April 30, 1999; McWane Center, Birmingham

Minutes of the Spring 1999 LLAA Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 10:35 a.m. by C.J. Jones, President, a quorum being present.

The reading of the minutes of the last meeting was dispensed with, because the last meeting was cancelled due to a hurricane hitting Perdido Beach the week before it was to be held, and because the secretary of LLAA had left the state.

C.J. requested committee reports from any chairpersons who cared to give them.

Tim Lewis, the Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced the proposed slate of incoming officers:

The floor was opened for further nominations; there being none, Penny Gibson moved that the slate be accepted as nominated, and Tim Lewis seconded. The motion carried on a voice vote, apparently without objection.

Brenda Jones, the Chair of the Government Relations Committee, reported that her committee, consisting also of Donna Phillips and Judy Hughes, has been monitoring the Alabama Legislature for activity of specific interest to law librarians. With ten days remaining in the session, she mentions three bills, HB 155, which includes funding for the Supreme Court and State Law Library, HB 279 (and a companion bill, SB 146), to add an extra seven dollars to filing fees in Jefferson County, the proceeds to be used for the County Law Library, and HB 157, which contains funding for the Alabama Virtual Library Project. A handout detailing these was distributed.

C.J. brought up the question of whether the activities of this committee could conflict with the acquisition of 501(c )(3) status by the LLAA and suggested that Brenda should explore these issues and report back.

Tim Lewis moved that the report be accepted, Julie Sinclair seconded, and the motion carried on a voice vote.

Gary Lewis made his Treasurerís Report, beginning with the question of should we still be sending newsletters to inactive members who no longer pay dues. C.J. proposed a Retention and Recruitment Committee be established to alleviate the problem. Penny G. opined that we should not send newsletters to non-payers; Lorie Feld suggested sending only a membership form. Linda Hand suggested that we could save money be sending the newsletter via e-mail.

C.J. mentioned the need for following parliamentary procedure, and Gary continued his report.

We have $475 in the checking account and $3,617.02 in the savings account, we have a Taxpayer ID Number, and we are a legal chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). We do not currently have official status as a tax-exempt organization, which affects our solicitation of funds. C.J. proposed getting his firm to set it up. Terry Psarras responded that he would prefer to decide after he has attended the Council of Presidents at AALL.

Gary suggested amending the by-laws to extend the term of the Treasurer beyond the current one year, to which Tim Lewis responded, "How long do you want the job?" Linda Hand spoke in support of the proposal, emphasizing the difficulty and expense of moving and redoing bank accounts. Virginia Hare floated the idea of a 5-year term, and Tim L. moved that the By-Laws Committee look into the possibility. In response to a suggestion that we go ahead and vote, Terry P. pointed out that Article 10 of the by-laws forbids the adoption of a change that had not been published in advance. He then seconded Timís motion to refer the idea to committee. Gary first moved to amend, because he might not be treasurer by the time it came up for a vote at the next meeting, but being reassured that it was unlikely that this would happen, he withdrew his objection and seconded Timís, which carried on a voice vote.

The President then called for any Old Business.

