ARCHIVED: History of the Council of Chapter Presidents

  • Bookmark and Share

Chairs of the Council of Chapter Presidents


The Council of Chapter Presidents had its beginnings in an informal meeting organized by Alan Holoch at the 1980 AALL meeting in St. Louis. The concerns prompting this gathering were basically those that have guided the group since its inception: the need to have channels of communication among the AALL chapters and the desire to have a Method of relaying chapter concerns to the AALL leadership. This group mounted an effort to improve chapter representation at the national level, although there was no other concerted activity.

The first official meeting of the Council, at which the name Council of Chapter Presidents was adopted was in 1981 at the AALL meeting in Washington, D.C. Frank Houdek was the moving force behind this meeting, and was elected the first Coordinator. The Council format and title of Coordinator were chosen because the participants did not want to convey the sense of formality that terms like chair, president, committee, etc. would have. The desire was also to avoid the bureaucratic requirements that might hinder the activities of the group. This was also the reason behind having only one officer - the Coordinator.

It was decided that the Coordinator would be chosen on an annual basis from among the members of the group; this person was charged with the responsibility of developing communication channels among the chapters and with organizing the Council's meeting for the following year. It appears that the incoming AALL president had a say in who was appointed Coordinator. Although this isn't entirely clear, dues of $10.00 per chapter were assessed.

The method of communication instituted was a newsletter titled Council News. It was to be published quarterly. The first two years of its existence, however, saw only three issues per year. The third year, there were two issues. It wasn't until the fourth year of the Council's existence that the newsletter had four issues. Volume 5 had only one issue. Volumes 6 and 7 had three.

The business of the Council during its first year was mostly what can be called housekeeping. Operating procedures were drawn up which were the forerunners of the current bylaws. AALL recognized the existence of the group although its status as an official AALL entity did not come for several more years. The first year was spent defining the purpose of the Council and how it would be most effective. The AALL President, Roger Jacobs, was quick to point out that the Council could become very valuable to AALL in several ways: providing an effective means of communication between AALL and the Chapters and among the chapters, helping to identify new national leadership and helping the chapters to carry AALL's message to local and regional level.

One activity emphasized during the first years of the Council's existence was an exchange of ideas and concerns among the various chapters. For example, one chapter was troubled by the appearance of an antitrust violation if a chapter-sponsored salary survey was carried out. Another chapter wanted information on how individuals who were not employed in a law library - but were consultants or librarians in non-law libraries - were treated in membership categories.

Some issues discussed in the early editions of the Council News are still being discussed: How many issues should each chapter be sending to Headquarters for distribution to AALL leaders and other chapters? Should a nationally designated educational program be made available for distribution at the chapter level?

Pat Strougal from Atlanta was elected Coordinator at the second Council meeting in Detroit. One of the big issues confronting the Council that year was the desire of AALL's Public Relations Committee to establish a contact within each chapter to serve as a liaison to the Committee. One interesting proposal was that a program similar to the ABA's Young Lawyers Division be established in AALL to focus on the needs and concerns of younger/newer members. A second interesting proposal was to create a package plan so that libraries could subscribe to AALL Chapter newsletters. By the end of the second year, chapters were reminded to send 30 copies of their newsletters to Headquarters for distribution, up from 25 the year before. Year Two would up with a discussion of the role and responsibilities of the Coordinator. Chapters were also requested to inform the Coordinator of the dates of their annual meetings at which they would be requesting visits from AALL leaders, so that some advance planning could be done by the visitors.

Houston was the site of the next council meeting, and the main order of business was the adoption of a constitution and bylaws for the Council. The Council also submitted a resolution to the Executive Board of AALL requesting that the Board authorize the Association to share a percentage of the profits from the annual meeting with the Chapter that handled the local arrangements. The Board deferred consideration of this, referring it to the Committee on Financial Planning for a recommendation. During this meeting, a suggestion was made that a workshop for incoming chapter presidents be held at the next AALL meeting in San Diego. The workshop was envisioned as including presentation on the role of a chapter president, conducting a business meeting (including information on Roberts' Rules), setting goals and appointing committees, and the relationship of the Chapter to AALL. Don Ziegenfuss was appointed Council Coordinator at this meeting.

The early years of the Council's existence were characterized by more sharing of chapter information than currently takes place. During the fourth year, the present format of AALL leaders and colleagues addressing the Council during its annual meeting began.

The San Diego meeting saw the selection of Carol Billings as Council Coordinator. Under Carol's direction, the newsletter was published four timesCa first and lastCand it also seems to have changed names to just plain News. The council's constitution and bylaws were revised during this year (1984) and took their present form of bylaws only. Various projects were undertaken, including a survey of how chapter annual meetings were financed and a collection of annual meeting programs. In terms of the official history of the Council, 1984 was a big year. The Executive Board of AALL approved an AALL bylaws amendment which gave official recognition to both the Council of Chapter Presidents and the SIS Council. The bylaws of the newly recognized Council of Chapter Presidents specified that the officer was the Chair, not the Coordinator.

At the fifth meeting of the Council, in 1986, Kathy Larson was chosen Chair. This was the year of the release of the Price Waterhouse report on chapter tax status and incorporation. It was the highlight of the discussion that year. Chapter presidents were reminded that chapters operate essentially independent from AALL and, for that reason, AALL is not always in a position to take action on a matter that could benefit from some national coordination. The issue of the Council newsletter published this year was entitled Items to Note.

