FCIL-SIS Strategic Plan 2014-2017
Strategic Plan Committee Members: Thomas Mills, Chair (Cornell Law Library), Luis Acosta (Law Library of Congress), Karina Condra (University of Denver Law Library), Jim Hart (University of Cincinnati Law Library), Saskia Mehlhorn (Norton Rose Fulbright), Steve Thorpe (Drexel University Law Library), Kelly Vinopal (Crowell & Moring, LLP)
The Committee gratefully acknowledges the contributions and hard work of earlier Strategic Planning Committees and the involvement of FCIL-SIS members in this important planning process.
The 2014-2017 FCIL-SIS Strategic Planning Committee (SPC; “current SPC”) was pleased to see that a number of goals from previous Strategic Plans, particularly regarding the FCIL-SIS website, have been met. Therefore, the current SPC decided to focus on one issue, which in turn generated three goals for the current 2014-2017 strategic plan triennium.
Issue: Since the 2008/2009 economic downturn, law librarians across the profession have been dealing with fewer resources, combined with higher workloads, and increased demand for FCIL services.
The three FCIL-SIS 2014-2017 Strategic Planning Committee goals are:
- The creation of an FCIL-SIS portal of resources;
- The holding of an FCIL education summit prior to the 2016 AALL Annual Meeting in Chicago;
- The promotion of webinars as a means of Continuing Law Librarian Education (CLLE) for all members of AALL.
The three goals are discussed in more detail, below. The members of the SPC will remain active during the 2014-2017 triennium in order to assist with implementation of these goals.
Goal 1—FCIL-SIS Portal
The repercussions of the post-2008 economic downturn show that even the largest law libraries are no longer able to collect as broadly or deeply as they once did. In addition, most law libraries have fewer staff, with positions remaining unfilled for lengthy periods, if not having been eliminated. Nonetheless, the needs for FCIL materials and specialized reference services have grown. In fact, law schools have increased the importance and number of course offerings on FCIL-related topics. Thus, fewer law librarians have fewer resources to deal with increasing FCIL needs.
Accordingly, the first goal of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan is to enhance communications among FCIL specialists, and between the FCIL and general law librarian communities. To that end, a portal would be similar in function (but not content) to ASIL’s EISIL database (also the work of law librarians). Among the items that might be included in this proposed FCIL-SIS would be:
- The names of specialists in relevant subjects;
- The specialists’ skills;
- Teaching that relates to the subject;
- Material that was created and used in the teaching;
- Publications in the field, including research guides, articles, books;
- Databases and collections, and the institutions that hold them;
- Collection development plans.
Previously this data was collected via surveys and was housed in different areas of the FCIL-SIS website or not at all. Now, however, the current SPC proposes to bring together existing resources and collect new information by: 1) gathering what is available from webpages; 2) following up by directly contacting libraries for missing information; and, 3) creating the portal itself, which would display some information and point to other information. SPC hopes to attract portal users who will feel invested in seeing that the portal is updated and maintained.
Goal 2 – FCIL-SIS Education Summit
In the past, AALL has held institutes devoted to FCIL topics. The last of these institutes was held in the 1990s. Since then, a new generation of law librarians has joined the profession and the information landscape has undergone profound changes, especially in terms of foreign and international law. Each year there are FCIL programs at the annual AALL conference; however, time and opportunities for FCIL programming are limited by other competing activities.
Therefore, the second goal of the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan is to hold an FCIL Education Summit in 2016 before the AALL annual conference in Chicago. The 2016 conference was chosen because Chicago is centrally located, with more people likely to attend. The 2016 date will also provide enough lead time to plan the summit. Some possible options for a summit are listed below:
- FCIL Education Summit held in conjunction with the Private Law Libraries (PLL) pre- conference at the AALL venue. (PLL has been contacted about this option and is interested in discussing the issue once the 2014 Annual Meeting is completed).
- FCIL Education Summit held independently of the PLL pre-conference at the AALL venue.
- FCIL Education Summit hosted by a Chicago area law school before the AALL Annual Meeting.
- FCIL Education Summit held at a place and time other than the AALL Annual Meeting.
FCIL-SIS Considerations Regarding a Summit:
- The cost to participants (in addition to the cost of attending the AALL Annual Meeting). What price should attendees be charged? What costs would be covered for presenters? What other costs might there be in addition to venue, materials, food, etc.? AALL does not allow an SIS to get sponsors for pre-conferences, so would all expenses have to be covered by the pre- conference education summit registration fees?
