Cuba and Haiti: Archival Experiences at the University of Miami

Panel 8, May 31, 2011, 9:00 am-10:30 am

Moderator: Meiyolet Méndez, University of Miami
Presenters: Maria R. Estorino, University of Miami; Béatrice Colastin Skokan, University of Miami; Meiyolet Méndez, University of Miami
Rapporteur: Sarah Yoder Leroy, University of Pittsburgh

 

After Meiyolet Méndez welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers, Maria R. Estorino spoke about building the Cuban Heritage Collection (http://library.miami.edu/chc/) at the University of Miami Libraries. After giving some background on the history of the connection between Cuba and the University of Miami, and the interest in collecting Cuban materials by the University of Miami Libraries over the years, she described the official formation of the Cuban Heritage Collection in 1998, which brought together collections documenting Cuba, the exile experience, and the culture and literature of the Cuban diaspora, which had previously resided in different areas of the libraries. The Cuban Heritage Collection received a grant to build a space for the collections, and in 2003 the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion opened. The Cuban Heritage Collection serves the university, the larger academic community, and the general public, and focuses on four main areas: 1) collection development, 2) preservation and access, 3) teaching, learning and research, and 4) outreach. It brings together, preserves, and makes available primary and secondary materials in all formats, including digital resources. It works with faculty to support instruction at the university, and supports research by sponsoring undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowship. In addition, it coordinates events and exhibitions which reach the general public. Some challenges for the future include ongoing assessment of the collections, building more faculty relationships, and working with a changing donor base, as new demographics and associated relationships emerge.

Béatrice Colastin Skokan followed with a presentation on documenting the Haitian diaspora at the University of Miami Libraries. Miami-Dade is a center of Haitian life in the U.S., where Haitians are the second largest non-English speaking group after Hispanics, and the second largest immigrant population after Cubans. They are a marginalized group, and Special Collections at the University of Miami has made efforts to collect primary source materials documenting the social and political life of this group. The current focus is on collecting papers and documents of local activist groups. It also sponsors public events and outreach, such as the special event entitled Documenting the Fringe, which included a reception and discussion on documenting counter-cultural activism. Special Collections holds the Max Rameau papers (1998-2010) which document his activism for the homeless and the poor within the South Florida communities of the African diaspora. Materials are often acquired through donations from community leaders, and developing relationships is a key component in making this possible. Collecting oral histories is another way they are filling content gaps and documenting intangible culture.

Meiyolet Méndez‘s presentation was entitled “Blueprint for a Collaborative Instruction Model: a Multi-Disciplinary Approach”, and she spoke of developing partnerships with librarians working in other departments of the library in order to enhance the work of both. For example, the Cuban Heritage Collection’s desire to increase the use of its archival and digital material, and the Education and Outreach’s aim to incorporate the use of primary documents in information literacy sessions lead to a natural collaboration. Working together, the two librarians could identify classes with a Latin American/Cuban component, and introduce the Cuban Heritage Collection’s digitized primary materials in an instruction session. The blueprint for collaboration is as follows: identify a department in the library you want to know about, contact the librarians there, meet and identify common goals or needs. Reach out according to your strengths and prior relationships. If you are interested in instruction, identify programs or classes where you might work collaboratively. Document your activities. There are also possibilities for non-instructional collaboration, such as events and exhibits, where volunteering and agreeing to do something new are ways to stay aware of activities in other departments.

Questions & Comments:

Peter Bushnell (University of Florida) asked if there was a charge for non-University of Miami users. Special Collections and the Cuban Heritage Collection are open to all.

Gayle Williams (Florida International University) mentioned that it was a shame Lesbia Varona wasn’t in attendance since she would have so much to add.

Marisol Ramos (University of Connecticut) mentioned that she appreciated the presentation because it is so hard to find materials about the Haitian diaspora, and she is excited to find someone doing this. She is trying to collect Haitian ephemera as well. She is also collaborating with archivists at her institution, and wants to promote more collaboration among librarians.

Gerada Holder (National Library and Information System, Trinidad and Tobago) wondered what the collection strengths were with regard to the Caribbean countries. Colastin Skokan indicated that the University of Miami’s strengths are Jamaican and Haitian materials and the Caribbean Documents collection, which includes slave registers from Trinidad and Tobago, significant rare books, and 19th century materials.

Diane Napert (Yale University) asked whether gifts come with restrictions. Estorino said they are working on a standard deed of gifts for personal papers and organizational papers.

Paul Smith (University of California, Los Angeles) asked whether there is an organization in New York creating an archive of Haitian materials, and whether there was any Haitian migration to Quebec. Colastin Skokan answered that the migration distribution is South Florida, New York, Boston, and Quebec. The University of Miami is starting in South Florida, but some oral histories have been conducted with artists in New York as well. The Schomburg Center may be collecting Haitian diaspora material, but she wasn’t sure.

E-books, New Products/News Developments

Panel 13, May 31, 2011, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Moderator:     Adán Griego, Stanford University
Presenters:     Melissa Guy, Arizona State University; Felipe Varela, e-libro.com; Lluis Claret, Digitalia; Barbara Casalini, Casalini Libri
Rapporteur:    Meagan Lacy, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

These presentations focused on e-book trends from the perspectives of students, academic librarians, and vendors.

Adán Griego opened the panel with a PowerPoint presentation introducing the evolution of the e-book, emphasizing that the availability of e-books in Spanish are not meeting user expectations. Griego cited a study in Library Journal to show that academic libraries are ripe to provide e-books in Spanish. Griego also cited an informal survey (sent out to SALALM libraries) that collected information about which platforms these libraries used (Ebrary, Netlibrary, Digitalia, Alexander Street Press) and whether or not, to the respondents’ knowledge, they provided content in Spanish. These results implied that public libraries are more ready than academic libraries to provide e-books. Anticipating skepticism, Griego stressed that e-books are a solution to space issues in libraries and that future college students, “digital natives,” will expect to have access to e-books. Griego concluded the presentation by listing resources academic librarians can peruse in order to keep current about the e-book market. Resources included: Blog de Libros y bitios (http://jamillan.com/librosybitios/), Libros electronicos (open group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/universoebook), and Javier Celaya (on dosdoce.com).