By the time Maryruth Storer was elected Chair at the Chicago meeting in 1987, AALL had determined that the Council of Chapter Presidents' newsletter was an excellent means of communicating with the chapters. Much of the information contained in the newsletters during this year had to do with AALL news: Executive Board actions, the Price Waterhouse Survey, the AALL Constitution and Bylaws Committee's Model Chapter Bylaws, AALL's continuing struggles to identify membership categories. News more specific to the Council included the compilation of chapter biographies, notification of the change in officers of various chapters, listings of annual meeting dates of chapters, and survey on union list, selling chapter membership lists, and the reimbursements of speakers' expenses. AALL decided that, in the interest of consistency, the Council of Chapter Presidents and the SIS Council would both meet at the same time during the annual meeting and at the same time each year. Tuesday evening from 6:00-8:00 p.m. was chosen.

At the 1988 meeting of the Council, held in Atlanta, Barbara Bintliff was elected Chair. The tasks facing the Council for the coming year were spelled out in the report of the AALL Special Committee on Organizational Structure. Specifically, the Council was asked to expand the Chair's role to include two functions: 1.) serving as a hot line for chapter questions, and attending AALL Executive Board meetings in a non-voting capacity and 2.) to address several questions concerning the formation of chapters, the feasibility of adopting uniform fiscal years and management styles election years, and membership categories. The Chair immediately incorporated these new functions into her job description, and Council committees were formed to survey the membership and develop recommendations on the other issues. These recommendations were voted upon at the Council's meeting the following year in Reno, and then forwarded to the AALL Executive Board for action.

The second major event in the 1988-89 Council year was the first-ever Chapter Presidents Training Session, held in Chicago in October, 1988. Presidents from 26 of the 28 recognized chapters attended an all-day session during which an orientation to AALL was presented.

Prior to the Reno meeting, Joan White was elected Council Chair for 1989-90 by a mail ballot, following revised bylaws provisions adopted at the 1988 meeting in Atlanta.

The 1989 Council of Chapter Presidents meeting was conducted by 1988-89 Chair, Barbara Bintliff and held in Reno, Nevada. The Council voted to accept the Long Range Report submitted by a committee chaired by Wes Daniels and the Cooper Report submitted by a committee chaired by Byron Cooper.

These committees were set up by Barbara Bintliff in response to the Todd Report.

At this meeting, the Council voted to increase the number of member need to form a new chapter from 10 to 25. This was then forwarded to the Executive Board for action.

Based on the Cooper Report, it was the feeling of the Council that those Chapters who had not adopted the uniform fiscal years and management style of Headquarters should not so at this time.

The second leadership session for chapter presidents was held in October, 1989. The quality of the second leadership session was improved significantly from last year's session. This was due, in large part, to the efforts of Judy Genesen, Executive Director, and Martha Brown, Professional Development Officer. The feedback from this session was positive and further improvements will be witnessed when the session is held in conjunction with the annual meeting.

The major item on the Council's agenda for 1989-90 was the issue of liability insurance. Judy Genesen and the Chair labored diligently on the matter. Judy was able to find an insurance broker who would be able to procure liability insurance. Of the twenty-eight recognized chapters, eleven have expressed an interest in obtaining liability insurance. The matter is being pursued.

The Chair attempted to publish a digest of chapter newsletters for members of the AALL Executive Board, chapter presidents and vice-presidents. This digest was created in response to the Council of Newsletter Editors who felt that the cost of printing and postage of extra copies of the newsletters were becoming too burdensome for the chapters.

Two issues of the digest were issued before it became too burdensome for the Chair. Favorable responses were received by Executive Board members, chapter presidents and vice presidents. After consulting with the Executive Director, the Professional Development Officer and the co-chair of the Council of Newsletter Editors, a probable solution was found. Chapter newsletter editors will digest their own newsletters, have their digest sent to Mary Sworsky, who will compile them and send the finished project to the appropriate parties.

During the course of the year, a group of librarians formed a new chapter which will be voted on at the AALL business meeting in Minneapolis. The new chapter is called Law Librarians of Puget Sound (LLOPS). Mary Sidel has been voted chapter president.


In April of 1990, J. Wesley Cochran was elected Council Chair for 1990-91 by a mail ballot. The election had to be held twice due to a tie in the first ballot. It is generally believed that this was the first tie vote in Council history.

The Council considered several issues during the 1990-91 term. Several chapters continued the debate on insurance, and based on a straw vote taken at the 1991 Council meeting, it appeared that about one-half the chapters were insured.

The Chapter Newsletter Digest was discontinued in favor of each chapter sending copies to all members of the AALL Executive Board, the Chair of the Council, all chapter presidents, and all chapter newsletter editors.

During the year, the Chair of the Council worked with Martha Brown and AALL President Penny Hazelton to revise the AALL Chapter Visits Policy. The AALL Executive Board approved the policy, establishing a three-year rotation system among the chapters so that visits are distributed more evenly among members of the Executive Board.

In April, Jean Holcomb of the Norfolk Law Library, President of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries, was elected as the Chair of the Council for 1991-92.

The leadership training program for chapter presidents was held Saturday, July 20, 1991 in New Orleans, prior to the 1991 AALL Annual Meeting.

