FCIL Newsletter, October 1995

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FCIL Newsletter / October 1995


Programs Approved for 1996

Marci Hoffman, co-chair
University of Minnesota Law Library

Here is a summary of the programs requested and approved for the 1996 AALL Annual Meeting.

The FCIL SIS submitted five original program requests to the Education Committee in August. The programs were:

  1. Human Rights Worldwide: When the Message is Hard to Deliver -- Refugees, Women, and Sexual Minorities (a three-part program);
  2. Doing Business in Africa;
  3. New Developments in French Law;
  4. Filtering the Net; and
  5. Fashion/Style and the Law.

Two of the five were accepted: Human Rights Worldwide--Refugees, and Filtering the Net.

The Education Committee had fewer open slots this year, since each SIS had been given two automatic program slots. So, all in all, we did pretty well this year.

We co-sponsored three programs, and all of the co-sponsored programs were selected:

  1. The Global Harmonization of Copyright Laws (with Copyright Committee);
  2. Solving Foreign and International Requests with Sources in Your Library (with Reader Services SIS); and
  3. Hong Kong 1997 (with Asian/American Law Librarians Caucus).

We are proposing two programs for the "SIS-Selected Programs": Human Rights Worldwide -- Women, and Doing Business in Africa.

Since the three-part human rights program was co-sponsored by Social Responsibilities SIS, we asked them to submit the last part of this program on sexual minorities as one of their SIS-selected programs. They agreed to do so.

Therefore, barring any unforeseen circumstances (or a veto from the Education Committee), we will be sponsoring all three parts of the human rights worldwide program (with the co-sponsorship of the Social Responsibilities and Diversity Committee).

We will have a total of four programs and three co-sponsored programs at the 1996 annual meeting.

Some Observations on Practice and Issues in Program Development

by Jolande Goldberg, co-chair
Library of Congress

For the 1995 convention in Pittsburgh, we had quite a number of good ideas collected -- some during the convention, some phoned or faxed in. This time around, we had worked out a format or formula for preparing the programs more fully for acceptance to avoid the disappointments of the two previous years, when we had offered very good program proposals which in some instances were not accepted because they lacked full development. This had been emphasized by the AALL program chair in Seattle and should be observed under all circumstances. Several points should be restated here:

a. Objectives have to be stated clearly by the program's proposing party. It is quite a lot of work for the co-chairs to supplement, or "massage," information into the shape, intellectual and otherwise, needed to make a program succeed. Observing the given dateline and deadlines is a must and is an obligation not only of the co-chairs, but also of the proposing party. It was again very difficult to get the programs all cleaned up and faxed in time to Headquarters.

b. The ranking process was again under fire. We had a clear ranking established, but it was not followed through at the 1994/95 final program selection by the AALL Education Committee.

c. Merle Slyhoff's 1995 newly introduced device that all SISes have automatically two slots, has raised the following questions:

  • How do we want to work the evaluation?
  • Are there new procedures needed?
  • Do we want to continue with the old ranking process?
  • How do we deal with proposals above the two?

d. Program planning should be started earlier. We have to bring program ideas to the convention. I have found that it is necessary to get on speakers' calendars early, particularly if a top gun is wanted (e.g., the Director of Oceans at the State Department has a one year calendar; this means that, according to our dateline, he would have to be contacted in May the year before the Annual Meeting of the following year!). This will take very inventive maneuvering, given the way AALL is operating at present. We should explore whether the "new way" of two fixed slots per SIS gives us the flexibility to work on at least one long-range program.

e. The 1995 final official AALL program did not identify the proposing SIS or the sponsoring SIS. We have to insist that AALL return to its previous practice. This would help us establish a list of accepted or only proposed programs for future reference.

I would like to disseminate some other good news: the establishment, or rather re-institution, of the FCIL SIS International and Intergovernmental Documents Issues Working Group under the stewardship of Ellen Schaffer as chair. It is intended as a forum for discussion and cooperation by international documents specialists, especially on IGO documents. I am hoping that this committee will attract our IGO documents experts, since its advice would be of great importance for the final, still missing component of the new schedules KZ (Law of Nations) and JZ (International Relations): a proper treatment for the document sets of major International Organizations, such as the UN System, OAS, EC, and other regional organizations.

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