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FCIL Newsletter
vol. 14, no. 1: October 1999

From the Chair
Katherine Topulos
Duke University School of Law Library

It was great to see so many of you in Washington. As you know the FCIL-SIS presented five successful and well-attended programs this year, as well as an all-day workshop at the Library of Congress on the acquisition of foreign law materials. The members of the SIS who proposed, coordinated, and spoke at these programs and at the workshop all deserve a round of applause.  The workshop, which was aimed at experienced librarians, was filled to capacity, indicating a desire for programs at an advanced level. The Education Committee annual meeting report in this newsletter describes the programs that have been proposed for next year. As soon as the Education Committee learns which program have been accepted, the list will be posted on the FCIL-SIS web site <http://www.lawsch.uga.edu/fcil/fcil.html>.

In addition to its programs, the SIS conducted several working group and committee meetings, culminating in the annual business meeting. You can find reports from the chairs of these groups  and committees as well as minutes from the business meeting in this issue of the newsletter.

The SIS also presented two special events: an excellent program about Australian law and legal research by our colleague Ruth Bird of the University of Melbourne Law Library, and a very informative visit to the U.S.  Department of State to meet staff members from the Office of the Legal Adviser and the Treaty Affairs division. Thanks are due to Odell Dehart and Tracy Thompson who organized this visit.

The FCIL-SIS activities table was one of the liveliest and most visited tables at the meeting. Thanks to all who manned the table, and especially to Jean Davis and Victoria Szymczak for their creative marketing ideas.

The Strategic Planning Committee worked hard over the past year to prepare a draft strategic plan for the Washington meeting. This draft raised important issues we should all be thinking about, and provides a blueprint for the future. Even in its preliminary form the draft has had an impact on programming ideas for next year, and has inspired renewed energy and enthusiasm in many of the working groups. The text of the draft strategic plan is available on the FCIL-SIS web site at http://www.lawsch.uga.edu/fcil/draftstratplan.html . Kudos to Chair Margareta Horiba and the rest of the committee: Charlotte Bynum, Lucia Diamond, Lenore Glanz,  Marci Hoffman, David McFadden, Jack McNeil, Gail Partin, Amber Lee Smith, Tracy Thompson, Dan Wade, and Stephanie Weigmann.

The next step in the strategic planning process is to get input from all the members of the SIS. Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find a survey from the Strategic Planning Committee asking for your comments and ideas. Please respond. It is very important that they hear as many opinions as possible. The Committee plans to get together before the annual meeting next summer in Philadelphia to hammer out the final version of our strategic plan, and soon after they will present a plan for the entire SIS to vote on.

I will be attending a leadership retreat for new SIS chairs organized by AALL on October 15-16.  Please let me know if there are any issues you�d like me to bring up with the AALL leadership while I�m there. My e-mail address is topulos@law.duke.edu.

Finally, congratulations to Tracy Thompson who welcomed the latest addition to her family, Hayden Piers, into the world on August 4, 1999.

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