The major item of discussion at the 1991 Council concerned those portions of the AALL Strategic Plan that involved chapters. The Strategic Plan contains a number of objectives that require chapter participation for success.

The Law Libraries Association of Alabama (LLAA) was approved as an AALL Chapter at the first business meeting of the AALL Annual Meeting.


During 1991-92, six editions of the Council News provided a forum for exchange of information. In addition, Council members worked with the Private Law Libraries and the State Court and County SISs leaders to have Chapter information included when these groups sponsored the AALL traveling display at national meetings.

Chapters imported programs previously offered at the AALL Annual meeting and successfully submitted Chapter sponsored programs for the AALL San Francisco meeting. A new report form encouraged Chapters to present a narrative report of their year's activities for publication in Law Library Journal ensuring preservation of their corporate memory.

The Council Chair created a Chapter President's Master Calendar for Council members. At the Council's request, the Chair worked with Editor Mary McNulty to design the AALL Chapter Locator, a promotional tool for Chapters and the Association which includes a map of all Chapter boundaries and a statement detailing the role of chapters in the Association.

In preparation for the Chapter leadership orientation held on Saturday, July 18, 1992 in San Francisco, the attendees were surveyed to solicit their concerns and completed a Leadership Readiness Assessment. The eight broad themes identified became the focal points for the program's skill building activities.

Matters addressed at the 1992 Council meeting included the implementation of the AALL funded annual meeting registration grant program, MCLE credits for programming, the activities of the public relations coordinator, chapter newsletter copyright concerns, and membership issues relating to dues and directory listings. Jean O'Grady, Pace University of Law School Library and President of LLAGNY, was elected 1992-1993 Council Chair.


Jean O'Grady was Council Chair.

Jean reminded Council members that whenever possible, local committees should cooperate with national committees: recommending programs and speakers, nominating members for AALL office, getting resources from the PR committee. Jean provided al Chapters with a list of AALL Board members and their committee assignments.

Jean also started the practice of distributing the Council News to all Chapters Vice Presidents as well as Presidents, as a result of comments received about the training and orientation of Chapter leadership.

Council members were invited to attend the CONELL Breakfast to give the newer members an opportunity to find out about the benefits of belonging to a local Chapter.

The leadership training included presentations on Chapter Success Stories (the NJLLA Strategic Plan, the proposed LLAGNY Bulletin Board and database). Public Relations activities, and Financial Reports and Fiduciary Responsibility in a Nutshell by Judy Meadows.


Filippa Anzalone was Council Chair.

This was busy year for some Chapters. Several Chapters needed to bring their bylaws into compliance with AALL's (Chapters cannot be more restrictive) and the work began for the National Conference on Information Issues. Nine Chapters received free annual meeting registrations (underwritten by AALL) for the Seattle Annual Meeting, in keeping with the provisions of the 1990-94 Strategic Plan. Half of the thirty chapters identified members as Internet Buddies in keeping with the work of the AALL Task force in Internet Access.

The AALL Board determined that board member visits to Chapters would be paid for by AALL which was welcome news to many smaller Chapters.

The Council Chair continued to collect samples of Chapter Handbooks for the files, to be used as models for other Chapters beginning to document their activities.

Judy Meadows addressed the Council during Leadership Training on July 9th. She had received many favorable comments on her presentation in Boston and finances are a particularly anxiety producing areas for Chapter officers. Margie Axtmann described the process of the last year of developing the Long Range Plan and the future direction of AALL. Cheryl Nyberg and Susan Dow, outgoing and incoming Chairs of the Government Relations Committee spoke to the Council on topics of the GRC, legislative monitoring and how these relate to Chapter procedures. The nuts and bolts of running a chapter and discussion of bylaws and Chapter handbooks were also agenda topics. The topic of souvenir sales was debated at great length during the day's events as there had been a misunderstanding to what was allowed in the Chapter Exhibit Area. The problem was expected to be addressed more formally and clarified by the 1994-95 Council and AALL Board.

The SIS Chairs met with the Chapter Presidents for part of the morning's presentations and then a joint luncheon was held where the incoming leaders could share concerns and success stories. It was felt to be an effective, working lunch.

Kathie Sullivan was elected 1994-95 Council Chair in a mail ballot.


The Council had a very busy year this year as it was involved in the National Conference on Information Issues, called for by AALL President Carol Billings as the theme for her presidential year. Chapters were asked to sponsor delegates from their states and regions who would be influential in matters of information issues. Identifying delegates and deciding how to fund their attendance was difficult at times, but the awarding of a grant from the State Justice Institute helped some chapters fund their chosen delegates. Other chapters elected to send fewer delegates than originally estimated in Billing's plan but at higher funding.

Other matters before the Council included asking for the ability to sell chapter souvenirs at AALL Annual Meeting. In March, the board voted to allow sales in an AALL Meeting Store, charging Chapters for part of the cost of the expense of the area.

Several Chapters were involved in submitting sample clauses and procedures to the Chair for the drafting of a Model Financial Manual for Chapters. Intended to be a guide for those chapters with little documentation for their elected leaders, the draft was presented to the 1995-96 Council for further work and editing. It references the sound financial practices adopted in the AALL Financial Long Range Plan, but equally importantly, it will help those chapters without procedures manuals to gain some control over chapter practices.

