Message from the Chair
I am so pleased to begin my term as Chair of SR-SIS and write my first column. Former Chair Stacy Etheredge calls the SR-SIS “small, but mighty.” Former Chair C.J. Pippins used the phrase, “the social conscience of AALL.” Well, we definitely lived up to both maxims at the AALL Annual Meeting this year. SR-SIS members worked tirelessly to educate, publicize our mission, entertain, and help others. We presented traditional programs, coffee talks, poster sessions, and roundtables. We publicized our mission with the poster board in the exhibit hall and the pronoun ribbons we distributed. We entertained with our always fantastic reception on Sunday night. We helped others with our book drive and toiletries collection. In fact, we were so fabulous at AALL that I’m sure I have neglected to list all of the great things we did and I apologize for anything I left out. I want to sincerely thank every member who assisted in making this year’s annual meeting successful.
We have an ambitious year ahead of us. We are working on many projects, including the update of two SR-SIS publications: Sexual Orientation and the Law: A Research Bibliography and Recommended Collections for Prison and Other Institution Law Libraries. We also created two ad hoc committees: the Bylaws Committee and the Education Committee. The Bylaws Committee will complete an overhaul of our bylaws, both to update them and make sure they are still in compliance with AALL requirements. The Education Committee will focus on assisting our members in creating programming that supports the SR-SIS mission. Also be on the lookout for a discussion on a possible name change for the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues.
I look forward to working with all of you and another productive year of being the small, but mighty social conscience of AALL.
University of Nebraska
Chair, SR-SIS 2016-2017
From the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues Chair
The Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues ended the 2015-2016 term on a high note. The Alan Holoch Memorial Grant Fund, which helps SR-SIS members pay for the costs of attending the annual conference, was able to fund two applicants this year. CJ Pipins and Druet Klugh were selected as the 2016 recipients. The Committee also hosted a successful fundraiser in Chicago for the Holoch Fund. This year’s fundraiser at the beautiful MileNorth lounge raised $750. Attendees were delighted to find that the bar was made from an old card catalog!
Past Committee chairs Jane Larrington and CJ Pipins organized a wildly successful effort to make the annual conference a safer place by raising awareness of the issue of pronoun assumptions. People often assume a person’s pronoun by their appearance – this can be very uncomfortable to transgender and non-gender-conforming people. Pronoun ribbons, which are attached to the conference name badge, help combat those assumptions. They are worn even when a person’s outward appearance matches the assumed gender identity because it helps normalize the idea that one should never assume. Many people who are not SR-SIS members came by to pick up ribbons at the SR-SIS poster area and thanked us for providing them. The Chicago host committee also provided them at their table. The SCLGI plans to provide them again at the future and hopefully make them even more widely available.
The SCLGI is embarking upon a busy 2016-2017 term. Dana Neacsu and David Holt were selected as co-Editors-in-Chief to lead the revision of the Sexual Orientation and the Law bibliography. Last published by Hein in 2006, it is a “flagship” project for Committee. All SR-SIS members are welcome to contribute – look for more information from Dana and David soon.
The SCLGI is also considering a change to its name. The SR-SIS declined to change the name in 2007, but much has changed in the world of sexual orientation and gender identity since that time, and members of the Committee had frequently raised the idea of another vote in the last few years. Volunteers are working on position papers on the various name change possibilities, with a plan to hold a vote on the name change sometime early 2017. All SR-SIS members are eligible for vote. We invite you to join the discussion in the AALL My Community dedicated to the name change (just search for SCLGI name change).
Sara V. Pic
Law Library of Louisiana
From the Standing Committee on Library Services to Prisoners Chair
The Standing Committee on Law Library Services to Prisoners had, as always, a very productive and spirited meeting at the Annual Meeting in Chicago. We discussed ongoing projects and brainstormed ideas for future projects. Over the last year, the committee continued to make minor updates to its flagship database of law libraries across the country that serve prisoners, after a major updating project was conducted in 2014. It also updated its list of law schools with programs and clinics that assist prisoners and others in the criminal justice system, and is currently working on a list of organizations across the country that focus on donating books to prisons and jails (both legal and nonlegal). The Committee is also embarking on two very large and important projects – a revision of its Recommended Collections for Prison Law Libraries, spearheaded by Kimberli Kelmor, and a comprehensive survey of resources and services offered in federal and state prison law libraries. We look forward to another year of continued hard work in this area.
