’s list on the web and begin to compile similar lists. The members will send the information to Paul in Html or word documents. 3) Videos. Paul will investigate the web site of the video holdings of Tulane’s Center for Latin American Studies. It could serve as a possible template. Gayle will send URLs of selected sites as examples for all the members.

Exchange programs. 1) Serial duplicates. Guillermo discussed the desirability of sharing exchange lists among LASER members in addition to our existing exchanges with Latin American exchange partners. He expressed his interest in sharing serial duplicate lists in order to fill in missing issues of journals. Not all libraries have lists, as serials may be managed by the central serials department instead of the Latin American bibliographer. Several libraries throw away unwanted serial duplicates. Adán said that with the Benson there may be a problem with “disposal” of state property. Instead of institutions’ sharing “want” lists, the group decided to share lists that may exist of serial duplicates. These could be available on the listserve or, possibly, on the LASER website. Initially, Guillermo, whose list is on ProCite, will provide Tulane’s list in the same format to LASER members. There was a brief, inconclusive discussion of payment for shipping costs. 2) Monograph duplicates. The discussion was tabled and will be on the agenda for the upcoming SALALM conference.

LASER website. There was a discussion of possible improvements and additions to the LASER website. Cathy suggested adding links to the newspaper lists of other regional groups. Adding a brief introduction describing LASER will inform the public about the organization. A duplicate exchange program section was another possibility. Paul will add minutes beginning with the minutes of this meeting. The group expressed thanks, along with a round of applause, to Paul for maintaining the website and for serving as chair of the group. (See additional suggestions under the DEMONSTRATIONS section below.)

The group then adjourned to the electronic classroom for hands-on demonstrations and further discussions.
EIU electronic publications. Paul gave a demonstration of several of the publications. Tables and graphs cover 1980-2005 and can be exported and customized. Business Latin America covers 1996 to date; Country Reports appear somewhat dated; ViewsWire features headlines and brief text useful for undergraduates, though expensive ($8,000); Country Risk service was not deemed necessary by some since selected tables appear in other parts of the EIU database.

KUDZU. Paula and Paul led the presentation. Paula discussed the IRIS Project and its expansion to 13 libraries in the Southeast. The IRIS partners (Vanderbilt, UTN-K, UKY) have an expedited ILL service through a newly created union catalogue online:

http://webz.library.vanderbilt.edu:8110/WebZ/Vandy: sessionid=0
LASER members are encouraged to look at the catalogue and discuss the feasibility of their institutions’ participation. Thus far, Vanderbilt and Tulane are the only LASER members in KUDZU. Since the LASER libraries have different institutional strengths, both in terms of Latin American subject matter and geography, an expedited ILL service would add momentum to cooperative collection development within LASER. The catalogue is still under development at Vanderbilt (as of the meeting it was 2 weeks old), and some of the early problems have now been resolved (e.g., deselecting CRL still speeds searching; each record now displays with all members’ holdings). Duke and Georgia expressed hopes that they might join next year. Paula gave a demonstration of searching KUDZU using the term “Tikal” and selecting Vanderbilt and Tulane as the libraries.

Caribbean Newspaper Index Project (CNIP). Cathy said that this CD-ROM contains a selective index to Diario de la Marina (1946-1961) and to Nouvelliste (1899-1980s), the Haitian newspaper. The University of Florida may market this in the future for about $45 a copy. FIU has a copy.

LASER website. The members discussed the pros and cons of adding a mission statement. The group decided that an introduction of some sort would explain the purpose of the site to the general public. Paul demonstrated the microfilm lists and formats on other regional and institutional home pages, including the formats used at Cornell, Princeton, and Tulane.

Collection descriptions. The group decided that it would be useful to add brief descriptions of the respective collections of LASER members to the LASER website. The descriptions could include the history of each collection, its strengths, constituency served, and its collection development goals. Having a quick source to identify geographic strengths of the different libraries in the region would be especially helpful. Members will submit to Paul for inclusion in the LASER home page brief, 60-word descriptions of their respective collections by April 1st.

The group discussed terms for the Chair and for the Secretary. Paul agreed to continue as Chair for a 3-year term that ends at SALALM 2002. He asked the members to consider who would be the next Chairperson. Will the members elect a new Chair, or is one member to volunteer? The question remained open. Paul will continue as web master. The moderated listserv should move with the Chairperson. A new secretary will also be appointed in 2002. Guillermo served as secretary for this meeting with Hortensia taking notes for the second session and Paula for today’s.

The group agreed to try to meet annually between SALALM meetings. Possible venues for next year include the University of Georgia at Athens, or a jointly hosted meeting by Florida International University and the University of Miami. The members will take up the discussion at SALALM. [The offer I made was to see about Georgia playing host in year 2002/03 rather than next fiscal year. — Gayle Williams by e-mail, May 8, 2001]

Teresa and the UNC library served a box lunch at the conclusion of the meeting. As several of the participants had planes to catch, the meeting concluded with thanks to our hosts.

Guillermo Náñez Falcón
Tulane University

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