Council members received four issues of the Council Communique as well as several interim letters with late breaking news of the delegate selection process and other sensitive matters. As a result of the added formal communication, as well as including the incoming presidents in the last mailings of the year, chapters were extremely responsive to questions asked and in the submission of reports to headquarters.

Chapter visits were very successful this year, especially in the light of the discussion about the proposed dues increase, the National Conference delegates, and the proposed changes to Law Library Journal. The Board Liaison talked with each Board visitor after the visit and the Chair spoke with the Chapter President. Following up with the Chapter after a visit seems like an idea to continue as a method of encouraging the regular communication.

Regular communication between the chapters and the Chair was also enhanced due to electronic mail access. Over half the chapter presidents had access to e-mail and more were added throughout the year. The percentage is even higher for the 1995-96 presidents. The immediacy of the communication, as well as the ease of responding, made information much easier to share with many people.

Leadership training and the Council Business Meeting were held in Pittsburgh. Several members of AALL, each of whom have served in a variety of leadership positions, spoke on What Makes a Good Leader, Members also heard from a delegate to the National Conference, the Honorable Norman W. Black, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The leadership training included a joint session and lunch with the incoming chairs of the SISs.

Several matters will carry over for discussion by the 1995-96 Council, to be chaired by Karen Schuh, the outgoing president of NJLLA. CLE credit and educational programming, further revision of the financial manual, and the issue of having the Council Chair be a voting member of the Board are expected to be primary concerns.


The year started off with an active day of leadership training and information sharing. One of the guest speakers of the day was Al Brecht, chair of the Task Force on the Composition of the AALL Executive Board, who sought chapter and SIS feedback re: a proposal that the SIS and Chapter Council Chairs be voting Executive Board members, and that the AALL bylaws be changed to reflect their attendance at board meetings. The chairs were interested in the idea, with the stipulation that the chair/board member be voted upon by the other council members and that the term of office coincide with the board member's tenure as council chair.

This issue at the November AALL board meeting with the Task Force proposal re changing the status of the Council chairs receiving concern from the board members. They were concerned with the procedure for electing these members, and felt the general AALL membership would also be concerned with this issue. The current chapter presidents' chair expressed concern that being a voting board member would interfere with the representative role of the council chair. In the end, the Task Force recommendations were rejected.

During the year, several chapters took advantage of the communication role of the council chair by asking specific questions of policy and procedure re chapters and AALL. E-mail greatly facilitated this process, with the requesting chapter sending a question to the chair, who could either broadcast the question to the other presidents or send the question to Martha Brown at HQ. Issues included: selling chapter mailing lists, offering financial support to chapter presidents to attend the Council leadership training, and procedures for notifying AALL of chapter bylaws changes.

The chair distributed regular newsletters in which she reported on AALL board meeting activities, reminded chapters of upcoming deadlines for forms and events, and requested feedback regarding issues facing chapters. Several Council members provided thoughtful replies, expressing concern about AALL policy or events on such issues: program proposal procedure, local arrangements for annual meeting, and chapter visits. The chair forwarded many of these comments to HQ for review. In the matter of chapter visits, two new documents were created: a checklist for the board members to assist them in planning for the visit, and a report form for the officers to return to HQ after each visit. Hopefully these efforts will interchange between board member and chapter members.

In April the Council held its election for the 1996-97 chair. Three worthy candidates participated in the contest, with Sally Holterhoff, CALL President, being elected. This was a different election than the previous year's which had only one candidate. The majority of council members returned ballots, which made the election fir and significant.

A major development of the year was board action in March which created a chapter relations working group, whose goal is to improve relations between chapter and the association. The Strategic Planning committee recommended, along with the Finance and Budget Committee, allocating $10,000 for an ad hoc group to address the issue and report to the Executive Board within one year. President-Elect Frank Houdek convened the group, appointing Martha Brown and Roger Parent of HQ, Carol Avery Nicolson as Board Liaison, and Sally Holterhoff and Hal Brown, two current chapter presidents to the committee. The Council chair was also appointed. The group planned to have its first meeting in Chicago in the spring, before the annual meeting, so they could discuss the important issues and plan strategy for proceeding.

In summary, the communication between chapter presidents and the Chair made the transference of information and advice successful and productive. With the addition of a council listserv and the results of the chapter relations effort, the future of the council will be strengthened and its members better served.

Submitted by Karen Schuh, Chair, 1995-96 Council of Chapter Presidents


Chapters and their relationships to the national association were featured in the AALL spotlight in 1996-97. Sally Holterhoff served as Chair of the Council. The Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Chapter Relations was appointed in the spring of 1996 by President-Elect Frank Houdek and charged with addressing Direction I initiative 5 of the AALL Strategic Challenge 1994-98: Strengthen Relationships Between AALL and Its Chapters. The Council chair also chaired the advisory group and the group's work became an integral part of the year's focus for the Council.

Much of the discussion at the 1996 annual Council business meeting in Indianapolis in July cnetered on a draft document produced by the adivsory group. The AALL Chapter Alliance: A Vision for the Future. This draft was also discussed by presidents of ten chapters in a focus group at the Third Northeast Regional Conference in Toronto in October. Responses received from chapters throughout the fall served as a guide for the work of the advisory group. Chapters expressed particular interest in improving communication with AALL and in getting additional training for their chapter leaders.