Melissa Guy continued the panel discussion (see PowerPoint here) describing how the systematic, patron driven acquisitions (PDA) program at Arizona State University (ASU) has affected e-book usage. ASU serves over 70,000 students in the Phoenix metropolitan area, many enrolled in its distance education programs. In order to serve this scattered student body, ASU prefers electronic sources. Due to the recession, however, ASU was unable to purchase anything for its collections between 2008 and 2010. This environment forced ASU libraries to devise a new system.

In 2009, Guy noted, ASU partnered with Coutts because they could provide an immediate, e-preferred approval plan. This plan had three components to accommodate the purchase of electronic books, books in print, and books from university presses. E-books are collected using a three-click model. Records to titles not exceeding $150 and that fit subject parameters are streamed in the catalog and after the third user clicks on the title, that e-book is purchased (so two uses are free). For print books, again records are streamed in the catalog, and titles are purchased automatically (through acquisitions) after the first click. Books from university presses are collected using the more traditional approval plan method (arriving automatically in print). One challenge with this system is deciding when to stop streaming MARC records in the catalog after they have been loaded (i.e. how to remove records to materials not purchased). ASU can buy books from other e-book vendors, but the PDA program runs on the Coutts My iLibrary platform.

At this point, there are 4,700 MARC records for print titles. E-books were loaded in 2009. It took an additional year to get print titles going because of backend issues. Because the plan is e-preferred, ASU has a 90-day hold on print titles. What this means is that when a print title is available, Coutts waits 90 days to see if the title will be made electronic, at which point it will be streamed as an e-title. If there is no e-version after 90 days, the record to the print title is streamed. If a book available in print becomes available as an e-book, the electronic book record replaces the print record, which has caused challenges for acquisitions.

Not surprisingly, social sciences and humanities disciplines dominated print titles, while demand for e-books was led by STEM disciplines. Almost all print books were selected by faculty (45%) and graduate students (40%). In FY2011, ASU spent $100,000 on print titles from University Presses, $152,000 on PDA e-books, and $24,000 on print books (much of these orders were fulfilled by Amazon since Coutts doesn’t have titles in stock).

Another challenge, according to Guy, included assessment as well as implications on area studies and foreign language collection development. Involving subject librarians from the beginning, continuing the approval plan with university presses, and permitting firm orders have all worked to mitigate some problems. When the PDA program was established all of the regular fund codes were eliminated, so subject librarians were drawing from the same pool of money for firm orders. Presently, since less money is spent on PDA, more money is available for firm orders. Also, area studies librarians were the exception; they had their own budget outside of firm order funds, so approval plans with international vendors could remain in place.

Following Guy, Felipe Varela (e-libro.com) opened his presentation by providing updates about changes happening at e-libro. First, ProQuest bought ebrary, and ebrary and e-libro have been working in tandem since 1999. So, ebrary and ProQuest will now distribute e-libro around the world. Ebrary will distribute e-libro in the United States; ProQuest will distribute e-libro throughout the rest of the world. Also, if any libraries subscribe to Academic Complete with ebrary, they can now update to Academic Complete con Español, which includes approximately 3,700 e-libro’s titles. The e-libro’s platform is exactly the same as ebrary so the features (highlighter, dictionary, translator) and the process for searching the text are familiar except that the searches can now be accomplished in Spanish. Students can print twenty pages a session or 40 pages per day – a restriction e-libro grants in order to please publishers and thus sign them. Also, every student can create their own library, which allows them to save their highlighted text and notes for later review. Currently e-libros holds about 45,000 titles including theses, articles, and books. Every year, e-libros is building momentum, and it is getting easier for the company to obtain new titles. For instance, they currently have 86 titles from Fondo (working toward another 200), Instituto Politécnico Nacional, UNAM, and Universidad de Guadalajara. In Spain, they have Siglo XXI. Other titles come from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Grupo Planeta.

 

Valera further explained that the price for e-libro depends on FTE at the university. Worldwide, e-libro has approximately 500 clients – doing well especially in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. In the US, they have four clients (all in Florida because Varela lives in Florida). Since e-brary is now distributing e-libros titles, e-libros expects to have more US clients.

 

Next, Lluis Claret (Digitalia) introduced his products and services. Digitalia was formed five years ago with a mission to provide quality e-content to libraries without disrupting traditional models for selection and acquisitions. The company has concluded that there are basically two purchasing models: subscription and ownership. Subscription works well in Latin America but not the US, where libraries prefer perpetual access. Claret admitted that PDA is a third option but intimated that it is not realistic for publishers who would be forced to do more “commercial stuff.”

 

Digitalia offers three purchasing models where customers can subscribe, buy, or lease-to-buy. New York Public Library uses this latter model, which allows them “the best of the subscription” as well as some perpetual rights. One feature that sets Digitalia apart from other vendors is that they provide subscriptions to e-books and e-journals. In addition, all titles are accessible by multiple users, and users can print as much as they want. The platform is very similar to myilibrary. Claret emphasized that Digitalia is academic and research focused and is working mostly with academic libraries. Digitalia is committed to acquiring quality academic titles in Latin America and the Caribbean as quickly as possible.

 

Finally, Barbara Casalini (Casalini Libri) explained how Casalini Libri, founded in 1958 in Italy, is fulfilling its mission to bring publications in the Romance Languages to Academic Libraries worldwide in the digital age. Its digital division started in 2000, and in 2004 they launched Editoria Italiana Online (EIO) and in 2006 Edición Española Online (EEO).

