ARCHIVED: Roger H. Parent's Informal Notes - 3/15/1997

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March 15, 1997

Election Ballots Mailed on Friday March 7th

The Ballots were mailed to AALL members on schedule. The deadline for responses is Monday April 7th. In accordance with our established practice three members from the CALL Chapter will serve as the Election Committee and count the returned ballots on Monday morning. AALL receives incoming mail once each day, generally by 10:00 a.m., thus we are able to include in our count all the ballots that are returned by the announced deadline. Usually the tabulation is finished by noon. Once completed and certified by the Election Committee, I will notify Secretary Susan Siebers. She will contact all the candidates immediately. Once all candidates have been contacted, Susan will post a message on the Executive Board listserv, on Lawlib and AALLNET informing everyone of the results.

CALL Chapter Celebration held on March 13th

Over 100 CALL members attended the 50th anniversary celebration. Both Frank Houdek and Susan Siebers represented AALL at the podium. Martha Brown, Peter Beck and I also attended. Frank read the Board's congratulatory letter and gave a short and succinct history of AALL since its founding. He cleverly interspersed anecdotes and names of illustrious CALL members who had also served as AALL leaders. It was a great way to illustrate the long and close links between both associations. Susan gave a model presentation on the present and future of law librarianship. Her comments on the role of publishers and law librarians were thoughtful and provocative. I have asked Peter Beck to try to persuade her to publish that part of her speech as an opinion piece in AALL Spectrum.

I wonder if Executive Board members would be interested in sharing their written Chapter speeches with each other. The two I heard at the CALL meeting were wonderful and they would make a great resource for Board members preparing for a Chapter Visit. If you would like, I would be happy to maintain a file of them and send copies upon request.

AALLNET Usage Continues to be Phenomenal

Jason Hinkle reports that usage has increased from approximately 4,000 weekly "hits" in January to 6,000 in March.

AALL / West Group Professional Education Series Update

Since my last report on the Law and Justice: the Information Professional in the 21st Century Series in the October 31st Informal Notes, Martha Brown has selected and confirmed the dates and location for the first program in the Series, February 15-17, 1998, San Diego, CA.

You will recall that the two broad themes for the Series are:

  • Issues, trends and developments in the legal system and practice of law which are shaping the delivery of legal information.
  • Changes in the legal system and information technology and the impact of those changes on end users, society, legal and library education.

During a meeting held at AALL on Friday February 21st, with Bill Lindberg and Ardie Holsinger (Ms. Holsinger has replaced Bob Willard, who left West in January, as co-chair), both representing the West Group, we agreed that the first program would focus on technology's impacts on the workplace. Tentative plans include a technology showcase highlighting cutting edge technology that will have a continuing affect on work. Program topics include: the changing work environment in law firms, law schools and the courts; and tools for success in the future: success through personal training and self-renewal, and success through collaborative efforts among all types of information professionals in the legal community.

With the announced departure of Bill Lindberg from the West Group in mid-May the Advisory Committee is losing a close friend of law librarians. The Committee is also losing someone with great knowledge of the needs and interests of law librarians and others such as law school faculty and firm administrators who are the target audience for this Series. Filling the knowledge gap that he leaves behind poses a great challenge for the Advisory Committee.

Martha Brown is now working with the Advisory Committee to identify speakers; she is drafting a preliminary budget for the first program.

Satellite Teleconference Update

As of March 14th, there are 142 sites registered for the teleconference scheduled for March 20th. The sites are located in 38 states and 5 Canadian sites. A complete listing of the sites is posted on AALLNET at:

In the course of the planning process, Martha Brown received one inquiry from a librarian in New Zealand who was interested. She received the following e-mail from Mary Hotchkiss, Site Coordinator at the University of Washington, "We're at 75 registrants (40 LLOPS; 20 SLA; 15 MLA)". One of her most recent responses is from Viola Bird, who at 92 years of age wants to know what's facing librarians in the next 5 years!" It just goes to show that continuing education is indeed a lifelong process.

The Teleconference came about as the result of cooperative planning by the professional development staff from the American Association of Law Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association.


In accordance with prior year's practice, I have begun the annual fundraising drive. Personal letters and a copy of AALL's new Giving Opportunities flyer were sent in early March to 26 publishers who annually contribute to AALL scholarships, grants and other activities and events.