Several proposals were developed by the advisory group which were presented and approved at the AALL Executive Board's winter meeting. By mid-June 1997, these proposals resulted in: (1) publication of one issue of a new quarterly publication, the Chapter Leadership Bulletin, which is mailed to each chapter's executive board members. It is also available to anyone through the AALL Fax-On-demand service. The second issue is due in early July: (2) six new Chapter Roundtable discussion sessions to be held at the AALL Annual Meeting (on chapter development/recruitment/retention, public relations, and website/homepage management), with strong interest expressed so far by chapters: (3) revision of the former Handbook for Chapter Presidents into a more comprehensive Chapter Handbook, which will be distributed to chapter presidents in Baltimore.

Other highlights of the year included:
  • Starting in August 1996, the new Council of Chapter Presidents Listserv was used to advance the Council's primary function as a communication network. Monthly Presidents' Briefings were posted by the Council Chair. Questions posted by chapter presidents covered topics ranging from educational programming and salary surveys to the AALL satellite conference and the traveling copyright workshop.
  • A planning calendar of deadlines significant to chapters was created and posted on the chapter section of AALLNET.
  • A Summary Chart of Chapter Information (taken from Chapter Biographies) was developed and distributed to Chapter Presidents and to the AALL Executive Board. It will be updated each year.
  • Close attention was paid to updating and improving the chapter section of AALLNET. It now includes a separate page for each chapter's information.
  • Most chapters hosted a visit by an AALL Executive Board member this year and reports of the visits were favorable on both sides.
  • Council Chair was in contact throughout the year with the Editor of the Chapter News column for AALL Spectrum, Susan Trask and the Chair of the Council of Newsletter Editor (CONE), Maxine Grosshans. The Chair benefited greatly from the advice and support of the AALL Executive Board Liaison to the Council, Judy Meadows.
  • In March, an election was held by mail ballot to select a Council Chair for 1997-98. Amy Eaton, 1996-97 LLOPS President was elected and has already been included in planning for Baltimore and next year's Council.
  • The Chapter Biography form was revised somewhat by the Council Chair in order to obtain additional information needed for the summary chart. This form and the form for the Chapter Activity Report for Law Library Journal were both posted on AALLNET.
  • A valuable working relationship was established with the current SIS Council Chair, Anne Myers, which enhanced the work of both Councils.

Much of the latter portion of the Council year is typically spent in preparations for the AALL Annual Meeting. In Baltimore, Chapter Presidents' Leadership Training will be held for the 10th year since it was started in 1989. As in recent years, it will take place on the Saturday prior to the Meeting. Nearly all the current chapter presidents and vice-presidents have registered to attend that session as well as the Joint Leadership Luncheon with the SIS Chairs and Chairs-Elect. Following lunch the 17th annual Council business meeting will conclude the day. Throughout the rest of the Annual Meeting, a wide array of chapter activities, including the Chapter Roundtables will be offered and these have been publicized widely to chapters this year.

In summary, it appears that the relationship between the 30 chapters and AALL has improved considerably this year, due to the increased attention and resources committed by AALL. The Council of Chapter Presidents and the Chair have been actively involved in these efforts. Chapters have responded and contributed with enthusiasm. The new activities undertaken provide opportunities to make the mutually beneficial AALL-Chapter Alliance even stronger.


This year the Council continued to focus on the proposals developed by the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Chapter Relations (1996-1997) and approved by the AALL Executive Board: (1) publication of the Chapter Leadership Bulletin, (2) the Chapter Roundtable discussions to be held at the Annual Meeting, and (3) revision of the Chapter Handbook.

Publication of the Chapter Leadership Bulletin continued on a quarterly basis and funding was approved for the 1998-1999 year. Each issue of the Chapter Leadership Bulletin focused on a theme and the majority of the lead articles were written by AALL members. The issues were well received by the chapter presidents. The Chapter Roundtables will be continued in 1998 and were expanded to include the Council of Newsletter Editors and the Government Relations meeting. Last year's Roundtables were very well received and the Council is pleased that due to support from both the Executive Board and AALL staff, we are able to offer them to this year's attendees. The Chapter Handbook continues to be updated with the inclusion of the revised Chapter Visit Policy and related forms, the Council's updated Bylaws, and inclusion of Chapter.

Other highlights of the year included:

  • A very active year on the Council of Chapter Presidents listserv. Numerous issues were addressed including: newsletter deadlines, the AALL Chapter VIP Program, Grants, gifts to outgoing Board members, and AALLNET concerns.
  • Revising and updating the Chapter Visit Policy and forms.
  • Updating and improving the chapter section of AALLNET.
  • Most chapters hosted a visit by an AALL Executive Board member this year and reports of the visits were favorable on both sides.
  • In March, an election was held by mail ballot so select a council Chair for 1998-1999. We were fortunate to have a large and extremely qualified slate of candidates. James Duggan, 1997-1998 MAALL President, was elected and has already been included in planning for Anaheim and for next year's Council.
  • The Chapter Biography form was revised somewhat by headquarters to improve data entry.
  • Implementation of the VIP Program for the 1999 Annual Meeting.
  • Development of a guide to assist the chapters in implementing the VIP Program.
  • Beginning the process of developing a new chapter in the San Diego area.

