Research Instruction & Patron
Business Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, July 15, 1998, Anaheim, CA
The 1998 Business Meeting of the AALL Research Instruction & Patron
Services Special Interest Section was called to order at 1:30 p.m. by SIS
Chair, Kory Staheli (William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV), at the Anaheim
Convention Center. The minutes from the 1997 Business Meeting in Baltimore
were approved by voice vote as published in the Fall 1997 issue of RIPS
Statement of SIS Finances
RIPS Secretary/Treasurer; Gail Partin (Dickinson School of Law, Penn
State), reported that the ending balance on last year's Treasurer's Report
should be corrected to read $3,330.78 instead of $3,370.98 as of 6/30/97.
The final Treasurer's Report for July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998
Balance on hand 7-1-97
& Beverage 312.19
Balance on hand 6/30/98
Due to delays in the posting of some transactions some newsletter and
miscellaneous expenses incurred before June 30, 1998 were not posted to
the RIPS account by the end of June. Those transactions will appear as
part of next year's Treasures's Report.
RIPS-SIS Treasurer, 1997-98
Annual Report to the Membership
Out going SIS Chair, Kory Staheli, commended RIPS members for their
support os SIS activities over the past year and for the tremendous energy
they have put into projects such as the annual meeting programming and
the RIPS roundtables, the newly created Web page, the Core Legal Research
Competencies project, and the variety of public relations efforts designed
to promote our SIS. The new SIS officers for 1998-99 were introduced: Chair,
Celeste Feather (Georgetown University Law Center); Vice Chair/Chair Elect,
Kristin Gerdy (Brigham Young University); Secretary/Treasurer/Newsletter
Editor, Gail Partin (Dickinson School of Law, Penn State).
SIS COMMITTEE REPORTS
Web page Committee
Roberta (Bobbie) Studwell (Thomas M. Cooley Law School) encouraged everyone
to look at the newly constructed RIPS Web page at http://www.aallnet.org/sis/ripssis/.
The content added so far includes a "Programs" section listing AALL annual
meeting programs sponsored by RIPS for the current year and for several
past years. The sections also includes an area for new program ideas. The
Committee welcomes suggestions or submissions of information that can be
added to the site.
Public Relations and Recruitment Committee
Gail Partin reported that the 1998 National Legal Research Teach-In
enjoyed another successful campaign. There were over 633 Teach-In kits
(down only slightly from last year) distributed by West Group to law librarians
around the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the U.K. The LEXIS-NEXIS
sponsored "notepad campaign" reached record participation with over 20,050
notepads distributed. Our thanks go out to both organizations for generously
underwriting this worthwhile project.
Over the past year RIPS has had some type of article or column in almost
every issue of the AALL Spectrum. Our SIS brochure was also revised
and over 300 copies have already been distributed. In addition, a RIPS
in Anaheim sheet was given to CONELL attendees. Kristin Gerdy (Brigham
Young University) unveiled the new RIPS SIS colors and our unexpected mascot.
The SIS colors, blue and gold, originated from an embroidered RIPS
sticker that was created and distributed during the annual meeting. A misspelling
on the RIPS exhibit hall table snowballed into the idea for an SIS mascot,
a penguin named Puron!
Research Instruction Committee
Darcy Kirk (University of Connecticut) reported that the Committee is
working on the final edits and introductory statements of the Core Legal
Research Competencies document passed on from the Research Instruction
Caucus last year. Their goal is to present it to the AALL Executive Board
as a document that can be used as a standard of competence for new lawyers.
A listserv of interested persons and Committee members has been set up
to facilitate discussion. The Committee welcomes any others who are interested
in this project. The document can be downloaded from AALLNet or copies
can be obtained from Dennis Sears (Brigham Young University).
Patron Services Committee
Marc Silverman (University of Pittsburgh) indicated that the Committee
was searching for a project and solicited ideas through law-lib. Two ideas
were suggested: 1) Compile a directory of academic document delivery services.
