Editorial Note


Once again, Africana Librarians converged for their bi-annual meeting on 18-19 October 2007 in the Conference Room J of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City. Information was shared, updates were provided on acquisition developments (changes in newspaper subscriptions and ongoing digitization projects in some academic universities); cataloging issues were discussed (uniform titles for anonymous African classics such as the Sunjata epic, addition of genre headings for audio visual material, draft proposals for new headings); vendor news and updates were announced (vendors of African movies, costs of and access to online databases); concerns were raised about access to digital resources and their value to students and scholars in Africa. Minutes of meetings will be made available at: http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/africa/ALC/.

During one of our many meetings, new officers of the Executive Board were elected. Congratulations to our new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Laverne Page (Library of Congress); Member-at-Large, Loumona Petroff (Boston U.) and Member-at-Large, Pamela Howard-Reguindin (Library of Congress). And to the outgoing officers, ALC members join me in thanking you for your hard work and dedicated leadership over the past year.

In between ALC meetings and for the rest of the weekend, those who could, made time to attend African Studies Association (ASA) sessions. An ALC-sponsored roundtable chaired by Peter Limb (MSU) discussed "African Writing, African Publishing, African Repositories: Globalization & Beyond". Discussants included Walter Bgoya (African Books Collective), Paul Tiyambe Zeleza (University of Illinois at Chicago), Ruby Bell-Gam (UCLA). Alfred Kagan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) had prepared a paper for this panel but was, unfortunately not there to present it. All told, ALC had a very intensive two-day session followed by three more activity-packed days of participation in ASA panels, meetings and presentations.

We also spent a somber, reflective hour sharing memories of Gretchen Walsh and wished her an eternal rest. With a renewed resolve to keep the torch burning, the torch that Gretchen and a few others had lit many years ago, we regrouped shortly afterwards for a subway trip to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, expertly guided and hosted by Andrew DeHeer and his colleagues. Following a brief tour of the Center and a generous offer of refreshments, we were warmly received by Schomburg Curators who gave us a brief overview of their vast collections of representations of Africa housed in different divisions such as Art/Artifacts, Moving Image/Recorded Sound, General Research and Reference, Photographs Services, etc. More information at: http://www.nypl.org/research/general/schomburg.html.

Let me conclude by asking all ALC members to join Tim and me in thanking Kristin Henrich, our web encoder for doing such a great job with the web encoding and design of ALN issues 121 and 122. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

And one final note of thanks to all our content contributors. On to Iowa!

- Bassey Irele
Harvard University


Next Page

Back to Table of Contents