I recently accepted an apprenticeship with Publishing Perspectives (Magazine Online). With my first article, I was asked to write about the LIBER 2011 conference in Madrid, Spain. It was an interesting experience and I met some really cool people while conducting the interview.
The 12,000 publishing professionals attending the LIBER conference in Madrid this past week may have been surprised to find some 60 American librarians roaming the aisles of the trade fair. The librarians were invited guests of America Reads Spanish and the American Library Association.
Alonso Regalado, Bibliography and Outreach Librarian at the University of Albany, is one of the lucky librarians chosen to take part in the Free Passport LIBER program.
“I have been a librarian since 1993; I consider it to be vitally important to attend this book fair this year,” said Regalado. “LIBER allows librarians to be exposed to the latest publications in Spanish provided by a wide range of publishers. Some of these publications may never be included in catalogs provided by U.S. vendors.”
America Reads Spanish is based in Miami, Florida. Founded in 2004 by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade and the Spanish Federation of Publishers Guild, it supports the promotion, marketing and distribution of Spanish books in the United States. The organization’s website features book reviews, directories, videos, audio recordings and free resources for public access.
LIBER is one of four major book fairs for publishers in the Spanish-speaking world. Antonio Maria Avila, executive director of the Spanish Association of Publishers Guild, notes, “LIBER attracts every kind of professional involved in the book trade in Spanish, from the Americas and from across the world. This year, in spite of the grave fiscal and economic crisis, the fair is just as strong.”
For the 29th year, Lectorum Publications, Inc., the largest and oldest distributor of Spanish-language books in the United States, had face-to-face business meetings with publishers, where the main issue was how each organization can best meet the needs of the US market in the current economic crisis.
“We have been attending LIBER since the first year,” said Teresa Mlawer, President, of Lectorum. “Every year, we strengthen the relationship with our existing suppliers and find new ones.”