(The Document Delivery Caucus is already doing this.) 2) Set up an ILL
service to run on the RIPS Web page. The Committee decided that this was
technologically complex and would require a long term daily commitment
which is unrealistic. The Committee did come up with an idea, however,
regarding the many ILL requests that are posted over law-lib. They suggest
that we put on our RIPS Web page a list of OPAC links and publicize them
so others can go there before posting to law-lib.
This year RIPS sponsored four roundtable discussion groups as part
of the annual meeting program schedule: Reference, Interlibrary Loan, Circulation,
and Research Instruction. Marc reported that the average attendance was
10-12 people who came together to share ideas and discuss problems. All
the participants felt the sessions were worthwhile, filling a need for
informal conversation on issues affecting their daily work. They look forward
to meeting again next year.
Gary Hill (Brigham Young University) thanked Committee members for producing
an excellent slate of candidates. He also thanked the candidates for their
service and encouraged those who were not elected to run again next year.
Kristin Gerdy reported that Kelly Browne (University of Tennessee) submitted
15 program proposals for the Anaheim meeting and 7 were accepted. Scott
Child's (Cornell University) program, Broadening the Horizon: Evaluating
the Use of For-Profit, Web-Based Legal Information databases, won an
award for "Best Proposal." RIPS is getting a reputation for excellent programming,
thanks to the enormous dedication of our members.
Melissa Serfass (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) is the new
1998-99 Program Committee Chair with four new committee members, Jessie
Cranford (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Felise Thorpe (University
of Utah College of Law), Coral Henning (Sacramento County Law Library)
and Chris Bloodworth (Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation Library).
They already have 15 proposals in the drafting stage and encourage other
new proposal ideas.
Update on Briefs in Law librarianship Series
Series editor Bobbie Studwell announced that Volume 2, Survey on
Legal Research Instruction by Gary Hill has just been published. Gary
presented a short description of his survey. Final copy for Volume 3, on
disaster planning by Chris Anglim (South Texas College of Law, Texas A&M
University), is expected to be completed in August. Volume 4 will be a
survey by Ann Puckett (University of Georgia) concerning computer services
and staffing needs. The survey will go out to librarians via e-mail and
will not be limited to members of RIPS. Only one survey per institution
Gail Partin made a special plea for a newsletter publisher; someone
who will take responsibility for the printing and distribution of each
issue. We also hope to incorporate ways to reduce publication expenses.
Newsletter deadlines for volume 21 will be the 15th of the month,
in September, December, March, and May. Volunteers were encouraged to sign
up on sheets being circulated or to submit articles to Gail via e-mail
Program Proposals for 1999 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Celeste Feather named Kristin Gerdy and Melissa Serfass to be co-chairs
of the 1999 Program Committee. They are currently drafting proposals on
legal research & writing, training users, staff motivation, quality
of work life, information policies, teaching continuing legal education
and the reference interview. They will be re-submitting Darcy Kirk's program
on the Americans with Disabilities Act that was postponed in Anaheim. August
17, 1998 is the deadline for program proposals. The 1999 meeting will be
restructured to include four days of programming and every effort will
be given to avoid conflicts.
NEW BUSINESS - Incoming Chair Celeste Feather
It is time for RIPS-SIS to create a strategic planning document which will
articulate our goals and mission statement. The process works best with
an outside facilitator. Celeste hopes to coordinate a planning session
with RIPS members immediately before the Washington, D.C. meeting.
AALLNet has offered to set up a RIPS listserv. We need to designate
a list owner before this can happen. The list owner should be able to make
a 3-4 hour per week commitment for at least six months.
Other volunteer opportunities are available. We need assistance with
Web site maintenance, a chair of the Public Relations Committee, committee
members, a newsletter publisher, and a Nominations Committee chair who
can start recruiting candidates this Fall. All of the SIS's have agreed
to complete their elections by Spring.
