2004 Business Meeting Minutes

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Hynes Convention Center, Boston Massachusetts

Call to Order

The 2004 Business Meeting of the Research Instruction and Patron Services Special Interest Section (RIPS-SIS) was called to order at 4:15 p.m. by SIS Chair Melissa Serfass.

Old Business

A. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes from the 2003 Business Meeting, as printed in the Fall 2003 issue of the RIPS Law Librarian, were approved by voice vote.

B. Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer, Lee Ryan, reported that, as of June 1, 2004, the RIPS-SIS had a balance on hand of $4,465.46. Income for the period from May 31, 2003 to April 30, 2004 was $4,126.00. (Income reports from AALL were available only through April 30, 2004). Expenses for the period from May 31, 2003 through May 31, 2004 totaled $3,547.29. (The figure for total expenses included $471.75 — $242.00 for promotional items, and $229.75 for postage for election of officers — for which requests for reimbursement were sent to AALL prior to May 31, 2004, but which AALL might not have debited from the RIPS account before the end of May.) A copy of the complete Treasurer’s Report is attached to these minutes.

C. Annual Report to the Membership
Melissa Serfass, outgoing Chair, delivered the annual report to the members.

  • The bylaws amendments have been approved by the members. Major changes include making the Newsletter Editor an appointed rather than elected position, and providing for the possibility of electronic balloting in the event that AALL allows SIS’s to conduct elections electronically.
  • The RIPS-SIS has completed its review of the web site evaluation standards drafted by AALL’s Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee.
  • The RIPS-SIS is sponsoring two roundtables at the Boston annual meeting: a joint roundtable (with the Social Responsibilities SIS and the Legal Information Service to the Public SIS) on serving pro se patrons and prisoners; and a roundtable on document delivery and interlibrary loan.
  • New RIPS-SIS promotional items — badge stickers and penguin key tags —are available, and there are still beanie penguins left from previous years. In addition, a new brochure for the SIS has been written and professionally printed.

D. Committee Reports
The following committees submitted reports:

1. Teach-In
Gail Partin reported on the Teach-In, now is in its 12th year. This year the AALL archives accepted past years’ kits, note pads and bookmarks. Also new this year: the Teach-In kit was printed in full color. West printed 900 kits and 700 were distributed. The response to the notepad offer was phenomenal; people started requesting notepads in January. The cost of postage affects the number that Lexis prints, thereby limiting the supply.
Gail requested contributions for the 2005 Teach-In kit.
Gail reported that the ALL-SIS is talking about creating a legal research sourcebook. Gail is on that committee and will be exploring, with RIPS-SIS member input, the possibility of a partnership.

2. Nominations
Kelly Brown thanked all of the candidates who ran for office in 2004 for their contribution to making the RIPS-SIS a vital organization. She also asked that members consider standing for office in 2005.

3. Online List Discussion
On behalf of Coral Henning, Melissa Serfass reported that the name of this committee has been changed to “Online List Discussion” because “Listserv,” the old committee name, is a brand name.

4. Patron Services
On behalf of Gary Hill, Melissa Serfass reported that the committee will be working on a database of sample policies or links to sample policies.

5. Program
Jessie Cranford reported that, for the 2004 annual meeting, the RIPS-SIS submitted 10 program proposals and 2 workshop proposals. AALL accepted 2 of the program proposals and one workshop proposal. Deanna Barmakian, the incoming chair of the program committee, asked for volunteers to offer feedback on proposals for the 2005 annual meeting. She also noted that many great proposals were not accepted for 2004 and encouraged resubmission of those programs for consideration for 2005.

6. Public Relations
On behalf of Peggy McDermott, Melissa Serfass reported on the CONELL marketplace, where there was lots of activity at and interest in the RIPS-SIS table.

7. Web Page
Melissa Serfass reported that the RIPS-SIS web page has been redesigned. Pages on the life and times of Puron, the RIPS Penguin, have been added. She asked for volunteers for the committee and for a volunteer to serve as web master. She also asked the membership for ideas for new content.

8. Research Instruction
On behalf of Anne-Marie Berti, Melissa Serfass reported that in 2003-2004 the committee undertook no major projects. In 2004-2005, the committee hopes to review the Core Legal Research Competencies document (available on the RIPS-SIS web site at http://www.aallnet.org/sis/ripssis/core.html).

E. Briefs in Law Librarianship Series (BILLS)
Bobbie Studwell presented honoraria to this year’s authors of Briefs in Law Librarianship. Linda Tashbook was honored for her Survey on Licensing, and Marc Silverman was honored for his Survey on Circulation Practice and Procedures.
The Briefs in Law Librarianship Series publishes practical publications presenting policies and background information on discrete topics. New authors are always welcome.

F. AELIC Liaison Report
Jennifer Murray reported on the RIPS-SIS AELIC (Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee) liaison. She thanked the RIPS committee for their work in reviewing, on short notice, the AELIC guidelines and criteria for evaluating government web sites. The RIPS committee tested web sites using the proposed AELIC criteria, and suggested changes to the criteria based on their tests. The final AELIC criteria incorporated all of the changes suggested by the RIPS committee.

G. Introduction of New Officers
Melissa Serfass introduced the new officers, board members, and newsletter editor for 2004-2005. The new officers are:
Deanna Barmakian, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Ron Wheeler, Member-At-Large.
The newsletter editor is Jennifer Murray.

New Business

There was no new business.

Closing Statements

The outgoing Chair, Melissa Serfass, thanked all the members of the RIPS-SIS who contributed over the past year. Special thanks went to Jessie Cranford for her advice and support throughout the year. The outgoing Chair also announced the winners of the drawing for RIPS silver anniversary gift certificates from Amazon.com. The winners were: Gary Yessin and Lynn Hartke.

Incoming Chair Pamela Melton presented outgoing Chair, Melissa Serfass, with a book and video on ballroom dancing as tokens of appreciation for her service. Melissa ceremonially passed Puron the Penguin to Pamela to signal the formal beginning of her service as Chair of the RIPS SIS.

In closing remarks, SIS Chair Pamela Melton announced that AALL’s VIP (Valuable Invited Participant) program has been extended to special interest sections. This program will allow an SIS to invite non-librarians with connections to law libraries to the AALL annual meeting. AALL covers the full registration for the invitees, and the SIS covers travel costs. Each SIS can invite up to two “VIPs” in one year. An SIS can also partner with other SIS’s to invite a VIP. The Chair solicited ideas for VIPs to whom RIPS could extend invitations.

The Chair also reported on the RIPS-SIS strategic plan. The SIS will be reviewing the plan in the coming year, and will also consider whether the SIS wants or needs a vision statement or mission statement. The Chair hopes in the coming year to focus on the “Patron Services” aspect of the RIPS-SIS, and to bring more law firm and state-court-county colleagues into the SIS.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lee Ryan, RIPS-SIS Secretary

Treasurer’s Report / 2003 – 2004

Balance on hand 5/31/2003 $ 3,886.75


Dues $ 3,786.00
Sales: Teach In Kits & BILLS $ 340.00
Total Income $4,126.00


Food & Beverages (2003 meeting) $ 342.75
Newsletter (postage) $ 306.25
Promotional Items (2003 & 2004 meetings) $ 1,821.82
Postage – Elections $ 443.24
Honoraria (BILLS authors) $ 33.23
Strait Scholarship Contribution $ 600.00
Total Expenses $ 3,547.29

Excess revenues over expenses $ 578.71

Balance on hand 6/1/2004 $ 4,465.46

Respectfully submitted,
Lee Ryan
RIPS Treasurer 2003-2004