Vol. 20, No. 1 (Fall 1997)

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RIPS Law Librarian
vol. 20, no. 1
Fall 1997  

Message From The Chair
Kory D. Staheli  

Welcome to the first issue of the newly designed RIPS Newsletter!  It seems only appropriate that we have a new Newsletter to begin the new academic year, after all, we have a new name for our SIS, a new executive board, several new committees and committee chairs, and many new members.  There also appears to be a new enthusiasm among RIPS members.  Hopefully we can use that enthusiasm to accomplish much good during the coming year.

If you haven't been active in the SIS for a while, come back and take a look at the new things we are doing!  If  you are new to the SIS and haven't taken the opportunity to get involved yet, do it now!  New and rewarding experiences await you!

The RIPS Executive Board has been working diligently since spring to come up with a plan for the coming year.  That plan was finalized in Baltimore at our Executive Board Meeting.  A brief overview of the plan was presented to those in attendance at the RIPS Business Meeting on Sunday, where committees were also formed and charges given.  A more detailed overview of what we would like to accomplish during the coming year is set forth below.

First and foremost, we would like to get a RIPS Web Page up and functioning.  Bobbie Studwell is our new Web Page Committee Chair.  Bobbie and her committee will be working closely with Jason  Hinkle at Headquarters to develop a website that can be used to both communicate with and publicize our SIS.  Current plans are to house the page on AALLNET.  If you would like to be involved with the Web Page please contact Bobbie.  

Second, we want to put more emphasis on publicizing RIPS activities.  Effective publicity will keep our members informed, and should also help attract new members to the SIS.  As others in AALL see the exciting things we are involved involved in, we hope they will want to become involved too.  Gail Partin, Kristin Gerdy, and Karen Brunner will be working throughout the year to keep RIPS in the public view.  Gail has some terrific new ideas for the Newsletter.  Kristin will be writing a monthly column for the Special Interest Section News that appears in the AALL Spectrum.  The Legal Research Teach-In, which always provides good publicity for the SIS, will go forward again this year under Gail and Karen's able leadership, with assistance from Kristin.   We also hope to find time to revamp the old Reader Services SIS pamphlet which, when completed, will be used to help introduce potential and new members to the SIS.

Third, we plan to continue our strong tradition of developing and sponsoring quality programs that are of interest to RIPS members.  Kelly Browne, RIPS Program Chair, and her committee have been working diligently since May and have submitted many excellent Program Proposals for the 1998 Annual Meeting.  Take a look at Kelly's report later in the Newsletter and I'm sure you will be as impressed as I am with what they have accomplished.  The next issue of the Newsletter will have an update on which programs were accepted so that you can start making plans for Anaheim.

Fourth, we have asked the Research Instruction Committee, chaired by Darcy Kirk, to come up with recommendations for carrying on the good work done by the Research Instruction Caucus.  A priority for the committee will be reviewing RIC's working draft "Core Legal Research Competencies: A Compendium of Skills and Values as Defined in the ABA's MacCrate Report" and formulating recommendations on issues such as endorsement, publication, implementation, etc.  Mary Brandt Jensen will be setting up a discussion group so the committee can continue working on the project throughout the year. In addition, RIPS has submitted a program proposal dealing specifically with the RIC document that we hope will be accepted for the Anaheim Annual Meeting.  If accepted, we will use the time to introduce the document to AALL members and to explain what we would like to see done with it in the future.

Fifth, and finally, we want to be more responsive to member needs and concerns in the area of patron services.  Mark Silverman, Chair of the Patron Services Committee, will be working closely with the Board throughout the year to come up with ways to better serve our members.  Many of you have expressed concern over not having enough time to meet with other SIS members in your particular areas of interest to share information, discuss  common problems, generate new ideas etc.  In response to this concern, RIPS will be sponsoring round table discussions at next year's Annual Meeting.  Currently we are planning round tables in the following areas: Reference, Circulation, Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery, and Research Instruction.  These Round tables will be listed in the Annual Meeting Program and will be scheduled at times separate from the Business Meeting.  Each discussion will be lead by a RIPS Patron Services Subcommittee Chair and will focus on areas of interest to RIPS members.  If you would like to have input regarding discussion items for the round tables or be involved in some other way, please contact Mark. The enthusiasm among RIPS members in Baltimore generated great momentum.  I hope we can use that momentum to help us accomplish our goals for the coming year.  If you haven't joined a  committee yet, it's not too late.  Just pick up the telephone and call one of our committee chairs, or better yet, send them an e-mail.  We welcome your participation!