from the Chair-Elect
Kenneth Rudolf, Chair-Elect
Kenneth Rudolf is currently Head of Reference, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.
What does FCIL mean to you? If I asked each of you in person, I suspect I would get a wide range of answers. Since I can't talk to each of you in person right now, let me share with you what FCIL means to me.
FCIL has been a part of my life ever since I joined AALL while I was still in library school. The year I attended my first Annual Meeting, I also attended an Institute on International Law at the University of Minnesota, planned and staffed, of course, by FCIL members. At that early stage in my career, FCIL provided opportunities to develop expertise in my newly chosen career as a reference librarian in foreign and international law. Even more importantly, FCIL introduced me to a network of people on whom I could call for support and who became my friends. Since then, I have always organized my Annual Meeting schedule around FCIL events-interest group meetings, the business meeting and reception for foreign librarians, FCIL-sponsored programs, and the FCIL table at the President's luncheon or, more recently, the alternative FCIL lunch (always more fun!).
As my professional duties have moved me away from daily contact with foreign and international law librarianship, I have maintained my ties with FCIL, because its members are the people I enjoy best in the Association. In addition, I try to keep active in the field, occasionally doing backup reference, lecturing from time to time, and compiling an annual bibliography on international environmental law. In these circumstances my friends in FCIL provide valuable support in person, on e-mail discussion lists, and through print and online resources they create. Because of the contacts I've maintained with these colleagues through FCIL, I know I can trust the information they provide.
Soon I will begin a new professional adventure, taking over as director at the University of La Verne College of Law Library, a small library with only a minimal international collection and no foreign collection at all. In these circumstances, it is very likely that I will need to rely even more on the network of colleagues in FCIL to assist when the stray foreign or international law question requires resources not readily at hand. And I am confident that they will come through for me.
What does FCIL mean to you? I'd like to know. You can tell me in Orlando this summer, or send me an e-mail with your thoughts. (You can usually reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, although I will probably not have access to e-mail during the first two weeks of June.)