by Bill McCloy
University of Washington Law Library
Although the July conference still seems far off, it is already time to ensure continuity and continued strong leadership for our working groups and committees. Many of you have chaired these groups faithfully for a number of years, giving generously of your time and talents. Hats off to you! And thanks to others of you, relative newcomers to our SIS, who have just as enthusiastically stepped up and volunteered to take on a more active role in the future.
While there is no question that most working groups are going strong, I have a few concerns about which I would appreciate feedback from our membership. I will not appoint new or continuing chairs for these groups until I am convinced that you feel that these are still needed. At the Indianapolis conference, no one attended our Processing Issues Working Group (with the exception of the dedicated chair, Sandy Beehler). The previous year, there were only two attendees. Is this because our membership does not have sufficient interest or because (as Aaron Kuperman pointed out in our October issue) these issues are already being discussed in the Technical Services SIS? Though it is often difficult to attend specialized meetings of other SIS groups with the complications of scheduling and a full plate of our own SIS meetings, the scheduling problem is not solved by planning meetings which do not attract our members' interest or which duplicate topics being discussed elsewhere.
An ironic twist to the above dilemma is that the International and Intergovernmental Issues Working Group at the Indianapolis conference discussed what many view as primarily a processing issue: the development and implementation of the Library of Congress' revised classification schedules for United Nations materials (JZ and KZ classifications). Without questioning the importance of the topic or the dedication of those who led the discussion, some members have expressed concern that this topic might have fit better within the scope of the Processing Issues Group or that perhaps a combined session of the two might have been more appropriate.
When the International Issues Group was formed a few years back, some felt it was a welcome addition to our array of working groups, a place where, for example, the challenges of dealing with international documentation could be discussed. However, those issues at present appear to be being addressed well and in a timely fashion on INT-LAW. Is this working group really needed? If so, what should be its role and agenda? What are members' interests in and expectations for this group?
Please discuss these issues among yourselves and get back to me as soon as possible with your opinions. I promise to take all of them seriously. I would also be interested (always) in any suggestions or concerns you may have for the betterment of our SIS. I'll look forward to hearing from you! My e-mail address is email@example.com and my phone number is 206-543-7447.
FORWARD to next article: AALL Seeks Nominations
BACK to Contents page.