Pat Turpening, Editor
My adventure as editor started with a phone call from Kaye Stoppel, the editor in 1990. I had already been a contributing editor for the preservation column for a few years at that time. She told me that someone suggested me to succeed her. She persuaded me in that phone call that I really could do it and the rest is history! (I never did find out who that ďsomeoneĒ was!).
I was the editor for volumes 16-19, from 1990-1994. Evelyn Gardner from Creighton University worked with me as the business manager, the second person to serve in that capacity. Alice McKenzie was the first business manager, working with Kaye Stoppel on volumes 14 & 15.
A lot of changes were made concerning the newsletter in my four years. It was during that time that the AALL Executive Board decreed that all SISís provide a newsletter subscription to their members. Up to that time, TSLL had only been available by subscription. (Just prior to my taking over, the subscription price was raised from $4.00 to $6.00.) In effect, this was an unfunded mandate since the sections were not allocated any funds for this expense. The other SISís already sent newsletters to their members so the decision didnít impose a burden on them. But the burden for us was huge - in one year our subscriptions dropped from 311 to 45 while we were required to send 840 copies to all the members. A special meeting on the issue was held at the Annual Meeting in 1991. The consensus of the SIS members was for each SIS to produce its own newsletter to be sent to members and for TSLL to continue on subscription. However, that plan didnít fly with the AALL Executive Board. We were told that TSLL had to go to each TS and OBS member. We managed to produce volume 17 with a grant from the AALL Executive Board along with funds from several vendors. TS and OBS also contributed funds from their budgets, as they continue to do now.
At the beginning of my first term, I received copy from the contributing editors and section chairs on faxes and paper sent by mail that I had to key in. Other options for inputting the data were explored without success. Later, I received copy on disks and then via e-mail. Those improvements made a huge difference in the amount of time it took to put an issue together. One thing that didnít change was my cutting-and-pasting the newsletter title and the section logos onto the camera-ready copy of each issue. I carefully bundled all the pages of each issue and mailed them first class to Evelyn who handled all the printing and postage details.
One of the biggest changes (literally) in my editorship was the increase in the physical size of the issues. With volume 18, they went from 7" x 8 1/2" to 8 1/2" x 11". This was required by the AALL Executive Board in order for all SIS newsletters to be consistent. I had to learn how to format the issues all over again! I can still remember how frustrated I got trying to make the columns come out just right. I was a perfectionist about the appearance of each page and each issue.
Two other changes occurred in volume 18: the months of issue and the postal method used. The issues had been published in August, November, February, and May. I thought they should be changed since there was very little turnaround time after the Annual Meetings to receive copy for an issue after the meetings were changed from June to July. The change also made it possible for reports from ALA Midwinter to be reported right away instead of 3 months later. The new months of issue were September, December, March, and June. We experimented with sending the issues by bulk rate and it worked very well. We were able to publish more pages for the same total cost with no more claimed issues than we had with first class mail. This enabled me to encourage more members to submit reports on programs and meetings. The Editorial Board also added three new columns: Serials Issues, Internet, and Research and Publications, bringing to twelve the number of regular columns published in the newsletter.
I want to thank the staff of my library at the University of Cincinnati as well as Evelynís staff at Creighton University for all their assistance. The latter stepped in and took over all of Evelyn Ďs duties when she had a heart attack around deadline time in August 1992. I would like to dedicate my remarks to Evelyn Gardner, who died in 1996.
They were great years to be the editor of TSLL, one of the most professional quality newsletters in the Association. I am very glad I had the opportunity to be the editor. Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way. I couldnít have done it without you!
The Public Relations Committee has a special project planned for the Philadelphia annual meeting. We are inviting all AALL Chapters, Committees, SISís, and the Executive Board to prepare time capsules which we will then store for twenty-five years. We encourage your SIS to participate.
You can help define our time and also be a unique part of law librarianshipís past and future. Our committee will supply the time capsules, and this will be an opportunity to offer a glimpse of your past to our future selves and colleagues. During this summerís Philadelphia meeting the time capsules will be sealed and tucked away for twenty-five years at AALL archives.
The objects you choose to encapsulate can run the gamut from the profound and serious to the weird, silly and sentimental. Itís up to you. Weíll have more details on preparing your time capsules in the coming months, but the Public Relations Committee hopes your SIS will start thinking now about what items you want included in your time capsule.
Twenty-five years isnít that long. Look how fast the millennium went by! In July, 2025 we hope weíll all still be around (it doesnít hurt to be optimistic) to attend the annual AALL meeting and watch as our time capsules are opened. For more information on how your SIS can become a permanent part of AALLís history, please call or e-mail me at the address below.
Sue Burch, Chair
Public Relations Committee
University of Kentucky College of Law Library