For the last half of my term, I have focused on the preparations for the AALL Annual Meeting. In Anaheim, the Chapter Presidents' Leadership Training will take place for the 11th time since its inception in 1989. The Training will take place on Saturday, July 11th. This year's Training will consist of guest speakers, a panel of past-presidents and break-out groups. Following the Training, we will have a joint luncheon with the SIS Chairs. Matthew Bender has graciously offered to sponsor our luncheon. Immediately after lunch we will call to order the business meeting. Throughout the Annual Meeting a variety of chapter functions have been scheduled including the Chapter Roundtables.

Throughout the year, I have benefited greatly from the support and advice of the AALL Executive Board Liaison to the Council, Susan Siebers. I am pleased that Susan has volunteered to act as our Liaison for the next year. The Council continues to offer real support to the Chapter presidents and has developed a strong intermediary relationship with the AALL Executive Board and Staff. This has been an enjoyable year for me and I feel fortunate that I was able to continue building upon the foundation created by past Council Chairs.


A large part of the chapter council planning and development during 1998-99 focused on the promotion of the chapter VIP program, a new AALL/Chapter initiative. The VIP program (Valuable Invited Participant) provides the opportunity for AALL chapter to invite special guests (typically non-AALL members from a chapter's legal, governmental or information communities) to attend the AALL Annual Meeting, and participate in the educational experiences and networking opportunities that take place during the yearly gathering. The program offers complimentary annual meeting registration for up to two guests for each of AALL's 31 chapters. This year, 20 VIP's from 14 chapters participated in the program. The program will continue during 1999-2000 as a voluntary chapter activity.

James Duggan served as Chair of the Council. A new listserv (C-CHPR) was created by Jason Hinkle at AALL Headquarters and auto-populated with Council members. It replaced the old list, Councilchapterpresidents-l, and was not auto-populated. In an experiment, the Council Chair became listowner of C-CHPR, and was able to perform most of the typical listowner functions (i.e., adding or deleting participants, responding to error messages, etc.), freeing AALL Headquarters staff from this burden. Discussion on C-CHPR has focused on meeting AALL Deadlines for planning purposes, the Chapter VIP Program, the Chapter Leadership Bulletin, updates of chapter officers, and forwarded messages from the AALL GRC and PDC committees.

Other highlights of the year include:

  • A Council of Chapter Presidents web page was created and loaded on AALLNET, with links to the Chapter VIP Program Handbook (in both Adobe Acrobat and HTML format).
  • Listing of AALL Chapter Anniversaries was created and sent to members of the AALL Executive Board.
  • Four issues of the quarterly Chapter Leadership Bulletin were edited and produced. A survey of Chapter Leaders about the Chapter Leadership Bulletin was conducted during Fall 1998. After discussion, AALL Executive Director Roger Parent decided to produce the Chapter Leadership Bulletin in-house, utilizing Julie Duffy (AALL's new Marketing Manager) as the publication's coordinator.
  • Brent Bernau, Reference Librarian at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego (and past-President of San Diego Area Law Libraries, SANDALL), was elected as Chair of the Council of Chapter Presidents for 1999-2000. Brent will assist with the 1999 Chapter President Leadership Training, and takes over as Chair at the Council Business Meeting, Saturday, July 17, 1999.
  • A listing of Chapter Anniversaries was produced and distributed to the AALL Executive Board for congratulatory letters of acknowledgment.

The latter part of the council chair term has been spent planning for the Chapter President Leadership Training, scheduled for July 17 in the Washington Grand Hyatt Constitution Ballroom. The training will consist of guest speakers and break-out discussion groups, and close with a joint luncheon with the SIS Chairs. Maureen Sullivan, 1998-99 President of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and an Organizational Development Consult, will speak on the topic "leadership". The Council of Chapter Presidents Business Meeting will follow during the afternoon, and will feature short presentations from the AALL committee chairs of Recruitment, Professional Development, and Government Relations. Chapter Roundtables on a variety of subjects will be offered throughout the conference.

Many people deserve thanks for their work with the council of chapter presidents during this past year: Roger Parent, Martha Brown, and Kim Rundle for their administrative support, Carol Billings and Julie Duffy for their contributions to the Chapter Leadership Bulletin, and Mary Alice Baish, Peter Beck, Marcia Bradley, Carol Bredemeyer, John Edwards, Shaun Esposito, Mark Folmsbee, Jason Hinkle, Mary Hotchkiss, Janis Johnston, Catherine Lemann, and Steve Ligda for coordinating the chapter roundtables. Finally, Amy Eaton, Gail Warren, and especially Susan Siebers merit boundless gratitude for their advice and unflagging energy.


The past year saw the Council of Chapter Presidents take on an increasingly relevant role in the professional lives of its members. The discussion list proved to be a significant forum, particularly for those "What are other chapters doing about that?" types of questions. Limited to the presidents and vice presidents of our 31 chapters, it is operated under the auspices of the Council of Chapter Presidents and has generally been a low-traffic list. The Council Chair serves as listowner, meaning the Chair must stay on top of changes of chapter officers, as well as changes in individual addresses of current members.

