Biblioteca : Latin American and Iberian Resources at Georgetown

Entries from June 2012

Two quick things

June 29, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Still here! It’s just been a busy week of working on a reference publication project, meetings, and getting used to non-conference living again. I have two quick posts today, and when I return from my vacation next week, I will write more about SALALM and also a great new electronic resource that we have just purchased, called Digitalia.

First, last fall I went to a presentation by Theresa Williamson, head of Catalytic Communities, an organization in Rio that works on improving the lives of people who live in the city’s favelas. And today I received an e-mail from them saying they have a new film available, called “Favela como Modelo Sustentável | Favela as a Sustainable Model.” It is excellent, and you can watch it here (in Portuguese with English subtitles.)

Second, on Sunday, in conjunction with the Joan Miró exhibit there, the Institut Ramon Llull is holding a concert at the National Gallery of Art called “Sounds of Catalonia.” More info here.

Off next week, and then back to semi-regularly scheduled posting. Happy 4th!

Categories: events · video
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Greetings from Port of Spain

June 17, 2012 · Leave a Comment

I arrived here mid-Thursday afternoon, very tired, and honestly, mostly I remember watching TV and sleeping. I also got room service, a delicious Trinidadian soup made with calaloo (kind of like spinach) and coconut milk along with …a cheeseburger. Friday I explored the city a bit, stopping by the National Library (very nice) where they had an exhibit on the suburb of Port of Spain called St. James, which was mostly settled by south Asians in the late 19th-century after their indenture contracts ran out. Last night I went with some friends to a suburb called Woodbrook, and ended up having some delicious Italian food of all things.

Yesterday the organization’s conference meetings took place. I attended the Electronic Resources committee (of which I am the new chair!), Membership, Interlibrary Cooperation, and a committee called ISIS, which stands for Iberian Studies in SALALM. In Electronic Resources, I learned of some new free sources mostly dealing with Central American countries, which I’ll share and add to my research guides at a later point. The folks in Membership mostly discussed issues of institutional membership, which I hope that Georgetown can do as well. In Interlibrary Cooperation, we discussed how to streamline a survey that is sent to research libraries that have large Latin American collections about their size and budget. I will be filling this survey out for Georgetown during the next round. Finally, in ISIS, I learned about some online digital libraries based in Portugal, and more on those later as well.

So far today it is hot (quelle surprise!) and beautiful. The official opening ceremony was this morning, with talks by the Lynn Shirey, the current president of SALALM, and several chief librarians here in Trinidad and Tobago, including the head of the National Library and Information System Authority (their digitized collections are here, great stuff.) I have also met with some book vendors and exploring possibilities to expand my collection development plans over the next academic year. And right now I’m having a chocolate malt on one of the hotel’s patios that overlook a big park called Queen’s Park Savannah, and downtown Port of Spain:
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Join SALALM and in the future, you could have a view like this one, too! 🙂

Today the panel sessions start, going to my first one at 2:30 on digitization projects in the Caribbean.

Categories: conferences
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On my way

June 14, 2012 · Leave a Comment

It’s 5:12 AM and I’m on 2 1/2 hours of sleep here at DCA, yay, so please excuse any incoherence in advance. I’m heading to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for the 57th annual meeting of SALALM. At this meeting there are session about what’s going on in other Latin American library collections, more traditional scholarly presentations, as well as exhibits from various books and electronic resource vendors from around the world. The conference officially runs Saturday through Tuesday, and I’m going to try to post at least once per day. It’s a great conference; I usually learn a lot while being having fun at the same time. Have a look at the program in case there is something in particular you would like for me to attend.

I’m looking forward to being in the English-speaking Caribbean for the first time, should be a great conference. Thanks for reading.

Categories: conferences
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New model for peer-reviewed publishing

June 13, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Although this pre-print and peer-review service is currently only for the biological and medical sciences, PeerJ is an interesting take on scholarly publishing. An article about it is here, on a Chronicle of Higher Education blog.

Categories: news
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New online Catalan cultural magazine

June 12, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Sorry for not posting as much lately, but I’m preparing for a conference that I leave for this Thursday, so, busy days, but a different kind of busy. I just got word about this new online Catalan cultural magazine called Núvol. Here it is. I’ll be blogging from time to time from the conference, so more soon!

Categories: journals · online
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Maps of Venezuela (yes, real maps, made from paper!)

June 1, 2012 · Leave a Comment

IMAG0379
Yesterday my colleague Christine in acquisitions let me know that a big box of maps of Venezuela had arrived, a sample of which is illustrated above. In this mega-electronic age, it may seem a bit quaint to order actual paper maps. And honestly, normally I wouldn’t. Maps require a lot of storage and care, and for most common purposes, getting from point A to point B, online maps work fine.

But given Venezuela’s prominence in the news these days and probably for at least the next few years, and the amount of information on these maps, I decided they were worth purchasing. It is true that you can see great details with online maps as well, but often the context is lost. Online, you can focus on a very tiny spot, but what is its relationship with some other tiny spot?

The maps actually are a supplement to a nine-volume series of books called GeoVenezuela, and I plan on purchasing all of them. The volumes themselves are hardcover and include color illustrations:
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Then, in the text, there are references to specific maps, so you can follow along with exactly what they are describing.

And what’s on all these maps, anyway? In the first box, the only one we have received so far, there are topical maps on agricultural products, landforms, population statistics, integration with the Caribbean, Venezuela’s relationship with Brazil, culinary traditions, colonial-era missions, tourism, and even “Circuitos de devoción a las ánimas.” The text is not necessary to understand the maps, but they do work together if you wish. Here is the first box, which has thirty-eight maps:
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They have not been processed yet, but will be soon. Please let me know if you are interested in seeing them in person and we can rush process them. The books will be kept in the regular Lauinger stacks, and the maps will likely be held in reserve at the circulation desk in order to preserve them yet still maintain access.

Have a great weekend!

Categories: resources
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