Statement of Purpose

The California Cooperative Latin American Collection Development Group (CALAFIA) was established to optimize resources and effort by promoting collaboration and coordination among member institutions in building Latin American area library resources. Continued growth in publishing, shrinking or steady state library budgets, and the inherent problems of acquiring and accessing resources in the region make library cooperation not only practical, but an imperative to assure adequate coverage of the area for present and future generations of scholars. This consortium evolved over the course of more than twenty-five years of national, regional, and inter-institutional formal and informal cooperative efforts in Latin American area studies.

The consortium is composed of area specialists and selectors who are responsible for developing and managing collections and resources in Latin American area studies at the University of California campuses, Stanford University, and the University of Southern California. Membership is voluntary. A liaison from the UC Collection Development Committee (CDC) serves ex-officio.

This document is a general statement of principles, goals, and organization for the group as a whole. Formal agreements between some or all members of the consortium contain detailed provisions for cooperative arrangements addressing specific subjects, types or formats of material, geographical coverage, chronological periods, or languages.


1. To identify and develop strategies to collect, acquire, provide access to, and preserve important research resources.

2. To develop and coordinate formal collection development agreements in order to maintain or enhance the collective collections, based on programmatic needs and strengths of individual campuses. Coordinating serial cancellations and new subscriptions, developing collections in new program areas, building retrospective backfiles, and assigning geographic collecting responsibilities are examples of appropriate activities. Agreements should clearly identify participant responsibilities, minimum time commitment, notification and monitoring provisions.

3. To develop and submit Mini-SCAP proposals, and to coordinate them with formal agreements of the consortium whenever possible.

4. To collaborate to obtain extra-institutional grant funds, whenever appropriate, to support consortium goals.

5. To coordinate the acquisition of, location of, and access to large microform sets.

6. To promote access to appropriate electronic resources.

7. To identify preservation needs and coordinate projects.

8. To promote the exchange of information among Latin Americanist colleagues, employing electronic communication and the World Wide Web as much as possible to facilitate rapid and readily-accessible information sharing.

9. To promote the development and exchange of instructional tools and research aids.

10. To advise and make policy recommendations to the Collection Development Committee regarding collection development, management, preservation, bibliographic and physical access issues as they relate to Latin American area collections and resources.

11. To coordinate projects, activities, and initiatives in collaboration with other regional, national, and international Latin Americanist groups or institutions, to the extent possible.

12. To work with vendors and publishers, particularly microform publishers, to develop needed products and favorable consortium purchasing arrangements.

13. The group will work to promote the spirit of cooperation embodied in the “Brief Guidelines for Collaborative Collection Development and Management Among the University of California Libraries” (Revised October, 1994), and “UC-Stanford Collection Development Committee Expectations of Selector Groups:’ Working Document” (February 1993), and adhere to all guidelines elaborated in these documents.


1. The consortium will elect a convener for a term of three years. The CDC Liaison will forward the nomination to the Chair of the Collection Development Committee who makes the appointment.

2. The convener will convene meetings, develop the meeting agenda, track the progress of projects, keep projects to reasonable time frames, maintain a roster of members, and submit a brief annual report of the activities of the group to the Chair of the Collection Development Committee on July 1 of each year.

3. The group will meet twice a year: one meeting will be held in California following Super Bowl Sunday; the other, will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM).

4. The group will communicate electronically or by teleconferencing whenever possible.