With the U.S. Government approval of educational exchange travel to Cuba, Dr. Ed Cortez from the School of Information Sciences joined a Special Libraries Research Delegation on a late October trip to the island nation. Cubans have been able to achieve notable success in information storage and retrieval systems over the years. The U.S. researchers were on a mission to understand the special challenges and the innovative solutions employed by the Cubans. Dr. Cortez was specifically interested in understanding the education of these information professions and the support they received.
The Cubans are strong in the special libraries areas of cultural arts, education and the sciences. By examining the educational paths and cultural support of the special librarians, Dr. Cortez learned of opportunities to apply these principles to the LaSCALA efforts to recruit and educate more Hispanic/Latino librarians here in the states. There is also a need for STEM information professionals. By understanding the success of the Cubans in filling this need, Dr. Cortez will build plans to incorporate these learnings into the SIS recruitment and retention strategies for the school.