The RIPS Business Meeting will be scheduled earlier in the annual meeting
next year. The SIS's agreed to coordinate their schedules so that there
will be fewer conflicts. We will also continue the roundtable groups and
even offer additional groups if members request them.
The future of the RIPS newsletter need to be carefully evaluated. As
expenses mount we will need to consider other options such as electronic
delivery or a Web format. It may be helpful to devise a survey regarding
the newsletter and other SIS services that can be used in the strategic
Open Discussion Forum
A suggestion was made that we consider using some of our SIS funds to
offer travel grants for the annual meetings.
The Business Meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.
1998 Research Instruction & Patron Services
Business Meeting Attendees
Scott Childs, Cornell Law Library
Celeste Feather, Georgetown University
Kathryn Fitzhugh, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Kristin Gerdy, Brigham Young University
Janet Ann Hedin, Detroit College of Law
Gary Hill, Brigham Young University
D.R.Jones, Case Western Reserve University
Darcy Kirk, University of Connecticut
Peggy McDermott, St. Louis University
Monica Ortale, South Texas College of Law
Gigi Panagotacos, Florida Coastal School of Law
Gail Partin, Dickenson School of Law
Lee Ryan, University of San Francisco
Joan Shear, Boston College Law Library
Marc Silverman, University of Pittsburgh
Kory Staheli, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Bobbie Studwell, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Sue Welsh, McGeorge School of Law
AALL Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, July 1998
by Mon Yin Lung, University of Kansas
The Circulation Roundtable discussion was held at noon on July 14, Tuesday.
We, as a small group, had a very lively discussion and covered various
aspects of Circulation and Public Services. The roundtable took on a life
of it own once we started. I did not need to bring up any pre-planned topics
During that one short hour we talked about carrel assignment and management,
student assistants management, faculty check-out policy, and more. The
whole group just wished that we could have more time to exchange information.
Mere comparing notes was exciting. We all look forward to a similar opportunity
next year. However, attendants suggested that 1) if possible, try not to
schedule the three RIPS discussion (ILL, Reference, and Circulation) at
the same time; 2) Several people noted that if we have the same time slot
in the future, we could specify that this is a brown bag discussion so
they don't have to forgo lunch and others don't have to choose between
attending and eating.
by Marc Silverman, University of Pittsburgh
The reference roundtable attracted about a dozen participants, primarily
from academic institutions. The discussion started off with a brief overview
of the electronic reference service provided by the University of Pittsburgh
through the Jurist website. There were many questions and comments about
this experiment with one or two members describing similar projects. The
meeting moved on to tackle specific problems that participants were having
at their home institutions. Although the meeting only lasted an hour many
of the attendees commented that the spontaneity of the wide-ranging discussion
was a nice change from the traditional packaged programs.
by Darcy Kirk, University of Connecticut
On July 12, 1998 I led a Research Instruction Roundtable. Thirteen
eager public services librarians came together to discuss common concerns
related to research instruction. We talked about teaching LEXIS and WESTLAW
on the Web, TWEN vs. Web Course in a Box, and various training programs
that different schools are offering. Discussion was lively.
In addition to research instruction issues, I introduced the need to
form a group to finalize the document first prepared by the Research Instruction
Caucus, entitled Core Legal Research Competencies. About half of
the group assembled volunteered to be part of that effort.* It was agreed
that the discussion was useful enough to repeat the meeting next summer
* Anyone reading this who would like to join the group, please let
Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery
by Monica Ortale, South Texas College of Law
"But, it's for the source book!" "I have to have it from the original!"
Sound familiar? How do you deal with requests for materials from the
Law review? This was the main topic of discussion at the roundtable and
it was interesting to hear the solutions applied by the various libraries.
We fine them $2. If they approach us about ordering an item and we check
the online system and we own it, they're fined. Three strikes and no ILL
requests will be processed for them.
Offer a mandatory training class to all incoming law review folks.
Law review must provide the full text of the article, not just the footnotes.
Seeing the material quoted in the text often gives a different lead in
locating the piece than what is in the footnote.
