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Seeking Nominations for the 2009 Roy M....
Each year, the newly re-named Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service Committee honors one law librarian or law library organization for his or her service to the community. Please help us recognize law librarians by nominating a worthy individual who has made a meaningful contribution to a social or charitable cause or concern. A review of past award recipients shows the variety of charitable work that may be recognized.

The award, established in 1991 by Roy M.  Mersky, former director of Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Richard Leiter, director of the Schmid Law Library at the University of Nebraska, was created in order to give special recognition to individual law librarians who might not otherwise be recognized by their peers for their important work.

The award was established in lieu of accepting royalties from their book, published in 1991 by the Fred B. Rothman Company (now a division of the Wm. S. Hein and Co. Inc.), The Spirit of Law Librarianship. The second edition was published in the spring of 2004 by Alert Publications Inc.
Award recipients are selected from nominations submitted to the Award Selection Committee, which consists of Professor Leiter; Donna M. Tuke, Publisher, Alert Publications; Dick Spinelli, Senior Vice President, Wm. S. Hein & Company; and, Professor Terry Martin, Interim Director, University of Texas, Tarlton Law Library. Ordinarily, the previous award winner will also serve on the section committee.

The award will be presented to the recipient at a reception during the 2009 AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
An award will be given only when an outstanding individual is nominated. The committee encourages nominations from anyone with information regarding individuals who might fit the profile of an award recipient. Please help us to recognize the people who represent a special dimension of the ‘Spirit of Law Librarianship.’

The deadline for nominations is June 1. To make a nomination, please contact: Professor Richard Leiter, Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, NE 68583-0902; [email protected]; 402/472-5737; fax: 402/472-8260.

The Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service Foundation

Following Prof. Mersky’s death in 2008, a foundation was established to continue his work encouraging law librarians to engage in service to their communities and other endeavors which serve needy or underprivileged individuals or groups.

The Foundation will use donations to recognize those individuals or organizations who help perpetuate the legacy of Professor Mersky. It will promote charitable work among law librarians by publicizing the work of recipients, and, when possible supporting that work. Donations to the Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award Foundation may be made by contacting Professor Richard Leiter.

Past Award Recipients
The committee believes that law librarians who contribute to society through volunteer work or by somehow serving their communities not only benefit the recipients of their hard work, but also the profession as a whole through their examples of service.
Past recipients of the award have been:

Wes Daniels, for establishing a resource center for legal work on behalf of the homeless

Jesse L. Matthews, for developing the Patient Learning Resource Center at the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia

deanna harragarra waters, for her work with the Native American Rights Fund libraries 

Frank Liu, for his work with U.S.-Chinese academic exchange programs and in the Chinese American community

Mickie Voges, for her work with the ExTEND program at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

David Gunn, for his work with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Austin, Texas, Unit

Marvin Anderson, for his work with the “Everybody Wins” reading program at the Benjamin E. Mays Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota

SCALL Inner City Youth Program Committee, for its work offering inner-city youth the chance to learn new skills and meet new challenges by training, mentoring, and hiring them to intern in law libraries and law firms

Catherine Lemann, for her work with AIDSLaw of Louisiana

Frosty Owen, for his work with public school libraries

Joan Howland, for her work with Native American law students and for her work with ALA and AALL in support of creating opportunities for minorities in libraries

Kimberli Morris for her work with law schools in Iraq as they strive to rebuild their legal education system 

Kristin A. Cheney for her work in Seattle establishing and operating Seniors With Pets Assistance

CALL Community Service Committee for outstanding accomplishments in keeping its membership active in a wide variety of local and national charities.

Suzanne M. Morrison, for her several service trips under the auspices of ABA/CEELI working with law libraries and law schools in troubled parts of the world.

Roy M Mersky, was awarded the Spirit Award posthumously in honor of Roy’s commitment to service over the course of his career, including leadership in many civic and legal organizations dedicated to preserving civil rights and justice.

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