Special Interest Section
|From the Chair|
Greetings, fellow TS-SIS members! In the last column I told you the news about exciting programs that our Section will be sponsoring or co-sponsoring in Minneapolis, the new TS-SIS Mentoring Program, and the first-time-ever "Managing Technical Services" workshop for which one member is being selected by the AALL Awards Committee to receive a free registration. This time I would like to update our members on some other activities in which your officers or committees have been engaged. I need to also make an urgent appeal for all members coming to Minneapolis to attend the TS-SIS Business Meeting on Sunday, July 15, 5:30-6:30 PM.
It is crucial to the ongoing health of this Section that we have at least 125 voting members attend this meeting. According to our Bylaws, twenty percent of the membership is needed in order to make a quorum. (There are currently 625 members.) This is a very stringent requirement, when compared to the other SIS's. Many of them do not mention a quorum or simply state that "a quorum shall consist of the members present at the meeting." Those that do specify a number give the figure as a minimum of 10, 15, 30 or 50 members. (That last one is the PLL which has 1600 members!) Last year in Philadelphia we only had about 65 members at the TS-SIS meeting. Obviously, this is one of the bylaws we are proposing for revision. But we will be unable to change it unless we have the 125 or more members attend the Business Meeting at least this one time. I guess this is a Catch-22 of sorts. The complete list of proposed Bylaws revisions was sent to members in the mailing with TS-SIS election ballots. It is also on page 28 of this TSLL issue.
My sincere gratitude goes to Eloise Vondruska, chair of the Bylaws Committee, for working on the bylaws. In addition, her committee suggested many updates and additions to the TS-SIS Handbook, which has not been revised since 1994. Several procedures have changed in the last seven years, and some projects (such as the TS listserv and the TS website) were not even in existence back then. The TS Executive Board, which includes the chairs of all the standing committees, hopes to approve the various Handbook revisions at or before the Annual Meeting.
Another internal document, one that will have an even more direct impact on our members, is the TS-SIS Strategic Plan. A few months ago our VC/Chair-Elect, JoAnn Hounshell, used the annual survey to poll the membership about which goals and strategies are the most important. The results show that TS-SIS members want the section to focus mostly on training (including for those who cannot attend AALL meetings) and professional networking (such as collaborative projects, use of liaisons); and to a lesser extent, on projects (helping CRIV, creating Web-accessible model procedures) and participation (including roundtables, establishing core competencies). Further input on these objectives was gleaned from TS listserv discussions in April and May. We look forward to the next draft from the TS Strategic Planning Committee led by Caitlin Robinson. This is not mere "pencil-pushing," you know. Strategic planning helps us to assess our members needs, examine ways that the Section might meet these needs, and renew or revitalize our value to the association and to the profession. We must create a good foundation with this document, if future TS leaders are to use it to implement new or better projects and activities with which we can really take pride.
In other news, congratulations are in order for Reggie Wallen (Stanford University), this year's recipient of the Renee Chapman Award for outstanding contributions to technical services law librarianship. A frequent speaker and program coordinator at AALL, Reggie has also served as TS Cataloging & Classification Committee chair, member of the AALL Program Selection Committee, Secretary/Treasurer and a Member-at-Large on the TS-SIS Executive Board, a columnist for TSLL, and as AALL's official representative to the ALA ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access. Phew! It would be hard to match such achievements and such a wonderful record of service. Please join me in honoring Reggie when we present this award to her in Minneapolis. I would also like to thank Anna Belle Leiserson and Linda Tesar for the fantastic work they have done as TSLL editors for the past three years. We welcome Joe Thomas (Notre Dame) as the new editor, beginning with the Sept. 2001 issue. Joe is a former TS-SIS chair and member of the TSLL Editorial Board. We are confident that he will continue to impress us with the excellent newsletter that TSLL has become. I am extremely grateful also to Mary Lu Linnane (DePaul University), who, as chair of the TS Awards Committee this year, cheerfully accepted an extra charge for her committee: drafting a set of policies and procedures for a new "continuing education grant" to be awarded by the TS-SIS (separate from those awarded by AALL) to help TS members attend AALL workshops. More details about this initiative will be available at the TS Business Meeting. Will Meredith (Harvard), chair of the TS Preservation Committee, expects to have a first draft of a National Plan for the Preservation of Legal Materials completed in June. It is certainly flattering to our section that the AALL Strategic Plan Implementation Committee feels that the TS-SIS committee is capable of addressing such an important project.
Since this is my last column as TS-SIS Chair, I would like to assess our progress. My personal mission this year was to reach out to our members who may be "under-served," particularly those who cannot attend AALL conferences. I think that the Mentoring Program is off to a good start, with 12 pairs (24 mentors and mentees) of TS practitioners already participating in it. And the aforementioned TS-sponsored educational grant might also assist some members who have previously been unable to do professional travel. I regret, however, that the initiative to build a website "clearinghouse" of model TS procedures and policies has been a slow-starter. We do need more volunteers to help with this, but there was no response to appeals I made for a smaller-law-library volunteer. I also wanted to explore the need for establishing a "TS Management" committee or roundtable; this unfinished business will be addressed in Minneapolis. The TS-SIS may not have been as visible this year as it has been in the past; I never contributed any text about our goings-on to the AALL Spectrum, for instance. Nevertheless, I hope that the attention we have given in 2001 to administrative details (bylaws, handbook and Strategic Plan review and revisions) will lay the groundwork for bigger and better things from your TS leadership in years to come. I would especially like to acknowledge the help I received from JoAnn Hounshell, who is about to take over as TS Chair for 2001/02. She offered me many excellent suggestions, viewpoints and reminders throughout the year, and convinced me that you guys really knew what you were doing when you elected her! Also, there are members retiring from the TS Executive Board who have served us well—Janet McKinney as Immediate Past Chair was ever-faithful in responding to my e-mails when I needed input; Cindy May as Member-at-Large was extremely vigilant in organizing the upcoming TS/OBS/RIPS/CS Joint Reception; and Chris Long and Joan Liu as chairs of the Cataloging & Classification Committee and the Serials Committee, respectively, for excellent work in their areas.
And now (drum roll, please ... ) I should like to announce the winners of the recent TS-SIS election: Christina Tarr (UC-Berkeley) has been elected the new Vice Chair/Chair-Elect for 2001/02, and Kate Pecarovich (UCLA) will serve as Member-at-Large for 2001-03. Good luck to these new TS Board members. I am looking forward to seeing them and you at the TS Business Meeting on Sunday July 15, in Minneapolis!