The Council pages on AALLNET also became increasingly relevant as the volume of information residing there increased. Keeping that increasing volume of information current and accurate proved to be a formidable challenge for the Chair. The process still has bugs to be worked out. An exciting development this year is that after polling the Council members on the listserv and discussions with Executive Director Roger Parent, it was decided to bid adieu to the hard copy of the Chapter Handbook, traditionally updated and distributed yearly to all chapter presidents and vice presidents at the Chapter Leadership Training. Beginning in July 2000, the Handbook will be digitized and loaded onto the Council's AALLNET pages. This should make for more effective communication and ease of updating, as well as save the expense of duplicating and shipping the hard copy.

Incoming chapter presidents and vice presidents prepared for the leadership and guidance they will be providing their chapters during 2000-01 by attending the Chapter Presidents/VP's Leadership Training session, Saturday, July 15, at the Philadelphia meeting. The main focus this year was for the chapter leaders to meet their counterparts from across the country and take the opportunity to share ideas in break-out discussion groups. Those topics include: Program Planning (led by incoming COCP Chair Sarah Andeen), Corporate Sponsorship (led by CALL Past President Nancy Henry), Community Service/Public Outreach (led by LLAM Past President Pam Gregory), Professional Development (led by AALL Education Manager Mary Jawgiel), Motivating Members/Effective Leadership (led by outgoing COCP Chair Brent Bernau), and the Chapter/AALL Relationship (led by COCP Board Liaison Maryruth Storer). AALL President-Elect Bob Oakley shared his thoughts on the importance of chapters and his agenda for his term of office. Out of a possible maximum attendance of 62, there were a total of 48 registrants. The Leadership Training was preceded by a joint luncheon with SIS Chairs and Chairs-Elect, where outgoing AALL President Margie Axtmann presented and explained the revised AALL Strategic Plan, and was followed by the Council's Annual Business Meeting.

Despite the relatively odd and/or early hours, some 121 chapter members representing 24 chapters registered for the seven Leadership Roundtables. This year's Roundtables include: Meeting Management, moderated by former AALL Secretary Susan Siebers; Website Management & Listservs, moderated by AALL Board Member and computer guru Mark Folmsbee; Membership Recruitment, moderated by AALL Executive Director Roger Parent; Public Relations: Networking with Your Customers, moderated by AALL Public Relations Chair Sue Burch; Chapter Treasurer Training, moderated by AALL Director of Finance and Administration Steve Ligda and AALL Treasurer Janis Johnston; Chapter Government Relations, moderated by AALL Associate Washington Affairs Representative Mary Alice Baish and AALL GRC Chair Keith Ann Stiverson; Professional Development, moderated by AALL Education Manager Mary Jawgiel and former AALL President Judy Meadows; and a Council of Newsletter Editors (CONE) Meeting, moderated by AALL Director of Publications Peter Beck.

Last year's advocacy workshop was so successful in engaging new interest in AALL's legislative efforts that it was repeated this year in Philadelphia as a half-day training session, also on Saturday, July 15. Thanks to AALL President Margie Axtmann and Executive Director Roger Parent, AALL offered this special training session at no cost to participants. Its goal was to train participants to be effective communicators when dealing with federal, state, and local policy makers regarding the Legislative issues critically important to our profession, our libraries and our users. These critically important legislative issues which are presently on AALL's plate include database protection, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), which is being fought state-by-state, and improved funding for county law libraries, which is a key legislative goal for many of our chapters. GRC Chair Keith Stiverson and Associate Washington Affairs Representative Mary Alice Baish hosted this year's session. The Council Chair worked cooperatively with the Associate Washington Affairs Representative, the GRC Chair and the leadership of each of the 31 chapters to recruit delegates from each chapter and/or state. In all, 36 delegates were named by the May 15 deadline, representing 30 states and 19 chapters. The GRC then took over the recruitment effort for the remaining states, ending up with a total registration of 68.

The Chair once again provided content for the Chapter Leadership Bulletin, a quarterly publication which is mailed to all chapter presidents and vice presidents. Keeping the mailing list accurate proved mundane, but formidable. The Chair continued to act as a conduit of information between the chapter leadership and AALL, publicizing and clarifying such things as the VIP Program and chapter liability insurance, and helping the chapter leadership meet the many and various reporting obligations to AALL. The Chair also continued to provide individual guidance and served as a resource to chapter leaders dealing with various questions and concerns.
Sarah Andeen, Immediate Past President of AZALL, was elected 2000-01 Chair of the Council of Chapter Presidents, effective at the close of the Council's Annual Business Meeting on July 15. Because of the increasing load and complexity of this position, the outgoing Chair created a Planning Timeline for use by succeeding Chairs, and revised the position's job description.

The Chair is honored to have been able to participate in the meetings and strategic planning sessions of AALL's Executive Board, and appreciates the importance President Margie Axtmann and this group place on chapters, as well as the welcoming atmosphere of the Board meetings. Many thanks to the current chapter presidents and immediate past presidents who gave of their time to respond to numerous information requests and reporting obligations and who shared their ideas with their colleagues as questions or issues were brought to the listserv.

Brent Bernau, Chair


Most of the business of the council was conducted via the council discussion list. A number of topics were discussed, with two topics forming the basis of articles in the Chapter Leadership Bulletin. Topics discussed included chapter credit cards, AALL membership requirements for chapter officers, chapter newsletter formats and distribution, chapter support of vendor presentations, payment to speakers at chapter programs, chapter membership categories, and chapter corporate memory.

