George Apodaca, Natalie Baur, And Margarita Vargas-Betancourt 2015-05-22 12:41:35
The collaborative webinar series, “Desmantelando Fronteras/Breaking Down Borders,” provides a synergetic space where Latin American and Caribbean archivists can showcase their archival projects, experiences, and outcomes, while also affording the opportunity to foster two-way communication between professionals across the Americas. Launched on March 6, 2015, by SAA’s Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable (LACCHA), in conjunction with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC); the Association of Caribbean University, Research, and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL); and colleagues throughout the Western Hemisphere, it is the first in a series of online educational events set to take place throughout the year. Launching the Series LACCHA Co-chairs Natalie Baur and Margarita Vargas-Betancourt first worked on developing a webinar on special collections for a Latin American audience through the US Department of State in 2012. When Baur and Vargas-Betancourt began working together as co-chairs in 2014, they saw that many North American archivists were interested in what colleagues were doing in archives throughout the Western Hemisphere. With the positive experience of working together previously on a webinar, the two decided to launch the “Desmantelando Fronteras/ Breaking Down Borders” series through LACCHA. LACCHA Online Communications Liaison George Apodaca worked to devise promotional strategies and develop a title for the new series. Because he periodically updates LACCHA’s social media channels, it allowed roundtable members to leverage their collective networks with other professional associations and librarians and archivists in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean to bring speakers on board who had a variety of experiences and could showcase dynamic projects. Apodaca also live tweets the webinars. The First Webinar In March, two very insightful presentations provided a lens into the inner workings of projects throughout the Caribbean. Margo Groenewoud is the head of the Library and Research Services Department at the University of Curaçao–Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez. She moved to the Caribbean in 2008 and serves as chair of the dLOC Executive Board and as member of ACURIL’s Executive Council, while having also previously served on OCLC’s Americas Regional Council from 2012–2014. Groenewoud’s presentation “Are We Mad? Or Are We Brilliant? Why Our Small University Library Wanted to Build the Dutch Caribbean Digital Platform,” recalls how a two-minute phone call turned into a two-hour window to write a proposal for the newly developed project. Her presentation highlights why both madness and brilliance are necessary to succeed. Because of these initiatives, the University of Curaçao is now home to the Dutch Caribbean Digital Platform, whose raison d’être is not only to increase the volume and availability of local digital content, but also to stimulate and diversify the use and research of material by creating and sharing local digital learning material on the island. The Second Webinar and What’s to Come Next up, Vidyaratha Kissoon has been the coordinator for the Caribbean Information Resource Network (Caribbean IRN) since 2009 and spoke about his experiences working to build the digital collections of the Caribbean IRN. He is interested in the application of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D), primarily responsible for curating the Caribbean IRN Collection, and actively participates in social justice issues such as child protection; gender equality; and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexual, and Queer (LGBTIQ) citizens. He lives and works in Guyana and his presentation “Caribbean LGBTIQ History in the Digital Library of the Caribbean” drew attention to the unprecedented challenges and merits of establishing the Caribbean IRN Collection, which came by way of close collaboration with dLOC. The Caribbean IRN Collection is an open-access digital collection hosted on dLOC that offers a number of personal, community grassroots, and political organizing perspectives made freely and widely available on the web for the first time. Together, these two projects remind us what our work is all about. Both presentations touched on the challenges the speakers faced when deciding to embark on their respective projects, as well as on how to best proceed after reaching certain landmarks. The recorded webinar is available for your viewing pleasure at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00029584/00002 or you can click on a link on our Facebook page or blog. Preparations are currently underway to finalize the details of LACCHA’s future webinars. Here is a tentative preview of upcoming events: • June: Documentary Heritage Rescue in Ecuador and the Archives and Archival Research in Cuba (in Spanish) • July: Mass Digitization in the Caribbean by the Florida and Puerto Rico Newspaper Project • September: Introduction to MPLP / MPLP Implementation in a Judicial Archives in Quito, Ecuador (in Spanish) Please make sure to periodically check for updates on our blog at https://laccha .wordpress.com/, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @SAA_LACCHA. SAA’s LACCHA Roundtable Project Team Members Officers Natalie Baur, University of Miami, Senior Co-Chair Margarita Vargas-Betancourt, University of Florida, Junior Co-Chair Liaisons George Apodaca, University of Delaware, Online Communications Liaison Tanya Zanish-Belcher, SAA Council Liaison
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