Stacy Etheredge, Chair 2016-2017
Reference and Instruction Librarian
University of Idaho College of Law (Boise Campus)
From the Standing Committee on Disability Issues Chair
Over the last year the standing committee has worked on projects primarily focusing on mental health issues. For the second year in a row, we participated in the Five Topics in Five Days online discussion which was co-sponsored by the GLL/LISP/RIPS/SR SISs. That forum led to a robust discussion on how library policies can improve or hinder services and access to patrons with disabilities. Members of the standing committee have also began collecting materials to be compiled into disability issues annotated bibliographies for other librarians to reference. A brief business meeting was held at the AALL Annual Meeting in Chicago to discuss the future of the standing committee and reflect on some of its prior work.
I’m also happy to say that the standing committee is now under new leadership with the fantastic AJ Blechner (email@example.com) taking the helm. AJ has already established monthly calls to get working on projects for the standing committee to tackle, and has a lot of great plans for the standing committee. If you would like to get more, I’m sure AJ would love to hear from you.
While under AJ’s leadership, I hope to help the standing committee continue its mission and continue to provide opportunities for thought and discussion on how we can better serve patrons and colleagues who have disabilities.
Student Services & Outreach Librarian
University of Colorado Law School
Chair, Standing Committee on Disability Issues 2015-2016
From the Committee on Environmental Sustainability Chair
The new, fifteen member committee on environmental sustainability had a telephone meeting on Wednesday, 9/14. The main issues discussed were possible educational programs on sustainability in law libraries or library organizations and how to reach out to the AALL staff and board to plan for and work together on sustainability initiatives. These ideas evolved from the goals set out in the recently passed AALL Resolution on Sustainability in Law Libraries. (http://www.aallnet.org/about-us/what-we-do/resolutions/resolution-on-sustainability-in-law-libraries/)
Two possible educational programs were discussed. One idea was to offer a program on how law librarians can take leadership roles in organizational commitment and action for sustainability. The best format for this type of program would probably be a regular conference program and/or a webinar. The other idea would be to offer a panel of “experts” to share practical sustainability tips with each other. The best format for this might be a round table discussion format.
The committee is interested in learning about current AALL sustainability efforts and how to interact with and assist AALL on new initiatives. The committee plans on reaching out to the board to find out how best to interact with staff on this issue.
For more information on the activities of the committee, please check for meeting minutes and guides to be published on the committee web page: http://www.aallnet.org/srsis/resources-publications/environmental-sustainability/ or contact David Selden, Chair.
National Indian Law Library/NARF
Chair, Committee on Environmental Sustainability, 2016-2017
Review: Policy Update
On the cloudy, rainy afternoon of Sunday, July 17, the AALL Public Policy Update was convened. (You can listen to some of this session and download handouts on the conference website.)
First to the dais was Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at AALL. The Government Relations Office, she said, acted as a node in a hexagon connecting (in no particular order) GRO, the executive board, the members, the SISs, the chapters, and the committees. She then outlined AALL’s policy priorities for the current, 114th Congress:
- Access to government information
- Access to justice
- Balance in copyright
- Commitment to openness
- Protection of privacy
For someone talking about the 114th Congress, Emily sure sounded optimistic.
Then came a slightly confusing segue to the breakout sessions: the attendees were instructed to clump into three groups so that representatives of AALL’s three policy committees could spend 15 minutes or so of more-intimate time with each. Those representatives were:
- Connie Lenz, of the University of Minnesota Law Library, and Erik Beck, of the University of Colorado–Boulder William A. Wise Law Library, respectively the outgoing and incoming chairs of the Digital Access to Legal Information Committee.
