Saturday, July 24, 2010

Second Day at SALALM's Conference in Providence

After a constant "vaiven" of back to back activities, the 2nd day of SALALM's internal meetings seemed less hectic but with just as intense discussions on a variety of topics.

The "libreros" gathering provided a forum for SALALM's vendors to address issues like the constant reduction of library budgets (will it ever end?) and how to position themselves as independent booksellers to face the competition from the larger and better funded media conglommerates. At some level it's preaching to the converted (we in SALALM) that vendors based in Latin America go the extra mile in trying to locate materials that dealers in the United States may not be able to do OR are not willing to do.

A much anticipated post-lunch meeting (e-SALALM discussion) drew a standing room only audience. We focused on ways in which the organization can transition into an electronic environment, make better use of emerging technologies and have a more dynamic online presence.

As participants approached the registration area, they could not miss the many souvenirs displayed on an overflowing table nearby. These are the items being raffled to raise funds for the Enlace/Outreach Subcommittee that for more than 20 years has been granting scholarships to bring Latin American information professionals to participate at SALALM annual conferences.

Stay tuned for tomorrow for a report on the keynote speech and much more.

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