Founded 1956

SALALM - Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials

José Toribio Medina Award Criteria for Nomination

formulated, January 1988

(updated, October 1994)

One prize may be offered each year for a book-length publication.

All types of research will be considered as long as the work adds to the body of knowledge about or provides access to Latin American library materials, Latin American libraries and librarianship, or the Latin American book trade. Format is not a criterion: online databases, electronically published works, films, microforms, and other non-print materials will be considered as well as published books.

The Award is given only to SALALM members. In order to be eligible, the nominated individual must have been a member of SALALM for three consecutive years, including the year of publication of his/her work. Thus, an individual who joined SALALM in 1994 would not be eligible to receive an award until 1997. A note will be sent to all nominees informing them of this rule.

Nominated entries will be eligible for consideration for three years following their date of publication. A book published in 1992, for instance, would be eligible for an award through 1995. Publications that do not receive the Award the first year they are nominated will be reentered automatically into the competition the next year until the three-year limit expires. A form letter to this effect will be sent to the author(s)/editor(s) of all nominated works.

Translations and republications are not eligible. Second editions will be judged on the amount of new material incorporated.

The following criteria will be used by the Committee to select the award-winning work:

  • Aid to scholars/researchers (How helpful will this be to the scholar or researcher? What type of need does it fulfill?)
  • Authority (Authorship, auspices, antecedents)
  • Scope (Purpose, coverage, recency)
  • Arrangement (Sequence, indexing, ease of consultation)
  • Format (Physical make-up, illustrations)
  • Special features (Distinction)
  • Originality of effort (How original is the work? Is this covering the same ground of other publications? If not, what makes it different?)
  • Comprehension of topic (Does the author/compiler demonstrate that he/she understands the subject? Is there an introductory essay that establishes the field so that a novice could grasp the scope and importance of the topic being treated?)
  • Balance (The proportions of the work reflect the proportions of the field; for example, a biographical dictionary of Mexico would devote more space to Porfirio Díaz than to Enrique Gómez Gil.)
  • Annotations are critical rather than merely descriptive.
  • Audience (How widely will this book be used?)

It is the panelists' obligation to seek out worthy, eligible titles, not to rely exclusively on outside nominations. It is also the responsibility of the panel chair to publicize the award-winning work and to pass on to his/her successor all eligible nominated entries that were not awarded the prize.

Last modified 04/25/07

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