- Peggy Roebuck Jarrett, of the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library, and Richard Leiter, of the University of Nebraska Schmid Law Library, respectively the outgoing and incoming chairs of the Government Relations Committee
- Kelly Leong, of the UCLA Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library, and Pam Brannon, of the Georgia State University Law Library, respectively the outgoing and incoming chairs of the Copyright Committee.
My group was first visited by Connie and Erik. They spent the bulk of their 15 minutes discussing their committee’s State Online Legal Information site. This is a handy tool that runs down whether the state-maintained online versions of the primary law of each state conforms to best practices. For instance, is the online version of the law official? Is it authenticated? Does the state abjure copyright in it?
These concerns are addressed in the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), for which, naturally, DALIC advocates. To quote the GRO’s resource page on the act, UELMA “is a uniform law that addresses many of the concerns posed by the publication of state primary legal material online. UELMA provides a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form.” Connie and Erik explained that this year Arizona has become the lucky 13th state to enact UELMA, and that legislators in 5 states (now 6) have introduced the act.
Finally, Connie and Erik mentioned DALIC’s Guide to Evaluating Legal Information Online, which the committee had just revised in July. This document is intended to acquaint lay browsers and researchers with some of the pitfalls of looking up the law online. But it’s worth a look-through by us professionals as well, not least to remind us that those lay browsers and researchers—who generally don’t get their legal knowledge from Westlaw or from any officially sanctioned primary source—deserve to know how to look at what they’re looking at.
The committee representatives shifted around the room clockwise, or possibly counterclockwise. Peggy and Rich visited us next. As befitted the Government Relations Committee, they passed outone-pagers on three of their current priorities: funding for the Government Publishing Office and the Library of Congress; reforms to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (via H.R. 699, now before the Senate); and public access to Congressional Research Service reports (via H.R. 4702 and S. 2639—and, introduced as many of us were packing for Chicago, H.R. 5876).
The representatives shifted once more, bringing to us Kelly and Pam. They mentioned theone-pagers on relevant IP issues, hosted on the GRO’s site, that the Copyright Committee helps maintain. The committee also maintains a model copyright policy for law firms, which it recently updated after 10 years.
Kelly and Pam engaged us in a (literal) roundtable discussion of a couple of recent rumbles or currents in the copyright world, including thehopeful resolution of IT difficulties in the Copyright Office and the possibility of of an ASCAP-/BMI-like extended licensing system for print materials. They also shared with us, discreetly, the gist of their recent, off-the-record phone conversation with the Copyright Office on the possible revision of section 108 of the Copyright Act, the “library exemption.”
After some more inside baseball of that sort, Emily announced that it was awards time. The roving representatives got to sit and two awards were given. First, the Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award waspresented to Sandra Levin, of the LA Law Library, for her efforts in getting California’s S.B. 711 passed, saving funding for county law libraries and, in so doing, raising awareness of their perennial funding plight. Second, the Public Access to Government Information Award was presented to Florida Academic Law Libraries (FALL), an organization comprising 12 libraries, for its multidecade-and-counting efforts to collect Florida Supreme Court records and briefs—once on microform, now electronically—and distribute them to all Florida law libraries. Accepting the Oakley Award for FALL was Elizabeth Farrell Clifford, of the Florida State University College of Law Research Center.
With those two brief speeches the session ended, on a pleasingly upbeat note that, who knows, might have created a future activist or two.
U.S. Department of Justice Main Library
Part-Time Reference Librarian
George Mason University Law Library
Review: Diversity Symposium: Exploring Resources and Library Services to Better Serve the LGBT Community
The Diversity Symposium at the 2016 Annual Meeting was an exciting bounty of themes and issues from start to finish. There were smart people talking about complex ideas, sharing stories and experiences, and even some interactive multimedia. Librarians have always tried to be in tune with the diverse populations they serve and everyone who attended this program surely left with something to think about.