The council discussion list also was used to facilitate coordination between the chapters and AALL committees and special interest sections. These included Professional Development, Awards, Publications, Nominations, CONELL, Government Relations, Legal Information Services to the Public, and Strategic Planning. In addition, the council chair was involved in discussions with the Strategic Planning Committee and Professional Development in regard to chapter activities.

Interest was expressed in re-establishing the Chapter President's Handbook. Two years earlier it had been decided that the extensive print document was very little used by council members and that the information was readily available on AALLNET. Initial work was done in setting up a 'virtual handbook' which wuold index the AALLNET pages in a fashion similar to the table of contents of the handbook.

A number of chapters contributed to the AALL Memorial Fund in remembrance of September 11, 2001.

I am very grateful for the rewarding opportunity to serve as council chair.

Frank Drake, Chair


Council activities for the 2002 - 2003 year began at the 2002 AALL annual meeting with training sessions and the Council's own annual meeting under the direction of outgoing Council Chair Frank Drake of the Arnstein and Lehr Law Library. At the conclusion of the meeting, Lawrence R. (Larry) Meyer, director of the San Bernardino County Law Library became the council chair.

During the year, most council business was conducted via the Chapter Leadership listserv. The listserv membership consisted of the 31 Chapter Presidents, the Vice Presidents and the Immediate Past Presidents. Issues discussed via the listserv were varied. They included discussions on official board visits to chapters, chapter organization and member motivation, the George A. Straight Scholarship fund, the Chapter VIP program, electronic publication of newsletters and announcements of various chapter events. There were also postings from various AALL entities using the listserv to communicate with chapter leaders or to request leadership help in passing information along to the membership of their chapters.

In a friendly competition, other chapters were challenged by the Southern California chapter to contribute to the George A. Straight scholarship fund. One chapter, the Minnesota chapter, issued a counter-challenge to further encourage contributions to this very worthy program. As of the filing of this report, most chapters had accepted the challenge by contributing to the fund.

Five outgoing Chapter Presidents agreed to run for the position of Council Chair. Elected by her peers as the new chair for 2003 - 2004 was Susan Goldner from University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

Lawrence R. (Larry) Meyer, Council Chair
2002 - 2003


There were some changes to the routine of previous years, though much of the Council's activity remained unchanged.

The Council discussion list is our vital means of contact throughout the year. Chapter presidents, vice presidents and past presidents all participate. It helps to smooth communication with headquarters and with other AALL entities. It is also a forum for discussions on the different approaches chapters take to similar problems. Topics this year included grants and scholarships, outlets for publication by members, chapter contributions to the George A. Strait Scholarship Fund, dues refunds, retired members, and advertising in newsletters.

The Chapter Council Bulletin was discontinued by AALL due to lack of funding. To fill part of the gap left by the loss of this publication, the Chapter Council Chat was begun. It is a monthly, electronic newsletter which is sent to all the members of the chapter discussion list. It is based on the format used in "AALL's From the Desk of...."

The Council normally has an exhibit at both the Annual Meeting and CONELL. The primary purpose of this exhibit is to show the range of chapters and their geographic boundaries to potential members. Three professionally-made maps showing chapter boundaries within the United States were created for use this year and in the future.

In the past the Chapter Professional Development Roundtable and the Chapter Professional Development Award were both handled by the AALL Professional Development Committee. This year, the responsibility for both fell to the Career Development Task Force. Since a successor to the Task Force is not yet organized, these two programs must be handled by different entities in the future. The AALL President-Elect, the Chair and the Chair-Elect agreed that the award will be given by the AALL Awards Committee. The Council will form its own committee which will have responsibility for future education roundtables.

There were three candidates in the spring election for a new chair. Twice this resulted in a tie. Since there are no tie-breaking provisions in the bylaws, the election was decided by having the final two candidates pick numbers. The incoming Chair is Diana Jaque.

As is traditional, the Council's activities for the year began with a variety of training sessions at the AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle. These included roundtables on professional development (half day), government relations, meeting management, treasurer training, membership development and public relations. These were in addition to a half-day general training session and business meeting.

During the business meeting, the Council agreed to set aside the rules for the 2005 election so that it can be run electronically, following AALL's method of electronic voting. Assuming this goes well, a bylaws change is anticipated next year.

Susan Goldner, Chair

Chairs of the Council of Chapter Presidents

Note: For the first four years the Council existed, the leader was called Coordinator, rather than Chair.

1981-1982 Frank Houdek
1982-1983 Patricia Strougal
1983-1984 Don Ziegenfuss
1984-1985 Carol Billings
1985-1986 Teresa Neaves
1986-1987 Kathy Larson
1987-1988 Maryruth Storer
1988-1989 Barbara Bintliff
1989-1990 Joan White
1990-1991 Wes Cochran
1991-1992 Jean Holcomb
1992-1993 Jean O'Grady
1993-1994 Filippa Anzalone
1994-1995 Kathie Sullivan
1995-1996 Karen Schuh
1996-1997 Sally Holterhoff
1997-1998 Amy Eaton
1998-1999 James Duggan
1999-2000 Brent Bernau
2000-2001 Sarah Andeen
2001-2002 Frank Drake
2002-2003 Larry Meyer
2003-2004 Susan Goldner
2004-2005 Diana Jaque
2005-2006 Beth DiFelice
2006-2007 Kimberly Serna
2007-2008 Mary Lu Linnane