Monday, January 31, 2011

Presidential Message- February 2011

Happy New Year! I want to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous 2011.

Just back from an all too short break, I am diving back into conference planning. SALALM LVI is just 4 months away! To kick off the year right, I took a brief trip to Philadelphia last week, site of the upcoming SALALM LVI Annual Meeting. I spent 3 fabulous days in Philadelphia with Joe Holub and David Murray. Before I move on the details, I want to thank Joe and David for their hospitality during my visit. Along with conference planning, I was treated to an extensive tour of Philadelphia’s many and varied neighborhoods, its historical sites and, of course, a sample of its fabulous cuisine!

While in Philadelphia, I stayed at the Radisson-Plaza Warwick hotel, site of our meeting. The ‘Warwick’ is a beautiful historic hotel in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia. Rooms at the Warwick are comfortable with all of the amenities you would expect in a modern hotel, including complimentary high speed, wireless internet. For convenience, there are 3 options for dining within the Warwick, The Coffee Bar, Tavern 17 and the Prime Rib Restaurant (dinner only). Just two blocks from Rittenhouse Square itself, the hotel is surrounded by many restaurants and shops and within walking distance to many Philadelphia’s historic sites. I know you will find many ways to enjoy yourselves between meetings and panels. Joe and David are already hard at work on creating guides to the best spots.

On the first day of my visit, I enjoyed a walk to the Reading Terminal Market with Joe. On the way, he suggested we stop by the historic Wanamaker’s building, now a Macy’s. Built in 1910 by Daniel H. Burnham, this Florentine style building features granite walls, the St. Louis World’s Fair pipe organ and a statue of bronze eagle. Even if you are not a fan of department stores, Macy’s, located in Center City on the corner of Juniper and Market Streets, is a must-see. After Macy’s, we headed straight for the Market. Along with fresh meats, fish, cheeses and baked goods, the Reading Terminal Market includes many restaurants. Joe and I opted for lunch at a stand serving Mexican food, which did not disappoint. After lunch, we headed back to the Warwick, where Samantha Boyle, our contact at the hotel, gave us a tour of the meeting rooms and exhibit space. SALALM will occupy rooms on both the Mezzanine and Executive Conference levels. The Mezzanine, where registration will be located, is an airy, open space which SALALM members can use to gather between meetings. Day one finished with a delicious dinner in China Town.

Day two of my visit was dedicated to planning. Following lunch a local campus eatery, David, Joe and I met at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library. We spent the afternoon updating the conference web site and editing registration forms. We also talked at length about options for both the libreros and host receptions. For now I can share that the libreros reception will be held at the newly renovated Baptist Temple on the campus of Temple University. A Romanesque church, the Baptist Temple is now the Temple Performing Arts Center. Our second, host reception will be held at the Anne & Jerome Fischer Fine Arts Library on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Though both campuses are relatively nearby, Joe and David are arranging transportation for attendees. After an afternoon of planning, David continued my tour of Philadelphia with a drive through North Philadelphia. We passed through the Temple campus and headed Northwest for dinner and dessert in Chestnut Hill, a beautiful, residential neighborhood.
On my last morning, Joe and I visited the Eyes Gallery in South Philadelphia. This hybrid shop, art gallery contains an extensive collection of Latin American folk art. Julia Zagar, the gallery’s owner, graciously showed us around the location’s three jam-packed floors. The Eyes Gallery was a wonderful way to wrap-up my visit. This is definitely a must-see for SALALMistas .

After this short visit to Philadelphia, I am more excited than ever about our upcoming meeting! I know you are anxiously awaiting your conference invitations. I expect that you will have received them by the time this message is published (or soon after). The SALALM LVI web site is already available at Thanks to David Murrary for designing and populating the site. Along with the requisite registration forms and hotel reservation instructions, you will also find a preliminary schedule (coming soon) and links to articles about Philadelphia. Please note the registration deadline is March 25, 2011. And, if you haven’t submitted your paper or panel proposal yet, there is still time!

Until next time…

Nerea A. Llamas
University of Michigan

Presidential Message- November 2010

In an effort to catch up on posting Presidential Messages, here is #3 from the November SALALM Newsletter...

Warm greetings from Michigan!

Hard to believe that it is mid-November and the holiday season is just beginning. Next week is Thanksgiving when many of us in the U.S. will indulge in our favorite foods and traditions. For me Thanksgiving is also prelude to the Feria Internacional del Libro in Guadalajara. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there. But before I began packing, here are some updates from the SALALM presidency…

Planning for SALALM LVI in Philadelphia is well underway. By now you will have seen the conference announcement. I encourage you to participate by submitting a paper or panel proposal. I also ask that you share the conference announcement widely. One of my hopes is that we will approach the topic of memory and human rights archives from many perspectives, so I welcome proposals from SALALMistas and non-SALALMistas alike.

Let me also remind you that SALALM is once again sponsoring two types of travel grants, the ENLACE Travel Awards and the Presidential Travel Fellowship. If you are interested in applying or know of someone who is, please visit and for more details.

Joe Holub and David Murray have been busy with local arrangements in Philadelphia. Currently, they are designing the conference web site, which will launch in the coming weeks. Joe and David have also asked me to visit in January to catch up on their activities and see the conference site for myself. I can’t wait! Look for my report in February.