The first speaker, Steven Alexandre da Costa pulled on our heart strings by showing a video that illustrates some of the struggles LGBT people face, such as coming out and marriage equality. As some of us wiped away the tears Steven explored an array of maps from the ilga.org website. The maps Using the maps one can locate the nations of the world in which relationships between people of the same sex are criminalized. They even include information about the maximum sentences applied to those found guilty of such offenses. Another map showed the nations of the world that offer recognition to same-sex relationships, and whether that recognition is equal to or inferior to marriage. The various levels and forms of protection offered to members of the LGBT community across the globe was particularly interesting to see. This would surely be of use as a supplement to the state department’s country reports for anyone looking to travel to one of these countries. 2016 is the first time these maps have been published in such detail, and hopefully as the world changes the maps will be updated with other ILGA resources.
Next we heard from Cameron Gowen who described the creation of the Jones Day Guide to the Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships, which can be found at http://www.samesexrelationshipguide.com/. Recognizing the need for a list of jurisdictions in the US and around the world with information about the recognition they offer to same-sex relationships, this guide was created to answer common questions on the topic. The guide is an amazing resource that is continually updated and edited. Citations to the relevant primary sources, and pertinent language from those laws are included.
One part of the GLBT community that is often overlooked when we consider library services is transgender persons. Bethany Jennings spoke third, and shared her experiences and suggestions about how libraries can be prepared to provide excellent service to our transgender patrons. All kinds of people seek information from the library, and as you might expect trans people are included in this group. Of particular interest to trans people visiting law libraries is how they might change their gender markers. This is easier in some states than others, so being prepared to answer reference questions about this in your jurisdiction is a great suggestion. Another idea Jennings presented is to keep your language gender neutral. For example, if someone is asking about a divorce procedure, don’t assume anything about the gender of the parties to the divorce. We can also help make the library a safe space for our transgender patrons is by being very thoughtful about the information we require of our patrons. Is there a gender marker on the paperwork that you have patrons complete in order to gain borrowing privileges? Is there really a good reason to solicit this information? Would you correct someone if they made the choice you didn’t expect? Would your staff? Bethany gave us lots of issues to ponder and did so with an expert amount of humor.
The last, but certainly not least, speaker was Ron Wheeler. Ron discussed his recent work in the Spring 2016 edition of Law Library Journal’s Diversity Dialogues, the topic of which is microaggressions. We learned that microaggressions include microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. Ron shared two experiences in which he was the victim of microaggressions, and I encourage you to read the article for the details and a more thorough discussion of what constitutes the different types of microaggressions. Following was a discussion about microaggressions in which the audience was invited to participate. We discussed how to deal with being the victim of microaggressionas as well as what to do if you find yourself in the role of the aggressor.
The 2016 Diversity Symposium was a successful discussion that will no doubt lead to many more productive and thoughtful conversations, and thus better library services for the LGBT community. The speakers addressed a variety of issues, and each found different ways to engage the audience emotionally and intellectually. If you missed it, be on the lookout for the video when AALL makes it available.
Review: Search Does Not Equal Research: Implications for Discovery Layer Design
AALL Program Review: Search Does Not Equal Research: Implications for Discovery Layer Design (D3, Monday July 18, 2016 9:45-10:45, Hyatt Columbus IJ)
Moderator: Karen Selden
David Armond, Head of Infrastructure and Technology, Howard W. Hunter Law Library, BYU
Curtis Thacker, Director of Search and Data Mining, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU
David Armond began this program with these statements: 1.) There is no need to apologize for being a librarian, 2.) Librarians are valuable, and 3.) This program was inspired by two items: 1.) Michelle M. Wu’s article, Food for Thought: Should Libraries Partner with Nonlibrary Search Engine Providers for their OPACs and Discovery Layers? 1 Legal Info. Rev. 51 (2016) and 2.) a quote on page 17 in A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher: Envisioning the Future of the Research Library, “Search Is Different from Research.”
David explained that researchers spend years researching a variety of resources and then thinking deeply about the material to come up with a productive work. Conversely, a quick search for a quick answer, for instance in Google, is a consumptive activity which can often take only a few minutes. Research is a Law Library’s primary mission. Search is not the primary mission. A law student can search quickly for a good case, but they have to read the case carefully to do research.