 

Recently, the EEO platform was launched. To demystify how Casalini Libri operates, Casalini explained the process of acquiring e-content. First, she said that they contact publishers who provide a print-ready PDF of the content. Then, MARC records are created. Finally, they sign the Digital Rights Management contract. The objective is always to develop a collection that is of enduring value to libraries (“long tail” titles). Casalini acknowledged that libraries need to know what content is available electronically in a timely manner.

 

Next, Casalini demonstrated EEO, mentioning that it holds approximately 500 books from 14 publishers and is growing. Spanish content is provided in the eBook format only (as opposed to being divided into clickable chapters), but features will eventually be enhanced. Currently, the subject content is focused heavily in Social Sciences and Law though subject content is expected to grow.

 

The new EEO platform was designed to sustain different economic models and meet Web 2.0 expectations. Its interface is available in 5 languages (Spanish, English, Italian, German, and French) and allows for customizable skins (to match institutional theme). From the user end, libraries can choose to either show e-content that it has acquired or show all of the content available, accommodating PDA in a variety of manifestations. Also, the platform was designed with federated searching (SUMMON, PRIMO Central) and usage statistics in mind.

 

In the future, Casalini Libri aims to acquire more titles from university presses and content that is already available in Open Access and to design a mobile interface. Finally, it is striving to facilitate agreements with CLOCKSS and Portico to promote digital solutions to publishers in Spain and Portugal and to collect more regional content.

 

Questions & Comments:

 

Jesús Alonso-Regalado (University at Albany, SUNY) questioned the fairness of pricing models based on FTE since Spanish readers are a minority on university campuses, and he asked the vendors whether or not they charge customers for Open Access content (such as that from CLASCO). Varela responded that FTE is the best solution they currently have to charge customers and that customers pay for a subscription – whether or not some of the individual titles are freely available. (E-libro was deleting free content, but customers complained when titles started to disappear from the database.) Casalini said that Open Access content has no fiscal bearing on the subscription price. Valera added that whenever e-libro signs a publisher, he only obtains what the publisher wants to give. In other words, he does not obtain exclusive rights. So, publishers are able to put their content anywhere else they choose, including through Open Access channels.

 

Peter Johnson (Hunters Point) asked what consideration the vendors have given to important publications (monographic and serial) that are issued by Think Tanks, NGOs, and branches of the government (at a national, provincial, and city level). Valera said that e-brary has close to half a million titles from NGOs and the like, but e-libro, still concentrating on finding publishers and university presses, is not even close to that number. However, he added that e-libro hopes to gather this kind of content in the future. Claret cited a publication from the government in Valencia that is included in his database and said that it took him three years to negotiate the deal – suggesting that the dearth of these kinds of publications might be traced to the time consuming process associated with obtaining them. Casalini agreed with Claret’s comment, saying his experience resonated with her own.

 

Patricia Figueroa (Brown University) addressed Casalini, asking whether or not she had plans to merge EIO, EEO, and any other platforms. Casalini clarified that the content is already available from one platform but that the interface is available in five languages.

 

Melanie Polutta (Library of Congress) asked Guy how they are receiving MARC records for titles they are streaming but haven’t yet been purchased. Guy replied that Coutts supplies those records but that for items obtained through Amazon, additional processing the MARC records is required on the part of ASU Libraries.

 

Martha Mantilla (University of Pittsburgh) asked the vendors whether or not, when they negotiate with publishers, they obtain exclusive rights. Claret responded that, though they do have some exclusivities, this is not always the case. They are not pushing for exclusivity because it is so difficult to obtain exclusive agreements. In the future, he expects to see that many platforms will have similar content and that it will then be up to the customer to decide which platform she wants to use. Mantilla restated her question, asking whether or not a publisher granting exclusivity to Digitalia could also sell that content to e-libro. Both Claret and Varela said that in the case of an exclusive agreement, no, but that such instances are rare. Now, agreements are almost always non-exclusive.

 

Miguel Angel Valladares (Dartmouth College) addressed Guy wanting to know whether or not there is a limit to the amount patrons can spend. In response, Guy recommended first that the audience participants interested in PDA go to the Library-Bookdealer-Publisher Relations committee meeting where Holly Ackerman (Duke) is expected to give a talk about PDA at Duke. Then, she explained that at ASU the library has the ability to deactivate this feature at any time. In addition, ASU Libraries set aside a large reserve of funds in case “people went nuts.” As it turns out, people didn’t abuse this feature, and ASU actually had a surplus for firm orders. Valladares followed up, asking whether or not ASU publicized the feature. Guy said that ASU libraries did not publicize PDA at all. Valladares’ also wanted to know how many eBooks titles ASU was able to acquire. Guy said that she would find this information and contact Valladares directly. In jest, Valladares asked Guy if he could use her name with his Coutts representative.

 

 

Exploring Collaboration, Classification, Information Retrieval and Innovative Library Service

p>Panel 17, June 1, 2011, 9:00-10:30 am

Moderator: Héctor Morey, Library of Congress
Presenters: Melissa Gasparotto, Rutgers University; Diane Napert, Yale University; Craig Schroer, University of Texas at Austin; Anton du Plessis, Texas A&M University; Alison Hicks, University of Colorado, Boulder
Rapporteur: Brenda Salem, University of Pittsburgh

The presentations on this panel described initiatives that made use of the latest information technology to provide better library service and to enhance access to information.

The first presentation, titled, “Search Engine Optimization for the Research Librarian, or How Librarians Can Beat Spammers at Their Own Game” was given by Melissa Gasparotto, a librarian at Rutgers University. Citing a project on search engine optimization she worked on, Gasparatto demonstrated how assigning appropriate high quality metadata can be placed in online academic works in order to place them higher on the results lists of search engines such as Google. She started out by explaining that Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a set of practices that modify elements of a web page in order for the page to have higher visibility among the results of particular search engine queries. All search engines have guidelines and best practices for SEO in order to make website more readable for both search engines and humans. However, SEO has gotten a bad reputation because it is something that spammers have long taken advantage of by means of inaccurate metadata and link farms to promote low quality content.

