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FCIL Newsletter, February 1999
v. 13, no. 2

Message from the Chair
Maria I. Smolka-Day
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Biddle Law Library

It is rather difficult in the middle of  winter to think about the hot Washington summer.Yet, preparations for the next Annual Conference are going on, and I would like to draw your attention to a few things of importance to FCIL SIS members planning for July�s meeting in Washington.

As you know from the last newsletter, out of eleven proposals submitted by our SIS, five programs and one workshop  were approved by the AMPSC for the Annual Conference. Although we fully supported all of our proposals and wanted them all to be accepted, we had to understand the constraints of general programming.We as a group should be particularly happy that the Committee approved an all-day workshop on foreign law: �Meet the Legal Specialists: Expert Advice on Research and Acquisitions of Foreign Law.� The workshop will take place in the Library of Congress to take advantage of the unique resources and expertise  available
only in this institution. We would not be able to repeat such a program in any other place. In a certain sense this workshop is a continuation of the extremely popular Institute on Foreign Law organized by the FCIL SIS in LC few years ago. Unlike the first program, aimed at beginners, this year�s workshop is planned as an advanced session concentrating primarily on materials in the vernacular. It does not mean, however, that it would be useful only to librarians with unusually rich language skills. It might be even more important for those who
have to deal with materials in languages they do not know. After all, who is fluent in all languages?

I hope that many of you will sign up to meet the LC legal specialists at the workshop to demonstrate that advanced programs in foreign or international law are in great demand.  Please bring with you some of your toughest foreign law reference or acquisition problems. It will be an interactive program which should help each of us in our work. Please notice that, due to LC constraints, this workshop will take place on Friday, July 16, 1999, one day earlier than most other Conference events.

In addition to its programs, the SIS conducts several working group and committee meetings culminating in the annual Business Meeting. On the basis of the preliminary schedule, it looks like we will be able to conduct most of these meetings on Sunday and have our Business Meeting on Monday afternoon. It should help us better to achieve our objectives. In addition we will be able to present something new, namely our own SIS program, during which our
guest and colleague from Australia, Ruth Bird of the University of Melbourne Law Library, will talk about Australian law and legal research with some references to New Zealand�s system. The program is scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, at 5:00 p.m. We hope that it will attract some �Anglo-American librarians� who might otherwise not be interested in foreign law. Since this is a �private� FCIL SIS program, it is not going to be listed among �official�
AALL programs. Therefore, we all should try to publicize it as much as possible.

Our Strategic Planning Committee is working hard to prepare a draft of a Plan for the Meeting in Washington. Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find that the Chair of this Committee, Margareta Horiba, has asked for your input. Please respond to her appeal. It is very important that they hear as many opinions as possible.

You will also find in this issue a letter from AALL President Jim Heller responding to the FCIL SIS Statement made during our last year Business Meeting. Although the text of the letter has been sent to all members through the FCIL-SIS listserve a few months ago, we think that it should also, for the record, be reproduced in this Newsletter.

I end with the best news. Please join me in congratulating our Secretary/Treasurer, Jonathan Franklin, on the occasion of the birth of his son, Noah Miller Franklin, who came to this world on January 20, 1999. Our best wishes to Noah and his parents.

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