- The possibility of participants joining remotely through a resource like Webex. Would online participants be charged a reduced fee to the education summit?
- Should the pre-conference education summit presentations be recorded and made available for viewing after a period of time?
- What topics might be covered at the education summit? Possible topics might include the finer points of teaching, such as how to write exercises or exams. Or, substance-related issues might be covered, like finding the best sources for draft legislation in selected large non-English- speaking jurisdictions. These are just two of many possibilities.
- Who would be available to present on specific topics? In addition, should a presenter be able to give a presentation remotely via a resource such as Webex?
- What sort of time and resources are required for creating a pre-summit website with materials for attendees? How long would the website stay active?
- If the FCIL-SIS education summit is not held in conjunction with the AALL Annual Meeting, might it be held in conjunction with another regional association annual meeting? Might such an approach eliminate problems dealing with the coordination of hotels, travel, and facilities?
Goal 3 – More FCIL-SIS Webinar Offerings Coordinated with AALL Headquarters
Recently, staff from AALL headquarters in Chicago contacted SIS Chairs in order to encourage SISs to promote subject-oriented webinars, to be coordinated with AALL headquarters so that costs are kept to a minimum. The FCIL-SIS Chair discussed this proposal with the SPC, which hopes to get more information from AALL headquarters on this remote-access version of Continuing Law Librarian Education (CLLE), and to make this information available to the wider FCIL-SIS membership.
FCIL-SIS Strategic Plan 2012-2014
IntroductionThe Strategic Plan Committee, consisting of Molly Brownfield (Chair), Vicenç Feliú, Gabriela Femenia, Don Ford, Teresa Stanton and Jean Wenger, prepared the 2012-2014 Strategic Plan with input from the SIS membership, including the Executive Committee.The Committee gratefully acknowledges the contributions and hard work of earlier Strategic Planning Committees and the involvement of FCIL-SIS members in this important planning process.
Goal 1: Actively promote education in Foreign, Comparative and International Law and Law Librarianship for specialists and non-specialists.
- Identify core competencies for FCIL Law Librarianship
- Submit to the AALL Annual Meeting Program Committee and to local chapters proposals for programs, institutes and workshops designed to help both new FCIL librarians and non-specialist librarians master these competencies
- Develop mentoring opportunities for new FCIL librarians, including exploring the possibility of establishing liaison programs with foreign law librarians in cooperation with IALL and pairing up new and experienced members to co-author articles for publication
- Offer programs and resources on improving research-oriented foreign language skills at the AALL Annual Meeting and through other means
- Incorporate information technology into all FCIL-SIS education efforts to deliver both training in basic skills and continuing education programs on substantive topics, including making effective use of interactive media and the FCIL web site
Goal 2: Enhance Position of FCIL-SIS and Expand Recruitment of and Involvement by FCIL Members in Profession
- Advertise FCIL in librarianship (MLS, MSIS, MLIS) programs as well as JD programs
- Work with AALL recruitment ambassadors to create relationships with career services personnel in both law schools and information science graduate programs to increase awareness of FCIL career opportunities
- Promote opportunities for participation in the SIS via active outreach among newer law librarians
- Invite AALL members to attend FCIL Business Meeting and educational events via discussion forums such as ALL, RIPS, TS, SCCLL
- Pursue collaborative cross-sectional SIS endeavors in areas of overlapping interest (collection development, instruction, rare books, etc.)
- Extend recruitment and marketing efforts to broader audience by utilizing Web 2.0 technologies (Facebook, Twitter, blog, RSS feeds, etc.)
- Explore opportunities to promote FCIL-SIS at the local level through regional and local chapters
- Capitalize on FCIL-SIS member presence in other associations (ASIL, IALL, ALLA, SLA, AALS, bar associations, etc.) to raise national and international recognition of FCIL and to develop educational opportunities throughout the year.
- Increase participation opportunities for foreign members in AALL through both in-person and online interactions.
- Continue to offer the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians and enhance promotion of the grant by having recipients submit account of their annual meeting experience to AALL Spectrum.
- Expand the marketing of all FCIL-SIS educational efforts and increase outreach to both FCIL and non-FCIL members of AALL.
