|Vinette Thomas, Michelle Lee, and Anthony Cocciolo|
This year's chapter initiation was held on May 16, 2019 at PMC.
We had 8 initiates this year; 3 were initiated in-absentia. The Dean of the School of Information addressed the group, and the featured speaker was Coral Salomón, Digital Strategies Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania, and Beta Phi Mu member.
Welcome from the Dean
Anthony Cocciolo, Dean of the School of Information gave us an update on what will be going on at Pratt Manhattan in the coming year.
Especially exciting is the upcoming redesign and construction at PMC. Although construction is expected to continue through 2020, there should be minimal disruption to 6th floor operations.
Coral Salomón, a Beta Phi Mu member, was our featured speaker at the 2019 Initiation. She talked about her professional positions, what they entailed, how she got the positions and often how course/professors at Pratt helped her along the way.
Coral is the Digital Strategies Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania, where she implements and manages all aspects of Penn Libraries first web archiving program while also initiating and maintaining collaborative professional relationships and establishing training programs.
Prior to that was The National Digital Stewardship Resident in Art Information, which was a yearlong initiative at Penn to provide recommendations and best practices on acquisition, discovery and preservation or digital art-related assets.
Coral, who is from Puerto Rico, spoke about how heartened she was by all the volunteering efforts by many Philadelphia organizations, residents and students to help people on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria by collecting emergency supplies and assisting hurricane evacuees who fled to the City of Brotherly Love.
Coral talked about her own experience with co-organizing a Puerto Rico disaster relief digital community mapping event at the University of Pennsylvania in November 2017; volunteers digitized a 350 square mile region for the American Red Cross and updated maps used by aid workers and emergency responders.
More recently, Coral worked with other members of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (ART), the Art Libraries Society of North America New York Chapter (ARLIS-NY), and the Puerto Rican archivists consortium La Red de Archivos de Puerto Rico (ArchiRED) on a successful fundraising campaign to preserve Puerto Rican cultural heritage collections by creating Spanish-language programs and instructional materials related to preservation, disaster relief and recovery, and grant-writing.
In the Beta Phi Mu initiation, it states: " ... professionals demonstrate a willingness to use their talents in service to that society. In accepting membership in Beta Phi Mu, you commit yourselves and your talents to the promotion of the best in scholarship and service." Coral embodies this quality of service.
Congratulations to the newest chapter members!