FCIL Newsletter, October 1998
v. 13, no. 1
FCIL SIS Special Meeting
July 12, 1998, Anaheim
Submitted by Jonathan Franklin
A special meeting of the FCIL SIS was called for 4:30pm-5:30pm on Sunday,
July 12, 1998, in Anaheim. Submitted by Jonathan Franklin The meeting opened
with Chair Bill McCloy of the University of Washington Law Library introducing
AALL President-Elect Jim Heller. Jim discussed the issue of SIS meeting
and program scheduling for the 1999 Annual Meeting in Washington DC. He
noted that he was endorsing the addition of 9 additional hours when SISs
could hold meetings or programs. Although not finalized, the hope was that
all the SISs could schedule programming at the following times:
- Sunday 7am-1pm & 4pm-6:30pm
- Monday 7am-8:30am & 4:15pm-6:30pm
- Tuesday 7am-8:30am, 12:15pm-1:45pm, & 5pm-6:30pm
- Wednesday 7am-8:30am
These added times would permit all the Working Groups to meet prior
to the Business Meeting tentatively scheduled for Monday afternoon. Jim's
revised schedule was met with appreciation.
Jonathan Franklin read a brief statement supporting the expanded schedule
and expressing the need for continued support for the Working Groups of
the smaller SISs.
Amber Lee Smith of Los Angeles County Law Library stated that the SIS
needed to do more for experienced librarians, that these librarians had
contributed to the five Institutes but had not been permitted to attend
due to the Institutes' goal of training new FCIL librarians. Other than
the New England Foreign Law Librarians Meetings, not open to those outside
New England, there were no other major educational opportunities in the
US for experienced FCIL librarians. In particular, she noted that the FCIL
working groups at the Annual Meeting were the one opportunity for experienced
FCIL collection development specialists to work together and share information
face-to-face. She further noted that the education for the Annual Meeting
should address reference and collection development for experienced FCIL
librarians as well as the mass audiences.
In addressing the AMPSC education committee aspect of program selection,
she noted that there was insufficient feedback regarding why the program
was rejected, thereby making it difficult to revise the program for future
In response to Amber's comments, Marci Hoffman of the University of
Minnesota Law Library noted that the FCIL education committee does what
it can with the programs that are submitted. However, the complete turnover
of the AMPSC means that every year the criteria are totally different and
hence the proposed changes one year may completely conflict with the goals
of the following year's AMPSC. Furthermore, the program drafting guidelines
change from year to year, requiring constant tinkering with a rejected
program to submit it in following years. Marci emphasized the need to follow
the Program Planner's Guide to increase the chance that the AMPSC will
accept the program. Marci further stated that the AMPSC's interest in more
advanced programs changes from one year to the next. Marci reinforced Jim
Heller's point that programs could also be presented in the SIS timeslots
outside of the AMPSC vetting system.
David McFadden of Southwestern School of Law Library noted that although
programs could be outside the system, there was no mechanism outside of
using SIS funds for paying speakers for these programs. Furthermore, to
the extent the programs are not included in Final Program, the turnout
is likely to be much lower without extensive outside publicity.
Maria Smolka-Day, incoming FCIL SIS chair, of the University of Pennsylvania
Law Library noted that for Washington DC in 1999 and Philadelphia in 2000,
there may be excellent speakers for advanced programs who would be locally
Amber noted that AALL should fund the SIS-specific programs because
the knowledge gained in these sessions would create more informed FCIL
librarians, thereby aiding the AALL membership at large when they call
on FCIL SIS members for assistance.
Gail Partin of Dickinson School of Law Library suggested that we should
also publicize our programs to PLL SIS and ALL SIS in the hope that their
members would attend.
Jeanette Yackle of Harvard Law School Library suggested we approach
PLL SIS to help the FCIL SIS fund outside programs that would indirectly
benefit their members.
Wiltrud Harms of University of California at Berkeley School of Law
Library suggested that we should also emphasize the growing importance
of the field and that more and more general members will be calling on
FCIL librarians in the future.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques of University of Chicago D'Angelo Law Library
noted that the 1999 Annual Meeting had an explicit FCIL track and supported
the inclusion of such a track for future Annual Meetings as well.
Amber noted that funding could allow one outside speaker per session
of programming outside the AMPSC selected programs.
Stefanie Weigmann of Boston University Law Library proposed seeking
outside funding from publishers for the non-AMPSC programs. Several members
mentioned that this had been explored in the past and that there had been
some problems with SISs individually soliciting funds from those donors
whom AALL was also approaching.
Maria Smolka-Day, incoming FCIL SIS chair of the University of Pennsylvania
Law Library stated that the coming year would involve the drafting of a
strategic plan. The goal of the committee drafting the plan would be to
have an initial version completed by the Washington DC Annual Meeting.
She requested volunteers for the Strategic Planning Committee. Amber Lee
Smith, Tracy Thompson, Dan Wade, Jack McNeill, and Stefanie Weigmann volunteered.
Bill summed up the viewpoints and suggested the drafting of a broad
statement that would be made at the Business Meeting on Wednesday on behalf
of the attending members of the SIS. He further encouraged everyone to
take five minutes to write down their concerns and goals for the SIS so
that these could be incorporated into the statement to be read at the Business
The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 and was attended by 31 SIS members.
to the next article: "Minutes of the 1998 FCIL SIS Business Meeting"
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