New Names, New Plans: Foreign, Comparative & International Law (FCIL-SIS) Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians
by Ellen Schaffer - International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany
In 2000, when I proposed creating a matching grant to provide a stipend that would enable foreign law librarians to attend our annual meetings, I hoped that the program would become an important feature of our professional conference. I had no way of knowing what countries applicants would come from, nor that the recipients would play such an active role at the conference, by presenting information on their own legal systems and, later, by contributing to the FCIL newsletter. I know that many of you have enjoyed meeting our grant recipients and have benefited, as I have, from the experience. A short note from our first recipient, Sania Battalova, from the Kyrgyz Republic, regarding her experience at AALL in 2001 is included in this issue of the FCIL newsletter.
A lot has happened since the early days of establishing the Grant. For example, we could not have foreseen how difficult it would become for some recipients to obtain a visa to the United States. We learned that in 2002 when our seond recipient, Ms. Yemisi Dina, Librarian of the College of the Bahamas Law Library in Nassau, was denied a visa, too late for us to offer the grant to someone else. We have since moved the application and selection process to earlier in the year.
We also had no way of knowing that rising oil prices would have such an impact on the cost of air tickets worldwide, making the expense of attending our conference almost insurmountable for some applicants. My original plan had been that the investments would generate enough income each year for the FCIL-SIS to offer a minimum $1,500 stipend to the lucky recipient. That was a time of high stock market values, but it did not take long before reality set in.
We have been fortunate in the past to have received donations from the William S. Hein & Co., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (formerly Kluwer Law International), and Oceana Publications, Inc. With their support, plus the contribution of a full registration package from the Association, and additional support from the SIS, we have been able to offer recipients enough of a stipend to make it possible for them to attend the meeting. In each case, the recipient has raised additional funds to make their trip and participation possible.
2003 brought Mr. Emmanuel Darkey from Ghana. In 2004, we were joined by Mrs. Milagros Santos-Ong, Librarian at the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and last year we made the acquaintance of Ms. Irma Aladashvili, Library and Information Center Director for the Georgian Young Lawyer's Association from the Georgian Republic.
It has, however, become increasingly obvious that we need to establish a better system if we are to ensure the future viability of the Grant. At last year's meeting in San Antonio, the FCIL-SIS Executive Board met with some SIS members who have been involved in the Grant process. The purpose was to address the issues described above and to devise some fundraising solutions for the Grant.
As part of the discussion, I indicated that I wanted to change the name of the Grant to reflect the increased involvement that others have had in the past years. It was agreed that the grant would become the Foreign, Comparative & International Law (FCIL-SIS) Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians.
AALL is working towards adding the Foreign, Comparative & International Law (FCIL-SIS) Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians to the list of giving opportunities available on AALLNET (http://www.aallnet.org/about/giving_opportunities.pdf). Since AALL is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, these contributions may be tax-deductible. Donations can be sent either to the FCIL-SIS Treasurer * or to Headquarters, and should clearly indicate that they are contributions for the Foreign, Comparative & International Law (FCIL-SIS) Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians. An online donation option is also available. The intention is to include all contributions received prior to the annual meeting in the stipend for that year's recipient.
We are preparing to advertise this year's Foreign, Comparative & International Law (FCIL-SIS) Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians and hope, once again, to be able to offer the recipient a minimum of $1,500 as a stipend. With your help, we will succeed and in July, the Association will welcome the 2006 Grant recipient at our special Centennial celebration meeting in St. Louis.
See http://www.aallnet.org/about/giving_opportunities.asp - Scroll to the bottom of the page for contribution information.
Donations by mail can be sent to:
Mr. Dennis S. Sears
Brigham Young University
Howard W. Hunter Law Library
Provo, UT 84602