BYU Libraries, under David’s and Curtis Thacker’s leadership, developed a home grown discovery platform that facilitates research over search. By favoring research, BYU’s discovery platform is designed to weigh books and metadata over full text, although facets are available for article searching. (Prior to developing their discovery product, BYU used ExLibris’ Primo product on their Sirsi Dynix Symphony ILS from 2008 to 2014. They now have their own fully customized discovery platform on EDS.) David demonstrated searching on BYU’s website using the term: “working memory.” He showed how his 220,000 hits could be faceted down to 1,123 useful articles. Then he asked audience members to take a two minute survey on whatever device they had handy about the value of discovery layers.
Next, Curtis discussed fifteen software laws and how they influenced the development of BYU’s discovery layer. Some of the laws were well known, such as Moore’s Law. Other laws like Spools’ Law (good design is transparent and has a subliminal calming effect) were not well known. Hoffman’s law says, “If you aren’t embarrassed when you ship your product, you waited too long.” Curtis’ often comical presentation included “Faculty Law: Just when you learn how to use the system well, it changes.”
The presentation also included this illustration that represents Lehman’s 2nd law which says the complexity of a system increases as it evolves—unless work is done to maintain or reduce it!
Curtis then explained why BYU has a feedback button on every webpage. They use Trello.com to organize the feedback. Finding the ideas which relate most to the library mission and using their discovery platform for research is top priority.
The program ended with a discussion of the survey results. BYU expects to make the code for their discovery layer open source. However, Curtis reminded the audience that software is like puppies, if you adopt it you have to take care of it!
Reported by Georgia Briscoe,
William A. Wise Law Library,
University of Colorado.
Therapy Dog Visit to the AALL 2016 Conference Exhibit Hall
By Megan Von Behren
If you happened to be walking through the exhibit hall at the AALL 2016 Conference in Chicago last month, and saw a librarian you thought looked exceptionally furry, who also happened to have four legs instead of two, you may have encountered one of the therapy dogs invited by the Animal Law Caucus. The AALL Animal Law Caucus’s mission is to support the efforts of law librarians, academics, and practitioners in the research, teaching, scholarship, and practice of animal law. They serve as a resource for issues related to animals that arise from and have an effect on our legal system. Conference attendees were fortunate to meet this special class of canine therapists who play an important role in helping people navigate the justice system and provide assistance to those with special needs.
Our first visitors came to us from a service called Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy. Rainbow’s goal-oriented programs are designed to facilitate healing and rehabilitation of children living with diseases or disabilities. The hospitals, residential homes, schools, libraries, parks, and camps that Rainbow works with help identify specific goals for the children, and the dogs are trained to help them carry out related tasks. For instance, the dogs participate in teaching physical skills such as reaching for or grasping objects, or emotional skills such as exercising self-control. A person recovering from a stroke requiring rehabilitation of their fine motor skills might benefit from brushing one of the dogs. And according to Rainbow Program Coordinator Susan Burrows, reading programs conducted in Chicago area libraries and schools allow children to read aloud to a “willing, attentive, non-judgmental therapy dog.” Working alongside the dogs provides the children motivation and fun. Dogs participating in Rainbow’s Crisis Response Unit also provide support to victims during disasters. The Rainbow CRU, on call 24/7, is an official partner of the Chicago Red Cross. All Rainbow handlers and dogs go through rigorous training and testing to ensure they are well-mannered and behaved, and that they can handle any difficult situations they might encounter in working with special needs children. Each team of handler and dog are familiar with 50-100 different therapy activities.
One of the Rainbow dogs who dropped by the exhibit hall was Cole, a 9-year-old Black Labrador Retriever; Cole showed off for the librarians his impressive abilities to “go bowling,” find treats, and in general provide friendly licks and snuggles to any librarians who expressed a need for his unique brand of therapy. A Standard Poodle named Lucy was also in attendance. However, says Coral Henning, member of the Animal Law Caucus, it’s not only dogs who are therapy animals. Therapy cats and rabbits also provide their services. There are different criteria for success for different animal species; for instance, the job of a therapy cat or rabbit is often to sit quietly on a person’s lap for a period of time until removed by the handler. Therapy dogs, though, by far seem to be the most common.