Several of the faculty members send a copy of all their esoteric cites
along with the final article. Bring it to the attention of the faculty
member that you had a great deal of difficulty in obtaining this item,
calling to the depths of the archives, or whatever. Sending a copy to the
publishing law review saves everyone a lot of work.
Find out where the author lives. If they are in academia, then maybe their
library has it, or their librarian had to go to the archives and can now
give you a lead.
We all realize that it's not so much the requests for the texts etc.,
available on OCLC or RLIN, but the truly hard to find, the unpublished
reports from committees, of which the author was a member. These ideas
are just a sample.
What do you do to cope with these requests? How do you train your law
review students? I'd like to know and I'm sure many others are interested.
If you contact me using any of the methods above I will consolidate for
New RIPS-SIS Listserv
The new Research Instruction and Patron Services SIS listserv started
operations on Tuesday, August 11. A welcoming message was distributed to
all of the current RIPS members with valid e-mail addresses in the AALL
membership database, and these individuals were automatically subscribed
to the new listserv. If you received this newsletter issue as a RIPS member
and were not automatically subscribed to the listserv, then AALL does not
have a valid e-mail address for you. You may want to send updated information
If you are not subscribed to the listserv but would like to be, send
an e-mail message to email@example.com. Leave the subject
line blank. In the text of the message, type "subscribe rips-sis YourFirstName
YourLastName" without the quote marks. The server should respond to your
request quickly. To send messages to the list subscribers, use the address
Further information and options to set up your listserv subscription
can be found on the AALLNET site at http://www.aallnet.org/discuss/listproc.asp.
AALL has done a nice job and performed a valuable service by creating a
user-friendly page to help with these routine matters.
This new means of correspondence will help to build a new type of community
among SIS members. Watch for postings about SIS projects begin, requests
for volunteers to help with SIS activities, and information about AALL
events that have significant impact on our SIS. The list also should enable
discussion throughout the year that will be helpful to all members as we
face our daily challenges.
Coral Henning from Sacramento County Law Library has graciously agreed
to serve as listowner for RIPS so that the list could get started this
fall. Many thanks go to her for her willingness to volunteer for something
without knowing exactly what she was getting into!
How many AALL Special Interest Sections have official colors and a
mascot? The answer is at least one--RIPS!
The RIPS colors, blue and gold, were unveiled on embroidered stickers
distributed to members and RIPS supporters at the Anaheim Annual Meeting.
The mascot also made his debut in Anaheim, but unlike the colors, which
were determined in advance, the RIPS mascot made his presence known in
a more unexpected way.
Keeping with AALL protocol, RIPS Chair Kory Staheli set up the RIPS
booth in the exhibit hall at Anaheim. What Kory failed to notice was that
Headquarters had made a slight typographical error on the sign. Instead
of being hailed as the Research Instruction and Patron Services SIS, our
sign proclaimed us the Research Instruction and Puron Services SIS. The
error was discovered during the Opening Reception, but by that time it
had been seen by numerous AALL attendees--it was just too much to pass
up! Incoming Chair, Celeste Feather, decided that Puron must be RIPS's
new mascot. The question remained, "What in the world is a Puron???"
Fate brought the answer the following day. The complimentary copy of
USA Today had emblazoned on its back page in full color: "Indoor Weather
Breakthrough! PURON: the environmentally sound refrigerant." Now we were
getting somewhere--Puron was a cold weather creature--but what???
While shopping in the Mall of Orange, incoming vice chair, Kristin
Gerdy, was finally introduced to Puron--a penguin with just enough fire
in his eyes to fit perfectly with RIPS.
The RIPS members attending the Business Meeting in Anaheim were able to
get acquainted with Puron, who now proudly boasts a blue and gold RIPS
sticker across his chest. Puron now resides in the Howard W. Hunter Law
Library in Provo, Utah, but is anxiously awaiting the Washington, D.C.
meeting and a chance to travel the country with RIPS members.