Executive Board Meeting Minutes 2011 Pt. I

SALALM LVI, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Executive Board Meeting I, May 29, 2011

Minutes as corrected

Present, Executive Board: Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Adán Benavides, David Block, Hortensia Calvo, Darlene Hull, Peter T. Johnson, Sean Knowlton, Nerea Llamas, Martha E. Mantilla, Lynn Shirey, Roberto C. Delgadillo (Rapporteur). Also present: S. Lief Adleson, Jesús Alonso-Regalado, Barbara Alvarez, Anne C. Barnhart, Paloma Celis-Carbajal, Teresa Chapa, Ana María Cobos, Paula Covington, Daisy Domínguez, Patricia Figueroa, Pedro Figueroa, Melissa Gasparotto, Pamela M. Graham, Adán Griego, Alison Hicks, Paul Losch, Nashieli Marcano, Orchid Mazurkiewicz, Mei Méndez, Stephanie Miles, David C. Murray, Rhonda Neugebauer, Tracy North, Alma Ortega, Richard Phillips, Marisol Ramos, Carlos Retta, Suzanne Schadl, Nathalie Soini, Rafael E. Tarragó, Gayle Williams, John Wright, Mary Jo Zeter


I. The meeting was called to order at 4:31 p.m. with Llamas presiding.

II. Minutes of SALALM LV had been distributed via e-mail. The minutes were unanimously approved with no corrections.

III. Reports

A. Officers

1. President (Llamas). Llamas welcomed conference participants and asked Executive Board Members to deliver their reports. She began and ended her report by warmly thanking Joseph Holub and David Murray of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University libraries for their time and efforts in planning and sponsoring conference panels and events.

2. Vice-President/President-Elect (Shirey). Shirey kept her remarks brief. She simply noted that she would later speak about the program theme and location for next year’s conference.

3. Past President (Acosta-Rodríguez). Acosta-Rodríguez reported as having gathered, edited and submitted presentation papers from SALALM LV for subsequent publication by the Secretariat.

4. Executive Secretary (Calvo). Calvo began her report by announcing that as of May 25, 2011 SALALM has:

Personal Members

  • New Personal Members:                           12
  • Emeritus Members:                                     10
  • Student Members:                                          7
  • Honorary Members:                                      4
  • Total Personal Members:                       213*

*Includes: New members, Emeritus, Students, and Honorary


Institutional Members

  • Sponsoring Members:                               16
  • Total Institutional Members:                90*

*Includes: Sponsoring members


Total SALALM Members:                             303

She continued by succinctly summarizing increasingly downward trends in membership statistics since 2007. She noted that other committees and associated bodies are working to address the aforementioned downward membership trends. Calvo then reported on the Secretariat’s intention to review membership renewals, especially institutional memberships, to correct inconsistencies in billing procedures and payments. She next announced that the Secretariat is on track to come “under-budget” for 2010-2011, but the exact figures leading to this state have yet to be determined. She also noted a Secretariat donation of $75 to the Polio Survivors Association in the memory of Marian Goslinga. Calvo concluded her report by noting the Secretariat’s ongoing work with Johnson as they explore new financial goals.

5. Treasurer (Johnson). Johnson began his report by providing an overview of the accounts, time-tables and fiscal responsibilities jointly adhered to by the Treasurer and Secretariat. He particularly praised the work of Carol Avila in helping to maintain detailed and clear account transaction records. Johnson noted the selling of $28,793 in mutual fund shares to meet the operating costs of the organization. He acknowledged that dipping into principal always carries risk but it is the reality that SALALM faces. Johnson observed, however, that the profit–approximately $12,000–generated from the annual meeting in Providence was critically important for balancing the budget. He continued his report by noting ongoing conversations with the Membership Committee to address declining membership figures. Johnson then focused his report with a summary of the work undertaken by the Investment Working Group (IWG). The IWG, he explained, oversees, for the Finance Committee, the organization endowment’s portfolio of investments in various mutual funds that total (as of May 20, 2011) $745,452. In the coming year IWG will undertake proactive measures to diversify the portfolio and thereby reduce the potential for broad losses should the stock market take another sharp and sustained drop in share prices. Johnson next announced capital gains of $465.20 and dividend profits of $14,169.62. He characterized the capital gains as “grim” but happily noted the dividend profits–these gains and profits, in turn, have been reinvested in existing mutual funds. Johnson then shifted his report by making the following recommendations:

  • Approval of work contract to ensure continuation of the organization’s CPA;
  • Termination of solicited donations to the Marietta Daniels Shepard Endowed Presidential Scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin, due to the organization’s pledge fulfillment to that university;
  • Creation of a new scholarship, to help address the membership decline, targeted at MA level students that: are enrolled in accredited schools of library and information studies; demonstrate strong interest in Latin America and/or; work with Latino/a populations.