On July 21, 2015, the Illinois Legislature passed an amendment to Sec. 106B-10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 to allow “facility dogs,” that is, “a dog that is a graduate of an assistance dog organization that is a member of Assistance Dogs International,” to accompany children, or adults who are intellectually disabled or affected by a developmental disability, when they are testifying in the prosecution of a sex crime. Assistance Dogs International is a coalition of not-for-profit assistance dog organizations. They have a comprehensive accreditation system, and member organizations must be regularly assessed to meet their high standards. ADI defines a facility dog as one that provides visitations or professional therapy. Among ADI’s standards for facility dogs, the dogs must respond to obedience and task commands from their handlers on the first try at least 90% of the time, and demonstrate basic obedience skills such as sit, stay, and lie down. They must be comfortable working with people who have physical or developmental disabilities, and should be calm and display good social behavior in a variety of different environments. In addition, a facility dog’s handler must demonstrate knowledge of local access laws and appropriate public behavior. Facility dogs are not service dogs; they do not have public access, and do not fall under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to providing standards and accreditation, ADI’s mission also involves working towards establishing consistent access laws and terminology for individuals partnered with assistance dogs. They have created a Model Law which can be adopted by state legislatures, and they also offer a guide summarizing assistance dog laws in various states and regions.
Courthouse Dogs Foundation is one such member organization of ADI. This unique program offers specific recommendations for assistance dogs in the legal field, and recommends that a quality program include handlers who are working professionals in the field, such as victim advocates, detectives, forensic interviewers, and assistant prosecutors. In addition to being well versed in the handling of the dog, handlers should be knowledgeable about the legal aspects of incorporating a courthouse facility dog into the investigation and prosecution of crimes. Courthouse dogs often live with their primary handler, who is considered the dog’s owner. The dogs usually receive about two years of training before embarking on their careers, and have to pass the same or similar public access tests that are used to ensure that guide dogs who work with visually impaired owners are safe in public.
On Tuesday our guest at the Conference exhibit hall was Kiwi, a two-year-old Black Labrador Retriever. Kiwi came to us from the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in Joliet, Illinois, which assists with the investigation and prosecution of crimes involving the sexual and physical abuse of children. Specially trained from birth as a service dog, Kiwi was donated to the Center by Support Dogs, Inc., a national not-for-profit organization accredited by ADI. Kiwi will very soon begin her career providing comfort and companionship to children during their forensic interviews, and she will be able to accompany children into the witness box when they testify. Kiwi’s handlers are administrative assistant Cheri Johnson and assistant state’s attorney Jeff Brown. Says Johnson of Kiwi, “She is incredibly calm and relaxed, and her sweet, gentle personality helps relax children during an extremely stressful time of their life.”
Mitchell the Dog, hailing from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, also paid a visit to the Hall on Tuesday. Mitchell, or “Mitch,” as he likes to be known, is a Yellow Labrador Retriever. Like Kiwi, Mitch was donated by Support Dogs, Inc. to help in Lake County’s Children’s Advocacy Center. Working with his handlers Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Grindel and investigator James Magna, Mitch also comforts children going through the interview process. In addition Mitch plays a role in Veteran’s Court, providing comfort to veterans with PTSD, and in Drug Court, offering solace to those dealing with substance abuse who are undergoing proceedings.
Many thanks to the Animal Law Caucus for organizing the therapy dog visits. For more information on these and other programs, please see the following links:
AALL Animal Law Caucus: http://community.aallnet.org/animallawcaucus/home
Assistance Dogs International: http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/
Courthouse Dogs Foundation: http://www.courthousedogs.org/index.html
Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office: http://www.willcountychildrensadvocacy.org/services.html#paws
Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy: http://www.rainbowaat.org/
Support Dogs, Inc.: https://www.supportdogs.org
Will County Children’s Advocacy Center Paws 4 Kids: http://www.willcountychildrensadvocacy.org/services.html#paws
Draft SR-SIS Minutes, July 18, 2016
American Association of Law Libraries’
Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section
Minutes of Business Meeting Held Monday, July 18, 2016
Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- Call to Order and Introductions. SIS Chair Stacy Etheredge called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. CDT. Fourteen members were in attendance. Stacy then led introductions.