Gasparotto acknowledged doubts about whether SEO is appropriate for academia, but asserted that indeed, SEO is something that can be used to academia’s advantage, whether it’s for online journal articles, a database, an institutional repository, or an open access journal. Some of the reasons for the importance of applying good SEO practices in online academic work are the growing importance of open access and the higher probability that such work will be indexed by Google Scholar web crawlers. The practices that apply specifically to making academic works more accessible on the open web through search engines like Google Scholar is known as Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO), which is of particular use to librarians.

She continued by describing her project on optimizing her online bibliography of U.S. Lesbian Latina History and Culture. She mentioned that this was a particular good case study because searches for “lesbian latina” often result in links to pornographic sites, which make legitimate academic studies on lesbian Latinas hard to find. The project goals and methodology were based on an article written by Martha Kelehan about her project with two colleagues at SUNY-Binghamton on optimizing the SUNY-Binghamton website. These goals were to 1) increase the bibliography’s page rank for a targeted set of search terms, 2) increase the number of search engine referrals, and 3) increase the number of page views. She outlined the methodology of her project, which included first measuring the natural ranking of the online bibliography, then using analysis tools to select target keywords, optimizing the bibliography using those keywords, and finally measuring the page ranking after the optimization. This took her about six months, noting that SEO is a long-term process. Among the analysis tools she used were Google Trends, Google Insights Keyword Tool, Google Adwords, and Topicmarks. It turns out that the bibliography’s ranking was surprisingly high to begin with for many of the keyword searches she had chosen for the study, so no optimization was needed for half of the target keywords. To optimize the keywords, Gasparotto added some metadata to the site’s HTML code. At the end of her project, the site’s ranking improved significantly for her chosen keyword search strings. Gasparatto concluded her presentation by listing best practices for those wishing to optimize their online academic works, as well as recommended reading on SEO.

The second presentation was titled, “Digging for Treasure: Zarzuelas and Other Gems in the Historical Sound Recording Collection at Yale University” and was given by Diane Napert, a catalog librarian at Yale University. In this presentation, Napert described a grant-funded project that she participated in to catalog the large number of 78 rpm recordings that make part of Yale’s Historical Sound Recording Collection (HSCRC), focusing on their collection of zarzuela recordings. She started out by giving a short history and overview of the HSRC, which is strong in Western classical music, as well as American musical theater and spoken word recordings. She then described the project, which was funded by a $789,000 Mellon grant. The institutions that participated in this project were Yale, Stanford, New York Public Library’s Rogers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, and later Syracuse. In the end, the project contributed over 24,000 records to OCLC, which, she noted, is small compared to the number of 78 rpm recordings that remain uncataloged, but is a significant number nonetheless. In a typical cataloging record, she added access points for people and groups who contributed to the recording and was successful in connecting arias to the correct opera and excerpted songs to the correct musicals. The recordings that were cataloged came from over 360 recording labels, particularly Columbia, Edison, Decca, Gramophone, among others.

Napert gave an overview and history of the zarzuela, which is a lyric-dramatic genre that comes from Spain and originated in the mid to late 1600s. When cataloging zarzuelas, Napert used The Zarzuela Companion, written by Christopher Webber. Napert went on to play several samples of 78 rpm zarzuela recordings. The samples included: 1) a 1906 recording of “Vals del Caballero de Gracia” from La Gran Vía, written by Federico Chueca and sung by baritone Luigi Baldassare, 2) a 1924 recording of “Al Pensar en el Dueño de mis Amores” from Las Hijas del Zebedo, written by Ruperto Chapí and sung by soprano Elvira de Hidalgo, 3) a 1906 recording of “Ven Rodolfo” from El Anillo de Hierro, written by Pedro Miguel Marqués and sung by soprano Carmen Fernández de Lara and 4) a 1905 recording of “Granadinas” from Emigrantes, written by Tomás Barrera. One of the success stories of the project was that the great-granddaughter of famous soprano Paquita Correa was able to hear recordings of her great-grandmother for the first time. The great-granddaughter had been unable to find her recordings in Spain but was made aware of the collection at Yale. Napert played a sample of one of Correa’s recordings, which was “Brindis” from Apolinar Brull y Ayerra’s Ángel Caído.

Napert ended her presentation by mentioning the fairly new Library of Congress’ National Jukebox website (http://www.loc.gov/jukebox), which provides access to many American recordings made between 1901 and 1925. She also showed a screenshot of the HSCR project website, and mentioned that there are some non-zarzuela recordings on the site. She thanked Richard Warren, the curator of the HSRC and Nicole Rodriguez, who is a Library Services assistant at HSRC. She concluded by mentioning other types of Latin American recordings that are part of the HSRC and might be of interest to SALALM members.

The following presentation, titled “Primeros Libros: A Working Model of Institutional Collaboration” was given by Craig Schroer, an electronic resources librarian for the Benson Collection at the University of Texas, Austin and Anton du Plessis, a curator for the Mexican Colonial Collection at Texas A&M University. In the presentation, they described the “Primeros Libros” project, which is a collaboration between their institutions and certain Mexican institutions to digitize the earliest publications in colonial Mexico. Schroer started out by giving an overview of the “Primeros Libros” collection, which is an online digital collection of books printed in Mexico between 1539 and 1601, also known as Mexican incunabula. Representative of the earliest output of the printing press in the New World, these books include doctrinas and vocabularios, as well as mathematical and scientific works. The goal of the project is to acquire at least one copy of the 115 titles of early Mexican publications that are still believed to exist today. Ideally they would like to acquire more than one copy because of the variations found in individual copies, such as marginalia and other owner-specific marks. Currently, they have 41 distinct titles and 65 total copies, but hope to have 84 distinct titles and 174 total copies after completing phase 2 of the project. This is a substantial number considering the relatively small number of items still in existence.

