The following message contains Jim Hellerís 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 donít believe they all received it. With that in mind, Iíll 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 Plannerís 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 itís been helpful.
I understand FCILís concern that member surveys will not necessarily reflect the interests of FCIL-SIS members, who, as you stated, are a ďsmall group.Ē You also sought ďassurance that this FCIL track will be continued,Ē 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 thatís pretty much the prerogative of the chair and members of AMPSC. Whether we should ďinstitutionalizeĒ various program slots is a different ó and much larger ó question.
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 SISís, committees, chapters, and individuals. I congratulate FCIL on the high level of programs itís proposed to AMPSC. Indeed, for the Anaheim meeting only two SISís ó PLL and RIPS ó 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 ó whether through the Annual Meeting programs, SIS programs offered at the Annual Meeting, workshops, institutes, or otherwise ó ultimately benefits our broader membership and those we serve. Of course, this is also true for other ďspecialists.Ē
You have raised important issues that affect not only the FCIL SIS, but the other SISís as well. Fortunately, AALL has a vehicle for the SISís 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 ó and all of the SISís ó 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 Boardís liaison to the SIS Council this year. Margie, through Gail, will present the SISís 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 SISís achieve their goals and aspirations.
I have asked Gail Warren to share this message with all of the SISís, and to work with Margie to bring to the Boardís attention the issues that are important to AALLís 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
BACK to the Table of Contents