by Margareta Horiba, Secretary/Treasurer 1993-95
Tulane University Law Library
The annual business meeting of the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries was convened at 4:10 p.m., July 10, 1994, by the outgoing Chair, Jonathan Pratter. Approximately 45 members were in attendance.
Jon introduced the incoming Chair, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, and the Secretary/Treasurer, Margareta Horiba. He characterized his own term as one of quietude and repose in contrast to the preceding activity and efficiency of Mila Rush and the anticipated energy of Lyonette.
The first order of business was to report that the election procedure for vice-chair/chair-elect by mail was invalid as a result of incomplete mailings sent out by AALL Headquarters. An estimated 100 members had not received the ballot. The nominee was Francisco Avalos of the University of Arizona Law Library. Jon announced that the election would take place during the business meeting. After a ten minute delay, during which members would have time to present further nominees to satisfy the clause for write-in candidates, Francisco Avalos was elected vice- chair/chair-elect by voice vote.
The reading of the minutes from the Boston meeting was dispensed with and approved as published in the May 1994 issue of FCIL Newsletter.
Jon said that the subcommittees of the FCIL SIS did not necessarily have to present oral reports at the annual meeting. In many cases they are instead published in the FCIL Newsletter. It is important, however, that reports be submitted in some form to show the complexities of the work that goes on.
Treasurer's report. Margareta gave the treasurer's report with the balance as of that day being $871.75 inclusive of known expenditures. She explained that the membership dues for 1994-95 will be credited after October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, but will not be reported until January 27, 1995. SIS dues, $12 per year, are divided evenly between the specific SIS and the general AALL memberships. The previous problems with receiving current and accurate fund reports from Headquarters are hopefully on the mend. On January 31, 1994, the executive director of the AALL sent out a memorandum to SIS chairs and treasurers explaining new audit and reporting procedures.
The executive committee is facing substantial challenges leading up to the meeting in Pittsburgh. Jon reported on the National Conference on Legal Information that is scheduled for July 15-18, 1995, as an integral part of the Annual Meeting. The Sunday when FCIL members and working groups traditionally meet will be devoted to the National Conference. Speakers for the programs will also be delegates to the National Conference.
Special Committee to Develop Means to Coordinate Responses to Third-World Libraries' Requests for American Legal Materials. Margaret Aycock, succeeding Susan van Syckel as chair, presented the report, which is published separately. Jon mentioned that the committee was created with the first strategic plan of AALL and predicted that it may have a continued important role in connection with the new working group on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union led by Radu Popa.
Special Committee to Design a Model Curriculum on Basic Legal and Library Concepts to Help Those Assigned Responsibility for Law Library Collections in Developing Countries. This committee did not meet and there was no report.
Clearinghouse for Internships and International Personnel Exchanges. Telle Zoller, chair, has continued and expanded on the survey of foreign law libraries willing to host visitors. Her report and the results of the expanded survey will be published in the newsletter.
FCIL Newsletter. Kenneth Rudolf, editor, extended special recognition to Janice Selberg and Carmen Valero, who assist with the newsletter. The incomplete mailing list from AALL Headquarters caused around 100 members not to receive the May 1994 issue of the newsletter. Contact Ken at Yale for a copy.
Education/Program Committee. Lyonette Louis- Jacques and Jolande Goldberg served as co-chairs. There is very much a question as to how the AALL Educational and Program committee deals with submitted programs, what criteria are used for ranking and selecting programs. To what extent should programs be cosponsored with other special interest sections? To what degree should institutes and programs focus on new librarians or more experienced librarians? Lyo suggested that there be a program on how to train librarians with more than five years' experience. Jon thought that such a program should be part of the larger organization and that the working groups would be a better forum for more experienced librarians.
Working Groups. Jon announced the new working groups on East European law, on electronic issues, and on processing issues, formed to deal with specialized issues and sharing of information. Bill McCloy reminded anyone interested to come to the Asian Law Working Group and the Japanese legal history program. He also extended a welcome to visitors for a reception at the Gallagher Law Library on the University of Washington campus Tuesday evening.
In continuing the tradition started by Mila, Jon invited everyone to a small reception in honor of visiting librarians from abroad to follow the business meeting. The visitors were asked to introduce themselves. There were eight of them representing libraries in Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kay Todd, AALL president, had telephoned to ask for an opinion on GLIN, the Global Library Information Network, and for help in identifying persons with linguistic skills who could participate in the expansion of the LC program. This is an ambitious project by the Library of Congress, and Jon felt that it deserves the support of the FCIL SIS. To define the role of our participation, he said, we must refer to the NLRC (National Legal Resources Council). Kathie Price summarized the previous effort at LC to index and abstract official gazettes in English as part of an Internet project. Mexico and Brazil currently send images over the telephone lines. It is not established where the project should be located. Dr. Rubens Medina, law librarian of Congress, who is in charge of the project, is trying to identify law schools interested in receiving imaging.
Jon then turned over the stewardship of the FCIL SIS to Lyo, who presented him with a small gift.
Under new business, Kathie Price brought up donations of books to developing countries and criticized irresponsible dumping of superseded and useless books. She suggested that we act in response to the needs expressed by the receiving countries or raise money instead of sending books. "This is a group that should not be imperialistic." Lyo responded that we have a subcommittee working with these issues.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m. and was followed by a small reception in honor of the visiting colleagues from abroad.
FORWARDto next article: Seattle AALL Reports.
BACK to Contents page.