From the Chair
Tracy Thompson, Chair
(NOTE: This report, like most of this newsletter, was written prior to the World Trade Center attacks. Throughout this newsletter you will see messages of support and comfort from librarians and scholars around the world. These messages were directed to the Mortenson Center for International Programs at UIUC, and we thank them for sharing these sentiments with us. We have also included a list of links to resources on terrorism.)
Summer went by, as we all expected, entirely too quickly. Minneapolis seems like a distant memory as school buses rumble to life, footballs spiral through the air, and recipes for comfort food are reclaimed. Still, though fall surrounds us, settle back in your chair and let your memory return you to the 2001 Annual Meeting in steamy Minneapolis
large part to the efforts of Jean Davis, your past president and inexhaustible
champion, the FCIL-SIS had a very successful week of programs, meetings and
events. All told we sponsored seven education programs, seven interest group
meetings, an additional substantive program outside of the traditional program
schedule (John Furlong on the Irish legal system), as well as our regular
laundry list of administrative meetings, including our business meeting, publications
committee meeting, educational committee meeting, strategic planning committee
meeting, and more (including the ever-popular alternative luncheon at Aquavit).
FCIL-SIS members also figured prominently in several programs not sponsored
by our SIS (Jonathan Franklin and Mary Strouse come to mind). The SIS did
an outstanding job of utilizing the time and the facilities creatively to
maximize the substantive content of the meeting. For example, the East European
Law Interest Group hosted speaker Suzanne Thorpe, who discussed the Swedish
legal system, and the African Law Interest Group learned about the plight
of the witches of Gambaga. These are great examples of how we can use the
time and space that is allotted to us at the Annual Meeting to get the most
bang for the buck for our members. I hope you will all be thinking of creative
ways to exploit our resources for next year's meeting in Orlando! See the
reports of the various committee chairs included in this Newsletter for complete
details on all of the 2001 activities.
The 2001 Annual Meeting also saw several firsts. We welcomed the first Ellen Schaffer Foreign Librarian's Grant recipient Sania Battalova, from the Kyrgyz Republic. Sania shared with us the challenges that her library faces and the successes that they have enjoyed as they grow. She was well-received at our reception for visitors from abroad on Monday evening. Please look for the article contributed by Sania in this Newsletter to get her perspective on the experience. And I must mention once again that Sania's visit would not have been possible without the generous help of three key people: Ellen Schaffer, Mary Strouse and Jean Davis. Thank you, good women! We also saw the first Spirit of the SIS Awards presented to FCIL-SIS members who have made some outstanding contribution to the work of the SIS. Congratulations to all of you who have worked tirelessly on behalf of our SIS!
Now, back to the present. I hope everyone is enjoying the ebb and flow of the season, in all of its incarnations. For some of you fall may mean mothballing your summer accouterments and rekindling your relationship with wool. For others the coming of fall may mean gearing up to teach a fresh-faced batch of law students or first-year associates the wonders of some aspect of legal research. As you become busy with all of your preparations please continue to play an active part in your FCIL-SIS.
I hope you have all made your voices heard by filling out and submitting the goal ranking form (http://www.law.uga.edu/fcil/stratplansurvey.html) for our Section's strategic planning initiative. The deadline is Oct. 15, so you may still have time. WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!! Please take the time to fill out the form. We will compile and distribute the results and ask for a vote at next year's meeting so that we can begin to implement the goals that you ranked highest. Is there one particular goal that you strongly support? Some need that you have always wished the SIS to fulfill? Volunteer to see it through to implementation. If you want the FCIL-SIS to be accountable for meeting the needs of its members, you, the membership, must take an active role. To that end I would like to propose a year-long, Each One Reach One campaign.
Did you know there are over 400 members of FCIL-SIS? How many can you name? Well, here is our roster for 2001-02 (http://www.aallnet.org/database/roster_current.asp?code=SIS_F). I challenge each one of you to reach out to just one person (preferably a stranger) on this list at some time during the coming year to ask for their help or advice, invite them to speak at a program or attend an interest group, recruit them for a project or committee. Make a point of telling them that you found them through the FCIL-SIS roster. We need to reach out if we want people to get involved with the work of the SIS.
Now, to the future. As you all know, next year's meeting is scheduled for Orlando in July. I have heard many grumblings from you birds-of-a-feather about the heat and humidity in Orlando in July. I have a number of responses to this. First, can it be any worse than it was in Minneapolis? Second, don't worry about it, the daily rain helps to keep things bearable. Third, EVERYTHING is air-conditioned. Fourth, Orlando is actually a very nice city, even if you have no interest in Disney/MGM/Sea World, etc. I urge all of you to just get over it, mark your calendars now and plan to flock together at what promises to be an eventful 2002 Annual Meeting. We need to maintain our numbers so that the Association knows that we value our SIS and the opportunity that the Annual Meeting provides for us to learn from each other!
We have submitted seven strong program proposals to the Annual Meeting Program Committee for next year and are awaiting their response. Our program proposal topics included government documents in non-US jurisdictions, the International Criminal Court, the intersection of international law and international relations, law and devolution in Scotland, Caribbean law, international organized crime and technology innovation in FCIL-SIS. We are confident that our proposals will be well-met by the committee. In addition to these opportunities at the Annual Meeting, there are many upcoming events of interest to FCIL-SIS members. What follows is a brief calendar of highlights. Of particular note are the Latin American Trade Law Workshop, tentatively scheduled to precede the ASIL Annual Meeting in March 2002 (developed by Marci Hoffman, Jean Davis and Malo Bernal) and the IALL meeting to be held in Oct. of 2002 at the Yale Law School in New Haven.
25-27 International Law Weekend New York Bar Association "International Law Odyssey 2001: Beyond the Limits" http://www.ambranch.org/2001Weekend.htm
9 - Regional ASIL meeting Boston, New England School of Law "Responding to Rogue Regimes: From Smart Bombs to Smart Sanctions"- e-mail Michael Scharf at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Latin American Trade Law Workshop Law Library of Congress, Washington,
DC co-sponsored by the Law Library of Congress, the Professional Development
Committee of AALL, LLSDC, and the FCIL-SIS.
13-16 ASIL Annual Meeting Washington, DC - "The Legalization of International Relations/The Internationalization of Legal Relations 20/02" - http://www.asil.org/annual_meeting/index.htm
Dates to be announced International Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference Yale Law School, New Haven, CT http://www.iall.org