- Approval of 2015 SR-SIS Business Meeting Minutes. C.J. Pipins moved, and Stefanie Pearlman seconded, approval of the minutes. The motion was temporarily tabled to verify that the latest version of the draft was being used. Meg Butler asked that the version circulated in the SIS Newsletter be used (which differed in sections 3 and 18 from an earlier draft). Additional edits were made (from “round table” to “roundtable” in section 3; correcting spellings of Scott Burgh’s and John Cannan’s names in sections 4 and 6, respectively; and some edits to the first sentence of section 18 (to read “Meg Butler inquired: would the SR like to have subcommittee to write a letter from SR to AALL board complaining about how the members open forum today was only 4 minutes …”). The minutes as amended were approved unanimously.
- Report on the Election. C.J. Pipins updated members on the results of the elections. Dana Neacşu is the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect; Lewis Zimmerman is the incoming Secretary/Treasurer. The Standing Committee on Environmental Sustainability was created.
- Report from the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues. Standing Committee Chair Sara Pic reported on the discussion of changing the Standing Committee’s name, the efforts to move ahead with a new edition of the Bibliography on Sexual Orientation and the Law (with David Holt and Dana Neacşu as co-editors), the awarding of two Alan Holoch Memorial Grants (to Druet Cameron Klugh and C.J. Pipins), and the circulation of pronoun ribbons (led by Jane Larrington). About twenty people attended the Roundtable on Religious Freedom Bills. The annual reception received $875.00 in donations to the Holoch Grant fund. The Standing Committee will be working on more formal guidelines on the Holoch Grant, with an emphasis on the schedule.
- Report from the Standing Committee on Law Library Services to Prisoners. Stacy Etheredge reported that the Standing Committee has updated its list of law libraries serving prisoners, its list of law school clinics serving prisoners, and its list of organizations donating books to prisoners. Upcoming initiatives include updating the list of recommended books for law libraries and a benchmarking survey of prison law libraries.
- Report from the Standing Committee on Disability Issues. Nick Harrell discussed the Standing Committee’s poster session, AALL Spectrum article, and several program ideas (which had been rejected). A.J. Blechner is the incoming Chair; she will work on a bibliography and is planning monthly calls for the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee, with the help of Lewis Zimmerman, participated in “Five Topics in Five Days”—a program the SR-SIS cosponsored with RIPS, GLL, and LIPS.
- Report from the Standing Committee on Environmental Sustainability. Stacy Etheredge reported for Chair David Selden. The group is now a permanent standing committee. The Resolution on Sustainability in Law Libraries was overwhelmingly approved by the AALL membership. David Selden was able to talk at the chapter chair meeting to promote the greening of chapter meetings. The Standing Committee will develop a list of best practices.
- Treasurer’s Report. Stacy Etheredge, reporting for Secretary/Treasurer Liza Rosenof, stated that a few months back the SR-SIS had about $10,000 in the bank. With a current membership of 190, expected revenue from annual dues would be around $1,900. As such, the SIS decided against offering a sponsored program at the 2016 annual conference. Stacy suggested holding off on such sponsorship one more year to shore up funds. The Holoch Grant fund stands at around $26,000. The reception by the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues drew $3,000 in sponsor funding—from Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, Wolters Kluwer, and Bloomberg BNA.
- Report on SIS Council Meeting. Stacy Etheredge reported that she and Stefanie Pearlman attended the meeting. The issues discussed included free programming, tables in the exhibit hall, and time conflicts at the annual conference. Stacy has been appointed incoming SIS Council Chair. She will be pushing for collaboration between SISes. It was noted that several recent past chairs are SR-SIS members.
