D. Ryan Lynch has an A.B. in Latin American History and Hispanic Literature and Culture from Brown University, an M.A. in Latin American History from Emory University, and is currently completing an M.S.I.S. in Library and Information Services at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has a professional background in academic museums and archives.
As a historian and scholar, Ryan has a strong background in colonial Iberoamerican history and literature but specializes in 20th century Brazilian cultural history with a particular focus on the formation of a middle class defined by consumption in the 1950s. He has presented widely on race, ethnicity, and class in Brazilian history including at the Conference on Latin American History of the American Historical Association and as an invited lecturer at the Museu Histórico da Imigração Japonesa no Brasil in São Paulo. Ryan has taught courses on race, class, and popular culture in Latin American history at Skidmore College and Emory University.
As an archivist, Ryan worked with the New York State Archives on Ventana al Pasado, a project whose goal was to document the Latino presence in 11 archival repositories throughout New York State. In particular, he arranged several collections, created or enhanced finding aids and descriptions for around 60 multidisciplinary collections, translated into Spanish or edited translations of all finding aids and metadata for over 3000 images, and created bilingual web content. More recently, Ryan worked as the Mellon-funded assistant registrar at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, facilitating class use of the museum’s permanent collection by documenting the collection, conducting faculty outreach, helping faculty develop museum-based activities and assignments, and working with students using museum objects for class assignments. Based on this experience, Ryan and Visiting Assistant Professor of English Alison Barnes recently published an article in Museum Management and Curatorship that is the first systematic examination of college teaching in museums.
Since August 2012, Ryan has worked as a graduate assistant in the Reference Department at the University at Albany Libraries, spearheading a roving reference project, developing graduate and professional school prep sections of the Undergraduate LibGuide, engaging in collection evaluation projects, and working on the reference desk in the science and main libraries. In the spring semester of 2013, Ryan completed an internship with Sean Knowlton, Latin American and Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell Universities. As part of this internship, he helped to create new vendor profiles for the joint Columbia and Cornell collections; made recommendations for book, primary source, and database purchases or subscriptions; and created a Primary Sources LibGuide for Cornell University.
As a Latin American or humanities librarian, Ryan is eager to help future generations of students discover Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian cultures while exploring new strategies for partnerships with faculty. His research interests include applying ideas of embedded librarianship in the academic museum setting, the implications for special collections and libraries of his findings on college teaching in museums, and Brazilian Modernist art.
Betsaida M. Reyes is a graduating Masters student at University at Albany who found her passion while working as an assistant bibliographer for Latin American Studies. That is when she discovered a perfect balance to her work in Spanish and her enthusiasm for the libraries. Betsaida has an honorary dual BA in English and Spanish and a MA in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from University at Albany. She started working at the University Library in her junior year as a student assistant in the acquisitions department.
Fueled by a productive tenure at University at Albany, Betsaida is inspired by any project involving Latin American studies. Recent activities include volunteering at the Special Collections Department to digitize a collection of photographs taken in Mexico in 1950’s by the Jewish émigré Fritz Neugass. Betsaida is also an active participant of the “Librarian with a Latte” outreach program at the student center’s café. Initially the project was open mainly for Latin American studies students, but this semester it was expanded to the general student community.
In the past year, her work has focused on becoming a bibliographer for Latin American studies. Given that information literacy instruction is a major part in the duties of a subject librarian, Betsaida spent many hours last semester observing information literacy classes. This semester she has had the chance to teach several subject-based classes. Betsaida’s highlight of last year was the opportunity to attend the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. During her trip, she learned in great detail the art of collection development and current research trends. Attending the FIL was also a great chance network with vendors and other bibliographers.
Betsaida is completing her MA in Information Science this Spring and looks forward to working with SALALM’s Communication Committee. She has recently accepted a position at the University of Kansas as the Iberoamerican Librarian.
In the digital age one can obtain a college degree, work, and yes even do an internship from home. Many professional, economic, and lifestyle options exist today that were unimaginable a decade ago. Indeed, long distance collaboration, both synchronous and asynchronous, is becoming an increasingly commonplace feature of work and learning.
A HAPI internship can be completed remotely and designed with considerable flexibility. I chose to do mine over the Fall 2012 semester so that I could obtain 3 credit hours toward my MSLS degree at the University of Kentucky. The professional knowledge I gained was invaluable, and the compensation I earned paid for the college credit and then some.
The purpose of my internship was to help HAPI director, Orchid Mazurkiewicz, evaluate the quality of the journals indexed by HAPI and help her devise more objective criteria for selecting and deselecting titles. A bibliometric analysis was undertaken to explore how HAPI’s content “measured up” in the universe of Latin American serials, its content representing about 3% of known Latin American titles. This task was a tall order. It involved considerable fact finding that taught us about the strengths and weaknesses of various Latin American databases (Latindex, BIBLAT, SciELO, Redalyc, and SCImago). We also discovered the strengths and weaknesses, uses and misuses, of different bibliometric measures (impact factors, use measures, etc.). In addition, we got a good sense of the challenges involved in soliciting qualitative information from the SALALM membership. In the end, we learned important things about HAPI, about the global imbalance of scholarly literature, and about judging the worth of journals. In essence, we laid the groundwork for developing a systematic approach to improving and ensuring the intellectual caliber of HAPI’s indexed content.