We have developed detailed historical files about corporate support during the past three years so it is comparatively easy to track annual contributions and acknowledgments. We have sent solicitation letters to all previous corporate sponsors, reminding them of the level of their support in the past, and urging them to continue their involvement with AALL and the Annual Meeting.

In a few weeks we will prepare a second fundraising effort by contacting all Annual Meeting exhibitors in the hope that some new supporters will come forward.

At the March Board meeting I distributed a copy of the new flyer "AALL Giving Opportunities".

Board members will receive monthly reports on corporate pledges and contributions. These reports are included with the monthly financial report.

Third Staff Retreat Planned for April 4th

Although the Staff's annual all-day retreat has been customarily held in the fall, I have scheduled it earlier in 1997. The last retreat in September 1995 focused on team building and work design. The 1997 April retreat will focus on "customer service". Stan Piskorski, Corporate Dynamics Inc. will conduct the program. He is highly regarded in the Chicago association community for his work in promoting and training staff to provide high quality service to members.

The retreat will cover member perceptions of AALL, customer service issues, challenges faced by staff in responding to member needs and inquiries, staff competencies, management procedures and training. Follow-up sessions 30 days and 90 days after the retreat will be scheduled with Stan Piskorski and staff .

While staff is attending the all-day retreat headquarters phones will be covered by Evelyn Shaevel who is working for AALL on a temporary part-time basis through the end of March.

Stan Piskorski met with several AALL staff and Julie Well on Monday, March 10th to begin exploring communication and marketing issues. Mary Alice Baish also participated in the afternoon session. The major focus of the meetings on March 10th was to explore ways of more effectively communicating with members on an ongoing basis by effectively using currently available tools such as: AALL Spectrum, AALLNET, Broadcast fax and e-mail, press releases and direct mail.

Mary Alice met separately with Jason Hinkle, Peter Beck, Julie Well and me to explore new and creative ways of communicating with members about legislative issues.

IFLA Boston 2001 Organizing Committee Meeting Held in Chicago on March 5th

In November 1995 the AALL Executive Board agreed to become a co-sponsor of the International Federation of Library Associations, IFLA, conference that will meet in Boston in 2001. Both Larry Wenger, University of Virginia Law Library and I were invited to serve as the official representatives of AALL on the Organizing Committee. It is composed of two representatives from each of seven U.S. associations, AALL, ALA, ARL, ARLIS NA, ALISE, MLA and SLA. Larry Wenger, who currently serves as the President of IALL, was unable to attend the March meeting.

Each association sends two representatives, a staff and volunteer member, to each of the quarterly meetings that are held in either Chicago or Washington DC. Thus far the IFLA 2001 Organizing Committee has: 1) formed an Executive Committee of four persons, on which I serve as Secretary; 2) prepared a Joint Sponsorship Agreement, a binding contract, that each Association will be asked to sign in June ( I have played a key role in drafting the Agreement and will share copies with Frank Houdek, Anne Grande and Judy Meadows as soon as it is available); 3) formed the following subcommittees: Finance & Accounting, Publicity and Promotion, Local Arrangements, Fund Development, Programs, Conference Infrastructure, and Exhibits.

At a recent meeting in Washington DC I invited Roberta Shaffer, incoming President of IALL to become a co-sponsoring organization and consider holding the IALL conference in conjunction with the IFLA conference in 2001; she enthusiastically agreed pending her Board's approval. This fall the IFLA 2001 Organizing Committee will hold its quarterly meeting in Boston and representatives of association Chapters will be invited to participate and encouraged to join in the planning effort.

This represents a significant opportunity for AALL to increase its visibility in the international library community where other associations particularly ALA, MLA and SLA already have a presence. SLA has several chapters in foreign countries.

The IFLA conferences are similar in size to the AALL Annual Meeting. For example, in Beijing 3000 registrants participated in committee meetings, attended programs and visited exhibits. The attendance in Beijing was somewhat larger than the usual 2000 registrants because of the site and the large number of Chinese who participated. In 1997 the IFLA conference will be held in Copenhagen, August 28th through September 5th immediately following the IALL conference in Lund, Sweden.