Schroer then gave a brief history of the project, which was begun by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, Austin. Their website was launched in August 2010 and is maintained by UT Austin. There are various institutions in Mexico, Spain, and the United States that are partners in the project. Schroer stated that the purpose of their presentation was to promote the project and encouraged anyone at an institution that held similar material to consider contributing. Another purpose of the presentation was to give an example of an international and intercultural collaboration between institutions. Technological issues in digitizing, storing, and making available large amounts of data can often be a barrier for many institutions, so Schroer considers this collaboration a sharing of strengths and weaknesses, and a look at how the different partner institutions can contribute. They have addressed the issues of lack of technology and infrastructure in creative ways, such as lending out portable, preservation-quality scanners or having an institution with high-quality scanning capacity digitize another institution’s books. Establishing contacts with institutions also raises awareness of holdings that may not appear on OCLC or any listing at all. Digitizing these books promotes these institutions and raises awareness of the scholarly value of the books themselves. Also, in checking the condition of the books before scanning, curators are alerted to the need for repair of some of these books. Collaboration with certain institutions has helped them to understand the Mexican rare book trade, as well as the political structure among institutions and individuals in Mexico. This has helped them find opportunities and establish connections that would otherwise not have been possible.

They have backup copies of the digitized books stored at institutions such as the Texas Digital Library, the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, and Fresnet. They currently have about 2 TB of information. They are constantly learning new things and finding new applications for the project. Du Plessis then described an unfortunate situation in which a package of CDs of digitized books arrived damaged from Spain, with some of the CDs missing. Schroer concluded the presentation by urging anyone at an institution with material to contribute to contact him or du Plessis.

The final presentation was given by Alison Hicks and was titled “QR Codes en Español: Point of Need Mobile Library Services.” In her presentation, Hicks, who is a Romance Languages librarian at the University of Colorado, Boulder (UCB), described how she has used QR codes to better serve and reach out to students. She started out by stating that she feels that mobile technology is the next big thing in information access. She then asked how many people use a mobile device to connect to the Internet, how many people know what a QR code is, and how many people have actually scanned a QR code. Hicks explained that there is a growing number of people using mobile devices with access to the Internet. Librarians need be aware that these devices are used in different ways than laptops. Two things that need to be kept in mind are that these devices are ubiquitous and that they’re constantly connected to the Internet. Hicks feels that this ubiquity and connectivity allows librarians to provide “point of need” library services and to connect the physical and the virtual. Ultimately, the result would be a larger return on investment. Hicks then showed a clip from the television show CSI that explains QR (quick response) codes, which can be scanned by a mobile phone, which then opens up a specific web page. In order for the mobile phone to convert the code to a web address, a QR code reader application needs to be installed on the phone. There are also many programs for creating QR codes. The codes can link either to a URL, to text, to a digital business card, or they can connect you by phone to a specific phone number.

In the Fall of 2010, QR codes were introduced at UCB’s Norlin Library and in the Spring of 2011, they were introduced at the language departments that Hicks serves. Microsoft Tag was used to create the codes because of its interface, its good statistical functionality, and because other places at the UCB campus used it. Posters with QR codes that linked to maps of the library, tutorials, the catalog, and other help options were placed all around the Norlin Library and dormitories. In the language departments and library stacks, she placed QR codes that linked to her business card so students could contact her for research help. She felt that the results at the library (500 total scans) were successful enough to continue with the initiative. However, the statistics for the language departments weren’t so good (only 8 scans). Among the lessons learned from this project were the importance of educating users on QR codes and having other ways of accessing library information besides QR codes, since not everyone uses them. She concluded by giving tips and advice on implementing QR codes to those who would want to do so at their own institutions.

Questions & Comments:

Gasparotto asked Hicks if there had been any vandalism of QR codes. Hicks replied that there had been no vandalism.

Peter Stern (University of Massachusetts) asked why the QR codes Hicks used were in color. Hicks replied that it was the style of the proprietary Microsoft Tag QR code.

Peter Johnson (Princeton University) asked Schroer and du Plessis how their “Primeros Libros” project differed from a similar endeavor taken by the Gale Cengage company (a digitized collection based on Sabin’s bibliography). Du Plessis responded that “Primeros Libros” is a scholarly project and that participants get to keep the digital files of their holdings. Also, PDF files of the books can be freely downloaded. However, he hadn’t heard of the Sabin project and didn’t know how many of the books in their project are already in the Sabin project. Schroer emphasized that one of the advantages of “Primeros Libros” is that it’s open access and not commercial.

Lawrence Woodward (Government Printing Office) asked Napert what preservation efforts have been made for the 78 rpm records and whether there had been efforts to digitize the recordings. Napert replied that they were placed in acid-free boxes and kept in an appropriate environment. The reason they have not been digitized is that Yale wants to take an inventory of the recordings and determine which are the rarest, and therefore highest, on the priority list to digitize, but has not yet done so. Woodward then suggested to Schroer and DuPlessis that they visit the Rosenberg Library where they have on exhibit copies of some of the earliest books printed in the Western Hemisphere.

Napert asked Hicks to clarify what “QR” stands for.

Peter S. Bushnell (University of Florida) stated, regarding digitizing the 78 rpm recordings, that there may be difficulties regarding copyright and public domain. He also asked Napert how she was able to determine the dates of the recordings. Napert replied that she used certain books and discographies as references and acknowledged that there are difficulties in navigating around copyright.

The panel concluded with the moderator thanking the rapporteur and the presenters.