Elements that contributed to the success of the project were: (1) weekly Skype meetings with Orchid, (2) coordination of all project tasks using a project management software, BaseCamp, that was accessed online with a password, (3) open source software for designing surveys, (4) my past experience with database design, data analysis, and statistics, and (5) free online access to the bibliometric data of Latin American databases. Abilities to work independently, communicate effectively in writing, as well as set and meet deadlines were also important.
Factors that affect the success of an online internship are similar to those that would impact an in-person one. Clarifying expectations at the outset along with the nature/content of deliverables is of paramount importance. Integrity, that is, following through on what you say you are going to do is also critical. Flexibility and understanding on the part of both mentor and mentee are also necessary to accommodate life’s inevitable unexpected events. Dedication to a quality outcome, as exhibited through hard work and creativity, is also a big plus.
The most rewarding aspects of my internship may be yet to come. There’s no telling where the new friendships and professional associations will lead. Orchid and I plan to share the results of our bibliometric project at SALALM Miami as a prelude to publishing them in an academic journal. No matter who you are or where you reside, a HAPI internship could be a valuable step in your professional development.
David Fernández is the SALALM Scholarship winner of $1,000 for the 2012 spring semester. Many thanks to our anonymous donor who made this award possible.
David Fernández was born in Venezuela, and moved to Canada in 2004. He is a master’s student in Library Science, Book History and Print Culture at the Faculty of Information in the University of Toronto. David holds an Honours B.A in Latin American Studies with a specialization in contemporary Latin American literature. He is the co-director of ¿Oye, qué bolá? Cuban Voices on Sexual Diversity (2009), a documentary that brings together a range of energetic and sincere voices discussing sexual diversity in 21st Century Cuba. He is also the winner of the 2010 Hoeniger Book Collection Prize for his collection which connects the texts of a select group of Latin American writers with the works of writers from other regions and literary traditions.
David takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of information; he is particularly interested in the history of the book as well as print cultures, textual studies, digital humanities, and information literacy. He also continues to study and collect books on contemporary Latin American queer literature. David’s research interests are motivated by his passion to promote the study of Latin American literatures, cultures, and societies in Canada. He believes that there is an enormous potential for librarians in North America to foster new knowledge in the area of Latin American Studies. His goal as a librarian is to build bridges of collaboration among academics, librarians, and students through academic projects such as digital anthologies of Latin American works, and resource- sharing between libraries, archives, and universities across North America and Latin America.
Lisa Cruces has been a scholar and professional specializing in Latin American materials for the last 7 years. Her specific interests include archival enterprise, special collections and non-textual materials relevant to the Latin American sphere. After completing dual B.A. degrees in History and Latin American Studies at Texas State University-San Marcos in 2009, Lisa began her Masters of Science in Information Science at The University of Texas at Austin, concentrating in archival studies and librarianship.
Before beginning her graduate studies, Lisa conducted work in public history, exhibits, and libraries, with the shared goal of increasing scholarship and access to Spanish-language materials. Past work includes cataloging sueltas at the Harry Ransom Center Research Library and assisting the UT-Library System
with digitization projects.
Along with her previous work involving Mexico and El Salvador, Lisa traveled and conducted independent research in 2010 and 2011 on archival enterprise, preservation, and librarianship in Panama. She presented her poster, “A Case Study of Archives in Central America: El Archivo Nacional de Panamá” at the 2011 Annual Meetings of the Society of Southwest Archivists and the Society of
Her most recent activities at the University of Texas include archival work, digital exhibits, and translation with the Benson Latin American Collection and the Human Rights Documentation Initiative.
Timothy Thompson is a dual-degree master’s student in library science and Latin American and Caribbean studies at Indiana University. In his application essay, Tim highlighted his keen interest in both digital libraries and Brazilian studies, two areas that have gone hand in hand with his professional development as a librarian: within his MLS degree, he is also pursuing a digital libraries specialization, and his first two years of study at Indiana University were funded by consecutive Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships in Portuguese.
He has worked closely with Luis A. González, Indiana University’s Librarian for Latin American, Iberian, Latino, and Chicano-Riqueño Studies, under whose supervision he completed an internship centered on digital collection development. Using open-source reference management software, he helped implement a complete redesign of González’s Researching Brazil, an online gateway that provides a searchable index of Brazilian scholarly journals.
In 2010, Tim received a Boren Fellowship to spend the following year in Brazil. During the first half of 2011, he continued his study of advanced Portuguese and took language courses at the University of Brasília, where he also completed a graduate-level course in Information Architecture. Concurrently, he enrolled in an independent readings course supervised by González and wrote a review essay of 12 recent books related to library and information science in Brazil.
In April, he was selected to receive the 2011 Rovelstad Scholarship in International Librarianship, awarded annually by the Council on Library and Information Resources to sponsor travel to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, held this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, he was able to network and share his research interests with information professionals from throughout Ibero-America and the Caribbean.
During the latter half of the year, he conducted fieldwork for his master’s capstone project, which he will conclude during the upcoming semester. His research focuses on the contribution that digital libraries can make as educational resources supporting human development. He is undertaking an analysis of 13 major digital library initiatives in Brazil and has carried out a series of semi-structured interviews with project managers.
“The goal of my research is to determine the extent to which human development has formed part of the rationale for creating digital libraries in Brazil,” says Thompson. “My research is guided by the conviction that the expansion of digital information services can play a role in bridging the gap between libraries and local communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”
With Cavan McCarthy (Louisiana State University, retired), he is currently co-authoring a chapter on Brazil for the second of a two-volume IFLA publication titled Libraries in the Early 21st Century: An International Perspective, scheduled for publication in early 2012.