Cheney Named 2005 Winner of the Spirit of Law Librarianship Award
The award committee is pleased to announce that Kristin A. Cheney, Library Director at Seattle University School of Law, is this year's recipient of the Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for outstanding contributions in serving the elderly and their pets in Pierce County, Washington. In 1998, Ms. Cheney established the Seniors With Pets Assistance (SWP) Program www.seniorswithpets.org, which provides vital support to low income seniors with pets by supplying and delivering pet food and provisions to their homes, and transporting seniors and their pets to veterinary appointments. The program has grown over the last eight years and currently serves over 250 seniors and over 700 cats and dogs on a consistent basis. In addition, Seniors With Pets Assistance furnishes a pet food bank that is open for qualifying seniors on a walk-in basis. Ms. Cheney developed the program due to her passionate belief that seniors like all others should be able to benefit from the friendship and companionship of a pet. She states, "For many of my seniors, their pet is their only family. An individual, particularly a senior, shouldn't have to make the decision between feeding themselves and feeding or otherwise caring for their pet." Through partnerships with other local service agencies Ms. Cheney has also developed an integrated information referral network for seniors with pets. It is the only service of its kind in the Puget Sound region and serves as a model for similar community-based and volunteer efforts in other areas. Ms. Cheney will be honored at a ceremony at AALL's Annual Meeting, to be held this summer in San Antonio.
This award is given to a law librarian, or group of librarians, who have used their position and skills as a law librarian to make a meaningful contribution to a social cause, or used their professional training in service of others in some significant way. The award was established by Roy Mersky and Richard Leiter, in lieu of royalties from their book, The Spirit of Law Librarianship. The publisher of the first edition of the book, Fred B. Rotham & Co. (now William S. Hein & Co., Inc.) also participated in the founding of this award. Alert Publications, Inc., the publisher of the second edition, now participates in the continuance of the award. Mr. Mersky is the Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and Director of Research for the Jamail Center for Legal Research at the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Leiter is the Director of the Schmid Library and Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law