- Formulate message from Chair requesting MLIS and JD programs to add FCIL SIS link to academic career services
- Ask CONELL organizers to highlight FCIL content
- Ask other associations to add link to FCIL website to their own site(s)
- Solicit opportunities to author articles in other organizations’ newsletters
- Add career services section to FCIL with testimonials from FCIL librarians
- Add webcast component to “A Day in the Life of an FCIL Librarian” article to AALL Spectrum or the ALL-SIS newsletter
- Annual welcome letter from FCIL Chair to new FCIL librarians inviting them to join FCIL-SIS
Goal 3: Revise and Expand FCIL-SIS Website
- Create a committee to oversee implementation of the goals listed below regarding development of FCIL-SIS Website development
- Create a committee to develop programs on basic and advanced FCIL topics to be presented outside of the AALL Annual Meetings, including via webinars, online tutorials, and other distance learning methods
- Conduct ground-up revision of site map and display settings to improve visual appeal, ease of use, and inter-linking
- Perform content analysis to ensure materials are unique, current, relevant, and useful to intended audience
- Continue to collect and post FCIL teaching materials, collection development policies and collection profiles and make them publicly available on the FCIL-SIS website
- Implement analytics to measure website usage and navigation
- Create FCIL-SIS Blog with regularly assigned bloggers
- Develop FCIL-SIS Wiki to serve as a clearinghouse for websites produced pursuant to the world-wide trend toward open access to legal resources
- Analytical Report of Current Website: Use Google Analytics to analyze the current website. See who comes, what they do, where/when they leave. Also, check with current webmasters to see if there are analytical reports since the last redesign.
- Web Site Maintenance: Strategize about web site maintenance needs of the redesigned website. Discuss skill sets required for a two person web maintenance team and what tools these people should try to access, possibly through their employers (for example, institutional access to the webinars on the Lynda.com website).
- ROT Analysis (Redundant, Outdated, or Trivial Items): Discuss items on the current website that might be redundant or outdated (trivial items are probably not an issue). Contact any FCIL-SIS members with webpages, syllabi, exercises, or Power Point presentations, and ask if the current postings should be maintained.
- Site Map Redesign and Tagging: Do an initial site map and tagging analysis. Use the Google keyword tool to analyze search optimization; meta-keywords; meta-descriptions; keywords to help with content indexing and tracking.
- FCIL-SIS Blog: Discuss whether to have regularly assigned bloggers. Some blogs have various people blogging on specific days of the week, with occasional guest bloggers.
- Keep the top bar logo with map and extend the bar to full size along the top of the screen.
- Adapt current homepage default size to current screen usage (at 100% screen size, the homepage display is small and hard to navigate).
- Use the Swedish Parliament’s Translated Legislation webpage as a model for the revised FCIL-SIS webpage. Some of the grayscale used on the Swedish Parliament’s webpage is easy on the eyes (look at the grayscale in most of the boxes and in the header). We should consider lightening the headline and navigation back bars’ shading on our own website.
- Our own FCIL-SIS blog should be displayed more prominently and have a blog roll including such sites as:
- EJIL: Talk!
- Opinio Juris
- UN Dispatch
- WSJ Lawblog
We suggest having the following links to sub-webpages:
- Foreign Law Resources
- Comparative Law Resources
- International Law Resources
- Legal Research Guide (“Pathfinder”) Resources
- Library of Congress (US Government)
- United States Federal Government–Executive Branch Resources
- United States Federal Government–Legislative Branch Resources
- United States Federal Government–Judicial Branch Resources
- Language Translation Resources (with a carefully worded caveat translator policy)
- Legal Citation Resources
We suggest having an FCIL wiki with restricted administration rights. Suggested resources could be emailed to the administrator(s). This wiki is inspired by FCIL-SIS member Marylin Raisch’s 40+ page collection of legal resource links. We hope the wiki becomes a clearinghouse for websites produced pursuant to the world-wide trend toward open access to legal resources.
The SPC might include a discussion of resource redundancy (i.e., having multiple resource access points on the webpage) as part of the webpage revision process. FCIL-SIS member-oriented resources should continue as they are on the website. The SPC should discuss the feasibility/advisability of these parts of the website being user name and password protected. Example: Course materials such as syllabi, Power Point slides, and exercises being accessible only to AALL members.