- Report on 2017 Annual Meeting Programming. Stefanie Pearlman gave an overview of new programming procedures and sponsorship opportunities. The SR-SIS must submit two programs, from which the Annual Meeting Program Committee will select one of its choosing. There is also the opportunity to put on up to three roundtables. Stefanie will be asking each standing committee to suggest programs. Courtney Selby, incoming Chair of the Continuing Professional Education Committee, noted that that Committee is seeking SIS programming for outside the annual conference. Grants from Bloomberg BNA are available. Stefanie is looking to form an ad hoc education committee. One possible topic is the Black Lives Matter movement. She encouraged holding off on paying for programs, whose cost could easily exceed $2,000.
- Report on the Children’s Book Drive. Megan Von Behren reported that of the 300 items on the Amazon wish list for Bernie’s Book Bank, 185 have been sold. We also received $385 in checks and $100 in gift cards so far at this year’s conference. Books are being collected in boxes throughout the convention center. Meg Butler moved, and Courtney Selby seconded, that a $100 honorarium be given to artwork designer Alethea Jones. The motion was approved unanimously. Courtney moved, and Meg seconded, that the SR-SIS contribute to Bernie’s Book Bank an amount necessary (maximum $315) to supplement cash and gift card donations to bring the collective total to $750. The motion carried unanimously.
- Report on CONELL. Ann Hemmens reported that the pronoun ribbons and the Standing Committee on Environmental Sustainability were both popular at CONELL.
- Report on the Newsletter. Meg Butler stated that the deadline for standing committee reports is August 15. Seven people have offered to review programs for the fall issue. No unsolicited contributions have been received this year. Meg asked for book and article review submissions.
- Report on the Website. Stacy Etheredge reported that webmaster David Holt will be revising the pages for the Standing Committees on Law Library Services to Prisoners and on Environmental Sustainability. Prano Amjadi asked that the older newsletters be posted in PDF as well as the current HTML version.
- Report on the Toiletries Drive. Meg Butler said that this year’s hotel toiletries donations would go to the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. She spent $4.95 on bags to transport the donations.
- Report on Proposed Ad Hoc Committees. Incoming Chair Stefanie Pearlman talked of forming an Ad Hoc Education Committee, to be headed by the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, and an Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee.
- Report from the Chair. Stacy Etheredge thanked outgoing officers Liza Rosenof and C.J. Pipins for their service. She discussed an effort to get pronoun ribbons distributed along with the other ribbons at AALL registration in the future.
- New Business. Meg Butler thanked Stacy Etheredge for her work as Chair.
- Introduction of Incoming Officers. Stacy Etheredge welcomed Stefanie Pearlman and Lewis Zimmerman to their new roles as Chair and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively.
- Adjournment. Passing a virtual gavel to Stefanie Pearlman, Stacy Etheredge adjourned the meeting.
Draft SR-SIS: Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues Minutes
2016 Standing Committee Lesbian and Gay Issues
Sunday, July 17th, 2016
Chair: Steven Alexandre da Costa
Vice-Chair: Sara V. Pic
Secretary/Treasurer: Liza Rosenoff
- Call to Order
- Approval of Minutes 2015 Business Meeting
- Treasurer’s Report
- Alan Holoch Grant 2016
- Recipients were Druet Klugh and CJ Pippins
- New Business
- Name change discussion/actions (Sara)—volunteers were solicited to prepare advisory reports regarding possible name changes for the SCLGI, which will be discussed and initially considered during the fall 2016. Any change would require a proposed amendment to the bylaws and vote.
- Sexual orientation Bibliography Update (Sara)—David Holt and Dana Neacsu were selected and will be making announcements about ways folks can participate
- Religious Freedom Roundtable
- Pronoun Ribbons at 2016 meeting—thanks to Jane Larrington and CJ Pipins for working on this; it was a success. It was suggested that the SCLGI leadership look into having an opt-in regarding pronoun choice added to the registration form for the conference.
- Annual Reception—reminder to attend
- New Officer Nominations/Election
- Marty Witt from Columbia was elected vice-chair with no opposition
- Adjournment (Steven)