Monday, May 30, 2011

Molly Molloy Awarded the 2011 José Toribio Medina Award

This morning at the opening ceremony for SALALM's 56th annual conference Molly Molloy, librarian at New Mexico State University, was honored with the 2011 José Toribio Medina Award. The award recognizes Molly's outstanding work with the Frontera-List.

Victor Federico Torres, chair of the committee, noted that the list "has been hailed as the most comprehensive, up-to-date source of narco-related violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border" and used widely by congressional staff, US and Mexican human rights groups and many other Border observers. Torres added, "this electronic resource fills a much needed information gap on a subject of both scholarly research and binational concerns."

Molly Molloy is well known, not only as a librarian committed to her immediate user constituency but also as human rights activist on Border issues. Her work has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, In These Times, and National Public Radio.

¡Felicidades! Un honor muy merecido.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Latin American Posters Collection at Princeton University Library

The posters included in this digital project were created by a wide variety of social activists, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, political parties, and other types of organizations across Latin America, in order to publicize their views, positions, agendas, policies, events, and services. Even though posters produced in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela are the most abundant among the more than two thousand currently available in the site, almost every country in the region is represented. In terms of topics, some of the best represented are human rights, elections, gender issues, indigenous issues, labor, ecology and environmental issues, development, public health, and education.

The Latin American Posters Collection is a component of the larger collection of Latin American ephemera that Princeton University Library has developed since the 1970s.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

From Bogota

The 24th Feria International del Libro de Bogotá is now in full swing. The first two days are reserved for professionals—editors, distributors, and, for the past three years, librarians. This post records a view of the first day of the Fair.

Bogotá offers the standard suite of events—book signings, author talks, workshops—along with the publishers’ exhibits. This year’s meeting added a new twist. The inaugural session provided a platform for what may be the early stage of rapprochement between Colombia and Ecuador, whose relations have been strained since Colombia’s cross-border raid into FARC installations just inside the Ecuadorian border three years ago. Perhaps historians will see the inaugural session of the Feria as bibliographic diplomacy, in a nod to the ping pong diplomacy which launched a change in US-Chinese relations in the 1970s.

Presidents (each referred to the other as “excelentisimo presidente”) Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia offered remarks appropriate for the stage they shared. Correa spoke first, following a glossy, up-beat video production, “Ecuador Está Viva.” His remarks stressed the shared history of what was once one republic, at one point encouraging Colombians to think of his country as their “sur” and Ecuadorians to consider Colombia their “norte.” The loudest applause followed his remarks on economic development that emphasizes ecological preservation.

If Correa stressed convergence, Santos spoke much more to culture. He used the podium to stress to this largely Colombian audience that his administration had tripled the cultural outlays of his predecessor. He also mentioned his proposal for additional economic stimulus aimed at book production. Santos thanked Correa for bringing works of Ecuadorian literature to his attention and promised to read his counterpart’s Ecuador: de Banana Republic a no República, officially released at the Fair. While Santos did not ignore Correa’s overtures to seek commonalities, the nub of his message was “lectura=libertad,” stressing the importance of education as a tide that raises all boats.

OK, but no one thought much of the ping pong matches at the time.