The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus Libraries, in conjunction with the National Library and Information System Authority (Nalis) and the Library Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT), hosted the fifty-seventh Annual Conference of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre from June 16 to 19, 2012.
The theme of this year’s conference, Popular Culture: Arts and Social Change in Latin America and the Caribbean, allowed presenters to explore a broad range of media and other avenues through which popular culture is expressed, to document the social uses of popular culture, and to discuss acquisition and preservation projects relating to popular culture. The conference attracted approximately 300 participants, which included Latin American and Caribbean academics, researchers, librarians, book dealers and vendors from over 20 countries.
The annual SALALM conference is the premier conference specially focused on issues relating to the acquisition, dissemination and preservation of Latin American and Caribbean library materials as a significant amount of materials produced in Latin America and the Caribbean fall outside of traditional publishing patterns and as a consequence, the acquisition of these materials presents challenges for libraries, book-dealers, researchers, and others.
In addition to the meetings and panel presentations, book dealers, publishers, and library service providers presented their services at an exhibition in the Ballroom of the Hilton Trinidad.
One of the highlights of the conference was the cocktail reception and cultural evening held for conference delegates at Theatre One, NAPA on June 18. The evening’s programme was themed A Cultural Journey: An Evening of History, Music and Dance. Mungal Patasar’s group, Pantar, with its fusion music, provided entertainment and the Malick Folk Performers traced the country’s fifty year cultural journey through a selection of energetic and scintillating performances.
At this event, participants also witnessed the symbolic handing over of the Alan Lomax and Jacob D Elder Collection of Folk Recordings to the Alma Jordan Library of The UWI. Four of the groups which were recorded during Alan Lomax’s 1962 field recordings, The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Singers (Tobago), The Cantique Singers (Maraval), Rose of Sharon (Blanchisseuse), and San Jose Serenaders, also delighted the crowd with their performances.
Participants described SALALM 2012 as a wonderful conference and special mention was made of the spectacular reception and cultural evening.