Documentary: Indocumentales: “Al otro lado”

Panel 4, May 30 2011, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Moderator: Rhonda Neugebauer, University of California, Riverside
Presenter: Shamina de Gonzaga, what moves you?
Rapporteur: Ellen Jaramillo, Yale University

Indocumentales/Undocumentaries (http://indocumentales.com/) is an itinerant film and dialogue series on immigration and related issues. This U.S./Mexico Interdependent Film Series was founded by three organizations located in New York City: what moves you?, Cinema Tropical and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at New York University. “Academics, journalists, policy makers, migrants, artists, activists, students, film makers, librarians and the general public gather to discuss the topics raised by each documentary film. Each event is ‘done in’ collaboration with partner organizations and venues that involve their local communities in the dialogue. Indocumentales provides educational resources and an interactive network so that people have an opportunity to engage, come away more informed on the issues and have an impact”. [From their website]

Shamina de Gonzaga: When we present these films we usually compile a panel of discussants who can speak to the issues highlighted in the film. We actually inaugurated the film series with this film. This film is a lot about music and a lot about drugs, so we had at the time the head of the Drug Policy Alliance who gave his perspective on drug policy, we had Mexican musicians who play in the subways [for donations] in New York, who gave their perspectives on earning their livings in the U.S. in that way, and we had representatives of the Mexican Cultural Institute, a part of the Mexican government, who can only say so much because of who they are. This is a particularly enjoyable film to watch; the music makes the subject not quite as heavy, but rich in content.  Maybe Carlos [Gutiérrez, of Cinema Tropical] can give some more background.

Carlos Gutiérrez: This is the first film by Natalia Almada, who has made three films to date and is representative of the new generation of Latin American documentary film makers. The film premiered in 2005 at the Tribeca Film Festival. I think this is an important film on the subject of illegal immigrants because most other films treat immigrants as victims, and when you victimize the subjects of a film you treat the audience as superiors, and there is no one-to-one connection to the story. What Natalia does here is engage with the personal stories of what forced people to migrate. Natalia was one of the first ones to bring the issue of drug trafficking to immigration issues. Another thing I admire is that she puts immigration within a larger cultural context, in this case with narcocorridos, and that presents a richer panorama of all the issues involved.

Questions & Comments:

Adán Griego (Stanford University): Is this film available for purchase?

Gutiérrez: Yes! And if you buy it through Indocumentales, we provide an educational resource package.

de Gonzaga: A lot of this filmmaker’s work is done at personal risk. You don’t just get in the middle of a group of narco-traffickers and start filming them, but she does. Do you all see a lot of interest with the students or the faculty in your institutions in these issues?  Part of it is finding the demand, what’s available on these issues in the mainstream media is pretty limited.  That you all are working with people who want to find out more about this has a tremendous richness.

Rhonda Neugebauer: Yes, they come to us. The films really reach people, so much differently.

Griego: Audio-visuals are a very good supplement to any course reader because you can only read so much. We receive multiple-entity generations where probably the written word is not their primary medium of experiences.

Neugebauer: Do you have any connection with the Chiapas Media Project?

Gutiérrez: I know her work for many years. The problem is to find the channels to make it to the United States. What happens is that film makers are placed in the role of also being educators. In many instances they don’t give much information about the context and people become uncomfortable because they don’t know the elements, and so that work gets placed on the film maker. That may be why a lot of films don’t get distributed, because they ask the film maker to contextualize the work. A typical question posed during film festivals is “What was your target audience?”, as if to say they were not engaged with your films so they weren’t meant for them.

de Gonzaga: Sometimes I think these films are more relevant for the people who don’t know. For example, with the [Almada’s second] film “Los Que Se Quedan,” the directors were traveling it around Mexico to different communities, basically showing people a reflection of their own stories. People had mixed reactions and they didn’t have the contexts, but they need to be seeing these films because it brings the questions to the surface. How do we get people to care, to feel connected? If people can feel a personal relationship to the issues that opens up a whole other avenue for greater interest that goes beyond the films.

Gutiérrez: Another thing about these films, last week the state of Sinaloa actually banned playing narcocorridos because they glorify drug trafficking.

de Gonzaga: I’m sure that will be really effective…

Gutiérrez: But then again they show something like “La Reina del Sur” [a telenovela that depicts a Sinaloan woman who becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain] so there is a whole divide in the culture along what glorifies and what does not.

[Film plays] “AL OTRO LADO” (Natalia Almada, US/Mexico, 2005, 66 min. In Spanish with English subtitles) tells the human story behind illegal immigration and drug trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico through the eyes of Magdiel, a 23-year-old fisherman and aspiring composer who dreams of a better life. Due to lack of work and low fishing yields, many cross over, and like many in Sinaloa, the drug capital of Mexico, Magdiel faces two choices to better his life: trafficking drugs or crossing the border into the United States. For people south of the border, the “other side” is the dream of an impossibly rich United States, where even menial jobs can support families and whole communities that have been left behind. For people north of the border, “AL OTRO LADO” sheds light on the harsh choices that their neighbors to the south often face because of economic crisis.

Magdiel, however, has a special talent that could be his ticket out: composing corridos – songs about the narcotics underworld and undocumented immigrant life. For over 200 years, corridos have been Mexico’s musical underground newspaper and the voice of those rarely heard outside their communities. From Sinaloa to the streets of East Los Angeles, this film explores the world of drug smuggling, immigration and the corrido music that chronicles it all. If you really want to understand what is happening on the US/Mexico border, listen to the corridos, ballads that have become the voice of people whose views are rarely heard in mainstream media.

Questions & Comments:

Nancy Hallock (Harvard University): What happened to him [Magdiel, the protagonist]?

Gutiérrez: The film maker made a point of leaving it completely open. It’s the story of many people. Actually he made it to the U.S., but not on this trip. He got caught in a sweep, tried several other times, and eventually made it. The last time I heard from him, he was working in Las Vegas.

Claire-Lise Bénaud (University of New Mexico): Has it been shown in Mexico, and what was its reception?

