FCIL Newsletter, February 1999
v. 13, no. 2
AALL President's Statement re SIS Programming
The following message contains Jim Heller�s response to the FCIL-SIS
Statement made during the Business Meeting in Anaheim.
To: FCIL SIS Leaders: Bill McCloy, Maria Smolka-Day, Katherine
Gail Warren (SIS Council Chair)
Margie Axtmann (AALL VP/Pres. Elect and SIS Council Liaison)
Tim Coggins (AMPSC chair)
Mary Hotchkiss (PDC chair)
Martha Brown (AALL Director of Programs)
Fr: Jim Heller, AALL President
Re: FCIL SIS Programming Concerns
I have reviewed the undated FCIL-SIS memo sent to me after the Anaheim
Annual Meeting. The memo indicates it was copied to a variety of
individuals/entities, including the other SIS chairs, but I don�t believe
they all received it. With that in mind, I�ll go into some detail about
the contents of the memo.
I am pleased FCIL appreciates the scheduling changes we made for the
1999 Washington meeting. You also expressed interest that such scheduling
commitments be long-term, that we have consistent program criteria, and
that AMPSC provide feedback on programs accepted or rejected. These are
all valid points. The Program Planner�s Handbook was developed to provide
some consistent program criteria and to help members understand what AMPSC
expects in program proposals. The Handbook is, of course, a work-in-progress;
I do hope it�s been helpful.
I understand FCIL�s concern that member surveys will not necessarily
reflect the interests of FCIL-SIS members, who, as you stated, are a �small
group.� You also sought �assurance that this FCIL track will be continued,�
and that you have more control over what programming goes into those
slots. I cannot, of course, guarantee that future AMPSC committees
will agree on specific program slots. Presently that�s pretty much the
prerogative of the chair and members of AMPSC. Whether we should
�institutionalize� various program slots is a different � and much larger
As you know, programming changes from year to year, the most important
factor being the quality and content of program submissions. Almost all
programming for the annual meeting comes from our members through SIS�s,
committees, chapters, and individuals. I congratulate FCIL on the high
level of programs it�s proposed to AMPSC. Indeed, for the Anaheim meeting
only two SIS�s � PLL and RIPS � had more programs accepted than did FCIL.
I agree with you that foreign and international law specialists are
an important resource for our members, including myself. Many times
I have called upon foreign/international law librarians for help in answering
questions beyond my expertise. I certainly agree that educational
programming for foreign and international law librarians � whether through
the Annual Meeting programs, SIS programs offered at the Annual Meeting,
workshops, institutes, or otherwise � ultimately benefits our broader
membership and those we serve. Of course, this is also true for other
You have raised important issues that affect not only the FCIL SIS,
but the other SIS�s as well. Fortunately, AALL has a vehicle for
the SIS�s to speak with each other, and to the Executive Board and
other AALL entities.
As you know, Gail Warren currently serves as SIS Council Chair. I encourage
you � and all of the SIS�s � to work through Gail to convey your
interests and concerns to the AALL leadership. AALL Vice President/President
Elect Margie Axtmann is serving as the Board�s liaison to the SIS Council
this year. Margie, through Gail, will present the SIS�s interests and concerns
to the Executive Board and to other appropriate AALL entities.
I have spoken with Margie at some length about the FCIL memo, and other
SIS-related issues. Margie shares my commitment to do whatever we
can to help the SIS�s achieve their goals and aspirations.
I have asked Gail Warren to share this message with all of the SIS�s,
and to work with Margie to bring to the Board�s attention the issues that
are important to AALL�s Special Interest Sections.
As always, I appreciate your input, and will do whatever I can to help.
to the next article: "AALL Special Interest Sections: Contributing to Successful
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