From my previous message, you know that the e-SALALM initiative is gaining steam. The e-SALALM Ad-hoc committee is already hard at work on their charge. Meanwhile, the membership of the SALALM Communications Committee was also finalized. I am pleased to share that the committee consists of: SALALM Website Manager: Melissa Gasparotto; SALALM Website Content Editor: Daisy Domínguez, chair; LALA-L Moderator: Gayle Williams; SALALM Social Media Coordinator: Alison Hicks; Membership Committee Liaison: Orchid Mazurkiewicz. While the SALALM Communications Committee’s on-going charge is “to coordinate the promotion and dissemination of information related to SALALM news, events, activities, members, and initiatives …,” this year will be devoted in large part to transforming the SALALM Newsletter.

Along with these two working groups, a third, the Webinar Pilot Project Working Group, was also formed by popular demand. This working group is the result of a discussion amongst several SALALM members about how to provide virtual training or workshops, particularly to non-SALALM members. The group, whose members are Anne Barnhart, Adan Griego, Darlene Hull, Sean Knowlton, Jana Krentz, Carmen Yasmina Lopez and Orchid Mazurkiewicz (chair), will pilot a SALALM webinar project during the 2010-2011 year. As part of their charge, this group will investigate hardware & software needs, cost, audience and content and then host a webinar. Webinars are an exciting prospect for SALALM as they can be cost effective ways of delivering instruction and at the same time publicizing SALALM activities. Stay tuned for more news about this pilot project.

As in previous years, a group of SALALMistas will attend the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Thanks to the Free Pass Program, sponsored by the American Library Association and FIL, many of us have attended regularly over the last several years. This year, along with participating in the FIL orientation session, SALALM is also sponsoring a book donation drive. SALALMistas attending FIL are encouraged to donate academic books to AMIGOS: Red de Instituciones Mexicanas para la Cooperación Bibliotecaria. Books should be university press titles on topics related to the United States or Latin America. For those not travelling to Guadalajara, I encourage you to consider mailing your donations (contact Adán Griego,, for instructions). During the economic downturn Mexican academic libraries have reduced their spending on US university press books. Any titles you can provide will be appreciated.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays!

Nerea A. Llamas
University of Michigan

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Serials Subcommittee would like to gather information about new Latin American print and electronic journals.

Please let us know of any new titles using the form available on the Serials Webpage

Enter as much information about the journal that you can find (eg title, place of publication, web address, ISSN)

You can also send new titles directly to Ruby Gutiérrez (rgutierr @ or Alison Hicks (Alison.Hicks @

A listing of new journal titles will be archived on the new serials archive webpage: and an announcement that a list is ready will be sent to LALA-L.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

Alison and Ruby
Serials Subcommittee

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Instruction 2.0 Continued

Instruction 2.0 theory is all well and good but I’m teaching 3 undergraduate seminars next week and need some practical examples! What follows is an introduction to in person or classroom based instruction 2.0 examples. But I'm not an instruction librarian, I hear you cry! Never fear- even if you do not teach in a classroom, instruction 2.0 principles apply to the creation of web pages, databases, the library catalog and other online interaction. In the final Instruction 2.0 column, I will give an overview of Instruction 2.0 in an online world.

To recap, instruction 2.0 embraces the changes in the way that we communicate and interact. How has student learning changed and how can libraries adapt to this? Randy Bass is a key researcher of 2.0 pedagogy who set up the Visible Knowledge Project to study learning in higher education. Through these studies, he discovered that student learning today was adaptive, embodied and socially situated. Taking this as a basis, what does this mean in a library instruction context?

Realistic or adaptive instruction enables students to learn new skills that can be transferred outside of the original context. This means that instead of teaching the intricacies of a particular database, students ideally learn lifelong skills that form the backbone of information literacy. An example would be learning evaluation skills. As realistic instruction, adaptive teaching also connects students with the information realities and the academic conversation around them, emphasising that learning, information literacy and academic research do not occur in a vacuum. An example of this is Anne Barnhart's class, which asked students to use their information literacy training to buy material for the library in their subject area, an activity that is useful, practical and transferable.

Embodied learning means recognizing that many different elements affect student learning. This is more than looking at learning styles though- it also shows how the affective (emotions), prior knowledge and motivation all affect learning. It sounds kind of hippy-chic, but Bass' research showed that it is not just cognition or the mental process that affects how we learn. Personal experience or the creativity involved in using non traditional media helps connect students to new concepts. An example of this would be using a variety of ways to enable learning, for example student creation of a video tutorial using screencasting software in order to supplement and deepen student understanding of a concept.

Finally, instruction 2.0 recognizes that learning is often socially situated and that students learn from their peers in communities of practice or learning communities. This means that we need to incorporate different structures into the design of our classes that facilitate student-peer conversations, as well as student-teacher conversations. An example of this would be asking small groups of students to create an evaluation schema collaboratively, which would then be shared with the rest of the class. Within the small groups, students can share prior experiences and knowledge to cement their understanding of the research process. Socially situated learning needn’t always be about the students either. Working with faculty to create a common vision of learning outcomes is also a form of socially situated learning, where the learning community is formed by librarians and teaching faculty. An example of this is Suzanne Schadl's “guerilla” instruction, where she has incorporated multiple short instruction sessions into a semester long class. Even SALALM is a learning community- one of the original aims of La Cuna was to expand our own socially situated learning and foster online peer learning opportunities.

Bass’ three observations of learning fall neatly into the 5 Cs that characterize Web 2.0; creativity, conversation, community and collaboration. The final C is control. For instruction 2.0 to really work, librarians need to give up control so that the class is driven by student needs and dialog, rather than what the librarian assumes the students know or need to know. Personally, I think this is the hardest and scariest part, but it is vital in order for library instruction to maintain and to increase its relevancy in the 2.0 world.

Alison Hicks
University of Colorado, Boulder
alison.hicks @