Gutiérrez: Yes, it’s been shown in Mexico, in film festivals, and tours of documentaries. Migration is a rarely-discussed topic in Mexico City, for example. The debate is sort of creepy sometimes.

de Gonzaga: It goes across class lines to such an extent. I was with a colleague in New York, interviewing Mexicans of all different backgrounds and we had a question from one girl asking is it international cooperation when Mexican and American coyotes work together to get people across the border? You have U.S. citizens who do that kind of work, too. I was in a hotel in Mexico and none of the upper-middle class people I was working with were interested in this, but the woman cleaning the hotel room asked about it, because she, like many others, had an ex-husband who left her and stayed in the U. S. and another husband who went and wanted her to come. It’s such a common story for so many people, and yet for the segment of the population that can go to the U.S. whenever they want, it’s a hard conversation to have. One of our goals with this series is to take these discussions and have them over there, and try to create a space where people who are coming from very different places engage with each other. One of the things I love in this movie is the notion that appears in several songs, about “I didn’t cross the border, the border crossed me,” and that’s something from a U.S. perspective that a lot of people take for granted that the borders are what they are, but that maybe for people who have been living in border areas for hundreds of years, that’s not so obvious. What you all are doing in terms of historical archiving and providing people with a broader spectrum to consider situations through is really important for all of us.

Patricia Figueroa (Brown University): Have these films been shown in the border areas?

Gutiérrez: We’re in the process of taking the whole series, the five films, to Arizona in the fall. We’ve screened one of them: “Los Que Se Quedan” in Tucson in March, and people reacted pretty well. Actually, Tucson is a fairly liberal town; we want to take it to Phoenix.

Figueroa: Have you heard perspectives from people who are very much against it [illegal immigration]?

Gutiérrez: Yes. We’re expecting more when we take it to Phoenix.

de Gonzaga: My feeling is that we sometimes have people in the audience who are not very sympathetic to the situation of migrants but who don’t share their perspective. Most of the people who come to these screenings are more sympathetic to the issue, so it creates a dynamic where people who don’t share these views will not necessarily express themselves. Part of the goal is to create a space where people with very different opinions can come together and feel safe enough to express their opinions in a respectful manner. It’s so easy just to stick with one’s own view, but the human aspect opens a doorway and it’s a conversation that has to happen, and that regular people have to be a part of.

Human Rights Abuses in Mexico: Claiming Space through Data, Bibliography, and Art

Panel 5, May 30, 2011, 4:00 pm- 5:30 pm
Moderator: Peter Stern, University of Massachusetts
Presenters: Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University (not present; PowerPoint presented by Peter Stern); Tomás Bocanegra Esqueda, Colegio de México; Suzanne Schadl and Claire-Lise Bénaud, University of New Mexico
Rapporteur: Sócrates Silva, HAPI

 

The first presentation was “The Shifting Realities of Mexico’s Drug War Death Toll: Will We Ever Know How Many People Have Died?” by Molly Molloy. Molloy was not present but the panel’s moderator, Peter Stern, presented her PowerPoint. The following is a summary of Molloy’s presentation, drafted with her consultation. Molloy argues that the Mexican government is not fighting a “War on Drugs” but rather a war for the control over the huge amounts of money to be made from the drug trade. The number of casualties related to this war and the statistics released by the government are not clear; journalistic and academic sources in Mexico and the United States provide widely varying numbers. Since December 2006 when the government of Felipe Calderón declared “war” on organized crime numbers range from 35,000 to as high as 50,000. Molloy’s presentation looks at and questions these numbers both to critique the actions of the Mexican government and to question the numbers reported by academic resources and the press.

 

In her presentation, Molloy hones in on data regarding Ciudad Juárez, the epicenter of the violence. When numbers of dead are reported in the media, sources are typically government bodies such as the Fiscalia General del Estado de Chihuahua. Mexican journalists who report on crimes are often at risk. Molloy mentions Armando Rodriguez, a crime reporter for El Diario who was murdered in November 2008. After his death the crime reporting in the paper became less detailed and solely dependent on official police reports. There is little information about where the numbers come from or how the government determines what “a drug-war-related homicide” is. Calderón and his government repeatedly claim that 90 percent of the dead are criminals in the drug trade, despite a claim by the government that 95 percent of deaths in the “drug war” are not investigated.

 

Molloy also looks at the scholarship and activism concerning the murders of women in Juárez as cases of femicide. The number of women victimized from 1993 to the present has averaged around 9 percent of all murder victims. There is little evidence of gender-related violence. More and more women are becoming involved in illegal activities as maquiladora jobs disappear due to both the economic collapse in the United States and local violence and insecurity. This of course , how to make, does not mean that their deaths do not matter but rather that all the people of Juárez (women, men, boys and girls) – their lives and their deaths, all of them matter. Molloy whose work was recognized in 2011 with the José Toribio Medina Award provides daily updates on the murder toll in Ciudad Juárez and other border news through her Frontera List.

 

The second presentation by Tomás Bocanegra Esqueda entitled “Literatura mexicana sobre los derechos humanos: ¿quienes son y dónde publican los especialistas mexicanos?” covered publishing sources on the theme of human rights. Bocanegra first outlined government sources specializing in this material. The Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) created by the Secretaría de Gobernación and after 1999 fully independent of the government, exists to receive human rights complaints, pursue investigations, attempt conflict resolution, and foster legislative changes across various levels of government. CNDH also offers relevant Masters and Doctoral programs through its Centro Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CENADEH). Through its existence CENADEH has generated promotional literature, annual reports, monographs and a monthly journal, Revista del Centro Nacional de Derechos Humanos. Bocanegra also reviewed literature production by state government bodies, though these tend to publish less due to lack of financial resources and staff.