Lengthy discussion ensued with Johnson, Benavides, Adleson, Marcano, Celis-Carbajal, Hicks, Griego, North, Calvo, Barnhart, and Cobos focused on publicity strategies, schedules, and costs associated with marketing the proposed scholarship to incoming professionals within and outside the United States. Johnson finished his report by noting the receipt of an anonymous $1,000 donation to the SALALM endowment fund. This donation stems from a challenge, issued last year, to make matching contributions to the aforementioned endowment fund.

6. Rapporteur General (Delgadillo). No report.

B. Members-at-Large

1. Mantilla (2008-2011). No report.

2. Delgadillo (2008-2011).       “

3. Benavides (2009-2012).       “

4. Knowlton (2009-2012). Knowlton’s report consisted of an e-mail from Patricia Figueroa that requested that the Executive Board consider the following four recommendations:

  1. “That SALALM change its name to reflect the reality of the work we accomplish. By this I mean a name that is more general in nature and, by default, more inclusive.
  2. That the SALALM Congress be limited to three days instead of five.
  3. That we eliminate panels and themes from our congress so that we can devote more time to our committees, regional meetings and vendors.
  4. That we meet and celebrate SALALM in conjunction with LASA, mimicking the arrangement that MELA and MESA have for their yearly congress. This arrangement would provide an outlet for SALALM members who must present a paper in order to receive funding for attending the congress. I’m not necessarily suggesting that our congress take place in the same hotel as LASA but rather the same city and date.”

Lengthy discussion on the first recommendation ensued with Tarragó, Williams, Acosta-Rodríguez, Griego, Knowlton, Schadl, Barnhart, Zeter, Hull, Gasparotto, Johnson, Benavides, and Adleson sharing views ranging from:

  • The changed nature of the organization—in terms of whom it serves now and will serve in the future;
  • To the merits and financial-legal implications of a name change and associated branding opportunities.

Discussion then shifted to recommendations two and three with Figueroa, Calvo, Tarragó, Adleson, Acosta-Rodríguez, Griego, Barnhart, and Graham affirming the need for shortened and thematic modifications to future conferences but only after consultation with the appropriate committees and/or appointed task force groups. Llamas, at this point, focused discussion to the fourth and last recommendation. Figueroa, Griego, Chapa, Calvo, Johnson, Tarragó, and Benavides shared their views ranging from:

  • The costs of a joint conference based on prior experiences with LASA;
  • The necessity of a hosted institution and or Secretariat for future conferences in light of reduced membership statistics;
  • The role of vendors in hypothetical joint LASA conferences;
  • To the prohibitive travel expenses of conference locations outside the United States.

Llamas thanked Knowlton for his report and requested that additional discussion of the recommendations take place during the Town Hall Meeting.

5. Block (2010-2013). Block started his report by noting conversations with members that echoed Figueroa’s recommendations. He confirmed as having reached an agreement with those members to fold these conversations into related discussions when held by the Executive Board. He finished his report by urging the membership to apply pressure to their institutions to become institutional sponsoring members and thereby help offset declining membership numbers.

6. Hull (2010-2013). Hull’s report consisted of her briefly passing on membership and vendor concerns about the increasing costs of future conferences. She noted that she would have and share additional information related to these concerns after the Libreros meeting.

C. Executive Board Committees

1. Local Arrangements (Murray). Murray summarized preliminary conference statistics as of May 29, 2011:

  • Registered SALALM Conference Participants:                  129
  • Registered Exhibitors:                                                                     31
  • SALALM LVI Conference Income:                                $45,795
  • ”                            ”          Expenses:                                         $33,137
  • ”                            ”          Profits:                                              $12,658

He concluded his report by identifying and thanking Dr. Paul C. Smith and his generous donation of $10,000 to SALALM LVI.

2. Constitution and Bylaws (Tarragó). Tarragó briefly reported steady progress in the committee’s work toward updating and merging the existing Constitution and Bylaws into a single document titled SALALM Bylaws. Thus far, he stated, the committee was able to vet three of the fifteen articles in this draft document. Tarragó concluded his report by noting his intention to provide a more thorough update of the committee’s work during the second Executive Board meeting.

3. Policy, Research and Investigation (Cecilia Sercán; not present). Wright presented the committee’s report on Sercán’s behalf. He began the report by requesting that resolutions be given to PRI Committee members by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday. Wright finished by identifying the committee members as: Gayle Williams, Ellen Jaramillo, Mark Grover, and himself.

4. Membership Committee (Nashieli Marcano). Marcano reported as having overseen a successful and well-attended orientation session for new members. She noted the same for the subsequent Happy Hour. Marcano finished her report by noting the committee’s endorsement of a two year pre-paid membership payment to attract and retain new members.

At this point, Llamas paused the meeting–due to time constraints–and requested that the remainder of committees and associated groups defer their reports until the second meeting of the Executive Board. She allowed Johnson to make a concluding remark.

Johnson thanked Holub for securing four Southwest Airlines tickets that will be auctioned at the Enlace raffle to help underwrite parts of the conference’s costs.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:59 p.m.