Saturday, May 28, 2011, 11:00 AM – 12:30pm
Attendees: Members: 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: 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 (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), 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 the 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 MacLeod 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 Covington 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 and 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; and a LASER blog. Paula requested that members send updates to their microfilm union list this summer.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30.
Teresa Chapa, Convener
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill