1999 FCIL SIS
Tracy L. Thompson
Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Library
Maria Smolka-Day of the University of Pennsylvania Law Library and outgoing chair of the FCIL SIS called the meeting to order and welcomed all attendees. The minutes from the 1998 FCIL SIS Business Meeting, held in Anaheim, were published in the October 1998 Newsletter and were unanimously approved, with no corrections or objections.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques of the University of Chicago, chair of the Nominating Committee, introduced Jean Davis of Brooklyn Law School as incoming vice-chair and Tracy Thompson of Yale Law School as incoming secretary/treasurer.
Maria Smolka-Day led a continuing discussion regarding programming at the Annual Meeting. In 1998 in Anaheim a Special Meeting of the FCIL SIS was held to address the issue of programming. That meeting, chaired by Bill McCloy of the University of Washington and attended by Jim Heller, then AALL President-elect, resulted in a written statement (see Newsletter of October 1998) outlining the needs and concerns of the FCIL SIS. The statement was well-received and the Association’s response (see Newsletter of February 1999) was positive. Five programs and one workshop sponsored by the SIS were approved for the Washington D.C. Annual Meeting. In addition, two programs of interest to FCIL members were scheduled which were not official AALL programs; a presentation on Australian law by Ruth Bird and a visit to the State Department arranged by Odell Dehart (State Department). There was discussion about programs of this type, which are not officially sanctioned by AALL but which provide valuable program content for members. Expenses for these must be borne by the SIS, and such costs may prove prohibitive. Maria thanked Ruth Bird, Odell Dehart and Marilou Righini of Transnational Publishing, for their efforts on these two special programs, and Dennis Sears (Brigham Young University) and Katherine Topulos (Duke University) for their work on the Programming Committee.
Jonathan Franklin of the University of Michigan Law Library, outgoing FCIL SIS secretary/treasurer, gave the Treasurer’s Report. As of the 1999 Annual Meeting the SIS had a balance of $3,714.48, but there were outstanding debts associated with expenses of the Annual Meeting that had not yet been posted. Ellen Schaffer informed the SIS that we should have received royalties from Oceana, earned by Randall Snyder for his contribution to the Institutes and directed by him to our SIS. Ellen and Maria agreed to investigate the fate of these missing funds.1
Maria extended her thanks to Anne Burnett for all of her efforts on the Newsletter and to Mila Rush for maintaining the FCIL SIS list-serv. The list-serv is a privilege open to members only, based upon payment of dues to the SIS. Mila discussed the policy of AALL to ‘auto-populate’ the list based on AALL’s list of subscribers to the FCIL SIS. Depending on the timing of AALL’s auto-population, some members who have not paid their dues to the SIS may still be included while some who have paid their dues may be omitted. It was suggested that we request that AALL not auto-populate our list, and instead have the list manager add and remove members as dues are paid. This would require significant work by the list manager. The issue was tabled for discussion by the executive committee. Information concerning the issue will be distributed on the list-serv.
Jean Davis reported on behalf of the Education Committee. All proposals for the 2000 Annual Meeting, to be held in Philadelphia, must be submitted to the committee no later than August 2, 1999 for consideration. Jean was informed by the AMPSC that the FCIL SIS will be guaranteed 3 programming slots for the Sunday schedule of next year’s Meeting which would essentially be rubber-stamped by AALL.2 A Treaty Workshop will be proposed, to be co-sponsored by the Gov-Docs SIS. Amber Lee Smith may propose a program on international tax and Jean Davis a program on GATT-WTO. In addition to the Sunday program slots, FCIL SIS will have one program slot each afternoon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Christine Corcos reported on behalf of the Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research Working Group. Fifteen members attended the meeting. The group hopes to mount a website to be used in conjunction with The Accidental Tourist on the Legal Frontier, the guide to foreign and international legal research. The website would contain problem sets and could be a cooperative effort for us to share our teaching materials. The working group also discussed ways to raise interest in the subject matter.
David McFadden reported on behalf of the Clearinghouse for International Placement. That group will continue to compile its list of institutions interested in participating in exchange arrangements for librarians. The group would like to place a link to their list on the FCIL website. They also welcome input from the FCIL membership regarding institutions for potential exchange arrangements. Legal Research Services Quarterly will be publishing an article on the topic of exchanges, and this working group will be contributing to that piece.
Victor Essien reported on behalf of the African Law Working Group. Six members attended. The group intends to focus on one specific African jurisdiction at next year’s meeting. A bibliography will be prepared for the selected jurisdiction and distributed at the meeting.
Maria Smolka-Day reported briefly on behalf of the Asian Law Working Group. That group discussed electronic resources and the potential problems faced by users. Another area of concern for the group was the LC conversion from Wade-Giles to Pinyin transliteration.
Marta Kiszely reported on behalf of the CIS and Eastern European Working Group. Ten members attended. The group focused on two issues: collection development and acquisitions. They discussed problems with claiming and vendor selection, difficulty of updating legislation, and secondary sources available from the regions.
Stefanie Weigmann reported on behalf of the Latin American Working Group. That group spent their session discussing ways to maximize the working group time. They considered the possibility of inviting speakers to address the group, or assigning specific jurisdictions to group members. Next year they will invite an OAS representative to speak to the group.
Marylin Raisch reported on behalf of the Electronic Issues Working Group. Twelve members attended. The group discussed the archiving of electronic materials, both those with and without a print equivalent. The group intends to develop a position paper with an ‘endangered species’ list (those materials in danger of being irretrievably lost). In addition, they will contact various webmasters to inquire about archiving standards and practices.
Marci Hoffman reported on behalf of the Professional Development Committee. Opportunities for professional development exist outside of the Annual Meeting. Throughout the year members can take advantage of teleconferences, regional programs and other educational programs.
Margareta Horiba reported on behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee, formed since last year’s Annual Meeting, has been working to develop a plan for the FCIL SIS. A draft plan has been composed and distributed via e-mail. The Committee requested a mission statement as a basis for a final plan, which has not yet been composed. A meeting was scheduled for the following day for fuller discussion of the strategic plan. Maria extended her thanks to all members of the Strategic Planning Committee for their efforts.
Maria took this opportunity to thank all of those who helped her in various ways during her tenure as chair of the FCIL SIS. Among them, in addition to those aforementioned in this report, were Jonathan Franklin, Katherine Topulos, Jean Davis, Tracy Thompson, Dan Wade, Amber Lee Smith, Bill McCloy, Marci Hoffman and Pam Reisinger. Maria expressed her gratitude for everyone’s cooperation and willingness to assist when called upon. The program was then turned over to Katherine Topulos, incoming chair of the FCIL SIS.
Katherine Topulos presented Maria with a token of the SIS’s appreciation for all of her work as chair. Katherine then gave a special welcome to our visitors from abroad. The business meeting was adjourned and a reception followed.
1 Since the Annual Meeting it has been discovered that these funds were inadvertently directed to the Gov-Docs SIS. The funds will be re-directed and posted to the FCIL SIS account, as originally intended.
2 Subsequent to the Business Meeting, Jean learned that the guaranteed program slots and program approval by AALL were actually unsettled issues.