Judy H. brought up the question of trying again to have a meeting at the beach. C.J. responded that he and the other organizers were willing to try, either in conjunction with the Alabama Special Libraries Association (SLA), or on our own, if there is enough support. He mentioned that Jim Heller (President, AALL) and Jason Burnett (President, SLA Alabama Chapter) have both been encouraging. C.J. moves that the LLAA vote in favor of trying again in the spring. Lori Martin points out that the annual SEALL meeting is in the spring, and that law schools, who could provide many attendees, have Spring Break to deal with. She suggests that fall is better. Tim L. moves that we let the Program Committee study the possibility of a joint meeting with SLA, because there is a forty-room minimum requirement to get the hotel. The undertaking would require a lot of work, and should only be attempted with a commitment of the full support of the membership. Julie S. seconds the motion to have the committee move forward on a joint meeting with SLA either ate the beach or in the mountains. John Hightower stated that he does not care whether it is held in the mountains or the beach because he does not go for recreation, but for the exchange of information. The farther the meeting is held from Birmingham, the less likely it is that he will be able to attend. Under the circumstances, rather than have a vote on having the Program Committee study the question, he would prefer an up-or-down vote on having such a meeting at all. Linda H. pointed out that we do not have in attendance today many of the law school people here who would make up a large fraction of possible attendees, so that we need to consider their schedules in whatever we plan. David Clark expressed concern that the Program Committee would have no forum in which to report their findings except at the next meeting. Linda H. asked how much would be forfeited in the event we tried to hold the meeting and cancelled , and was given a figure of about two thousand dollars by Tim L. and C.J. Virginia H. said that we could try an e-mail survey to get a commitment from the membership. Donna Phillips questioned whether we needed to hold the meeting in such an expensive place; Katie Moellering agreed. Tim L. encouraged those commenting to volunteer, and resubmitted his motion to refer the question to committee. Julie S. called the question, which was carried. John P. moved that there be a straw vote on whether to hold the meeting at the beach, which motion was seconded by David C. There was discussion that the program was more important than the place. C.J. mentioned that the vendors had been quite supportive financially. Finally Terry P. clarified that the vote was for a more-than-one-day meeting. The motion carried on a show of hands that was not unanimous, there being three noes. John P. pronounced that at least now we knew what we were voting for.

The floor was opened for New Business.

David C. mentioned the utility of listserves in sharing information, and urged the membership to participate more in the LLAA version. Terry P. said he will return to the subject in his remarks later. David C. said he has to use the telephone to contact other members and would prefer the efficiency of e-mail, and then proposed a new list of members be drawn up and issued. Gary L. agreed and proposed the list be published in the newsletter. Linda H., having been in charge of keeping the list up to date for years, emphasized that members must help the Association keep current with changes.

Brenda J. mentioned that her committee had received a request from AALL to help sponsor a reception after the Advocacy Training Workshop at the AALL Annual Meeting and moved we spend the money, assuming it does not adversely affect our application for 501(c )(3) status. Virginia H. stated that they ask every year, that we should respond, but never do. Brenda J. moved we send one hundred dollars., seconded by Tim L. The motion carried unanimously.

Gary L. mentioned he needs a written request for his records; C.J. agreed the get him one. Linda H. suggested that we get a clarification from the AALL committee so that we do not confront the tax-exempt status question every year. Our AALL Board Member guest, Kathleen S. Martin, said that Steve Logda was the person to ask, and that her chapter uses 501(c )(5). Gary L. wondered if we were opening ourselves up to future requests for donations. Brenda Jones clarified what we had just voted for, whereupon Virginia H. questioned whether we should be donating for a reception to be attended by only a small portion of the membership. At this point, debate was cut off, as the motion had already carried.

C.J. encouraged attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. He mentioned that the LLAA website was now moved from the ALALINC site to the AALL site and suggested we bookmark it.

There was no more new business.

There was a call for announcements.

Julie Sinclair announced a foundation to establish scholarships for nontraditional law school students (i.e., night school ). Money is being raised by selling copies of the book Legal Status of Women in Alabama at ten dollars a copy. There will be later supplementation of the book.

Gary L. mentioned that we are the Law Libraries Association of Alabama, something that was apparently unclear to some of the writers of dues checks, and presented a new letterhead he had created, which was well received.

At 11:38, C.J. passed the gavel to Terry.

Terry said we now have fourteen subscribers to the listserve and that he will put out a promotion to drum up interest.

After listing the locations of previous meetings, he suggested that he would probably like to hold the next one in Montgomery. In a blatant appeal for a second term, he took a pledge of no new taxes under his administration, though he said nothing of user fees (the possibility of charging more for the meeting at the beach had been raised earlier).

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:42 a.m.



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