Contact:
Carolyn Mountain 277-0818
Carolyn Gonzales 277-5920

February 7, 2002

DILARES PROGRAM EXPANDS LIBRARY'S LATIN AMERICAN INITIATIVE

The UNM General Library's (UNMGL) newly instituted program, Division of Iberian and Latin American Resources and Services (DILARES), is designed to expand and deepen its relationships and alliances with the campus and local community, as well as with national and international institutions and centers.

Carolyn Mountain"The UNM General Library has one of the top 10 largest academic research library collections of Latin American and Iberian material in the United States," says Carolyn Mountain, DILARES program manager, a 20-year employee of UNM. Born in Chile, she came to the U.S. when she was six years old and has retained a deep interest in Latin American studies. She was previously the Latin American economics and business specialist in Parish Memorial Library, a position she retains quarter-time.

Apart from the daily activities of DILARES, managed by Mountain, policy and priorities are set by a committee comprised of Mountain; Russ Davidson, curator of Latin American and Iberian Collections; Johann van Reenen, director of Centennial Science and Engineering Library, head of UNMGL Public Services and head of the Library Linkages Program of the Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium, (ISTEC); Nancy Dennis, director of Collections and Technology Services, and Elizabeth Steinhagen, head of Ibero-American Resources Section.

With many University groups, programs and divisions engaged in some aspect of Latin American studies, DILARES is coordinating its program to the courses, classes and instruction taking place across campus. "We are also beginning to establish relationships with New Mexico communities, museums and institutions statewide," says Mountain, noting they have started some discussion with divisions within the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the Cervantes Institute.

Other DILARES initiatives include writing grant proposals to fund and present seminars, bring in visiting scholars and develop consortia with other institutions to collaborate on research.

Mountain's and Davidson's offices are located near the Herzstein Latin American Reading Room (HLARR) on Zimmerman Library's second floor. "We encourage students and others to use the Herzstein because it has a generous selection of current journals in the fields of Latin American and Iberian studies, as well as the library's current Spanish and Portuguese newspapers. We hope to expand the collection to include all the Latin American and Iberian-related periodicals available in Zimmerman Library," says Mountain, adding that it is also an ideal place to study and provides PC access.

Mountain says that although the HLARR isn't staffed, the situation is being evaluated. "If individuals need reference assistance, they can ask at the desk downstairs. The librarians there, if unable to answer the question directly, will refer the individual to
the appropriate specialist," she says.

A potential pilot project in Zimmerman Library could offer virtual reference for Latin American studies. "It would be the first project of its kind in the UNM General Library. The website would direct reference or research-related questions to the appropriate staff member. If successful, the program could be expanded to other reference and information departments within the library," says Mountain.

Mountain is excited that business is picking up at the DILARES office. "People see me, know I'm here. Along with general reference questions, sometimes I'm getting more Latin American business and economics questions than I did at Parish, really a function of the interdisciplinary nature of the classes within Latin American studies."

Because of UNM's location and collections, the library frequently assists students and scholars from all over the Latin American and Iberian world. "I recently helped a student from Mexico who needed to develop a successful strategy for retaking the GMAT. A visiting professor from the Department of Women's Studies at the Universidad de Granada, Spain, came in to understand how to search our collections. In the process, she is helping me to learn more about Spanish culture and organization. Some come through formal arrangements, others come of their own accord, on their own resources," says Mountain.

DILARES builds on the library's longstanding relationship with the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) and associated programs. DILARES recently met with administrators and faculty from the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua as UNM looks to expand its 10-year old convenio to include more student, faculty and research exchanges.

"We also collaborate with OITEC [Office of International Technical Cooperation] This spring, DILARES, with the Center for Southwest Research (CSWR) and the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute (SHRI), is sponsoring the "Open Doors: Regional Scholars and Writer's Series." DILARES wanted to collaborate with other regional programs on campus and discussed this with Teresa Márquez, interim co-director of the CSWR. This series will be a venue for scholars to present their works. It's a way of showing another side of faculty who are normally only seen in the classroom," says Mountain.

DILARES has created an enhanced web site at http://elibrary.unm.edu/ibero, which provides access to the biannual newsletter "El Navegante." "We are using this to promote unique collections as they are acquired, as well as to promote databases and instruction that we provide. We encourage everyone to visit the office. We look forward to the increased awareness and use of the Latin American and Iberian research collections in the UNM General Library," says Mountain.

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