 

In addition, non-governmental organizations such as the Academia Mexicana de Derechos Humanos, the Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria,” and the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez all publish materials and research related to human rights and many of these publications can be found online. There are also numerous research institutions within universities, some with a specific focus on such issues as indigenous rights, migration, or international human rights. Bocanegra also looked at houses within the trade publishing industry that have edited and published human rights materials. By outlining these various publishing sources, Bocanegra hopes for more effective dissemination of Mexican human rights materials.

 

The last presentation “ASARO: Claiming Space in Digital Objects and Social Networks” by Suzanne Schadl and Claire-Lise Bénaud looked at the work of the Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca (ASARO), a collective of young artists that emerged as an appendage to protests originating from the 2006 National Teacher’s Union strike in Oaxaca. During the protracted uprising, state and commercial media were hostile to the protestors. In turn, street art flourished as artists clandestinely painted and printed their resistance on city walls. Schadl and Bénaud make the case that the work of ASARO is part of a Mexican tradition of graphic art collectives producing work in the service of social justice such as that of the Taller de Grafíca Popular and harking back to the legacy of printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. According to Schadl, this art tells a story that isn’t the official story. While ASARO’s art often portrays conditions in Oaxaca (such as the print Skull Helicopter which uses calavera representations of a family and a hovering calavera helicopter to depict a raid which would trigger a reminder of the uprising), the art also looks beyond local conditions, for example in art that deals with the violence in Ciudad Juárez.

 

One of the concerns Schadl and Bénaud bring up is that this ephemeral work, much of it being published through the ASARO blog, is not being documented properly. While ASARO may be center stage in 21st century Mexican graphic arts, academic library and archive projects aimed at archiving born digital artifacts of their work linger in the peripheries. A perusal of the blog reveals striking similarities with newspaper publications like La Patria Ilustrada and Gaceta Callejera, where Posada published, printed, and circulated his graphic production. Schadl and Bénaud argue that savvy digitally focused archival projects designed to save the work of Mexican graphic arts collectives must emerge in order to retain for posterity the creativity and voices of politically and socially active artists’ collectives in contemporary Mexico.

 

Memory Keepers: Librarians Documenting Unrest in Latin America

p>Panel 20, June 1, 2011, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Moderator: Paula Covington, Vanderbilt University
Presenters: Barbara Tenenbaum, Library of Congress; Amy Puryear, Library of Congress; Donna Canevari de Paredes, University of Saskatchewan; Paul Losch, University of Florida
Rapporteur: Peter S. Bushnell, University of Florida

 

Barbara Tenenbaum‘s presentation “Putting the Mexican Revolution Online: The Library of Congress Experience” centered on a new website at the Library of Congress devoted to the Mexican Revolution. Not content with the official dates of 1910 to 1917, the site includes material from both before and after the Mexican Revolution. Some of the images to be seen include a picture of Agustín de Iturbide, title pages and covers of various books about the Revolution, broadsides, papers and pictures of President William Howard Taft and other U.S. diplomats, sheet music covers, and cartoons. Eventually the site will include film footage.

 

“The 1988 Plebiscite in Chile: A Personal Experience” was presented by Amy Puryear. She was living in Chile at the time of the plebiscite and was able to collect a wide variety of material. The day of the plebiscite was a Sunday and there were to be no gatherings of any sort (including no mass to be celebrated) that day. As a result, the day ended up being quite calm. The plebiscite itself was basically a referendum on Augusto Pinochet and the result was 45 % was in favor of Pinochet with 55 % opposed. When asked for her opinion, Puryear always kept her responses neutral. As far as collecting material, Puryear was able to gather documents of varying lengths (from single sheets to copyrighted material), buttons, and other ephemeral material from all sides and all types of sources.

 

Donna Canevari de Paredes presented “Eva Perón, Published Memory and Human Rights: The Bibliographer as Memory Keeper”. Eva Perón has been a topic for publications of all sorts (including fiction, poetry, drama) in Argentina and elsewhere for a long time. Along with Eudoxio Paredes-Ruiz, Canevari de Paredes has developed a database of approximately 2500 entries. The material included concerns itself chiefly with Eva Perón and human rights. Some of the more specific topics include race, social welfare, labor, education, social issues and women’s rights. In addition to scholarly works, popular works and everything in between is included. Finally everything is evaluated in terms of the mythology surrounding Eva Perón (positive, negative, in-between) and its research value as related to human rights.

 

Paul Losch in his presentation “The Mystery of the Fake Filibusterer: Using Digital Newspaper Archives to Reconstruct a Hoax from 1895” was able to combine Philadelphia (our host city), Gainesville, (home of the University of Florida where he works) and Cuba (always of interest to SALALM). Frank Hann, a native of Philadelphia (who lived on Chancellor St. which was also the original street of our hotel) for a few months in 1895 manufactured his participation in the Cuban revolution. He filed news reports during for a 2-3 month period. Most of these were posted from Gainesville and were reported in the local paper. However, reports were also included in other newspapers, including the New York Times, but still with Gainesville mentioned as point of origin.

 

Questions & Comments:

 

David Dressing (University of Notre Dame) asked Losch whether other sources had been checked for later information about Hann. Losch said he had found a wealth of information from various websites and learned that Hann eventually married a woman from North Carolina. It also came out that Hann had wanted to impress people. The closest he came to military service was filling out a draft card at the time of World War I.

Bushnell noted that many of the genealogical websites are based in Utah; he asked if any were connected to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Losch did not know.

Gayle Williams (Florida International University) remarked that when she worked at Emory, they had a subscription to ancestry.com which was loaded with information. Losch used ancestry.com at the local public library since the university did not subscribe.

 

Paula Covington remarked that a listing of the links to the newspaper websites could be put on a Libguide-type source and Losch said he would check into it. Canevari de Paredes added a microfilm list would also be useful.

Finally, Bushnell mentioned that back in 1990 he had earned good money by playing flute/piccolo/clarinet for a production of Evita.