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The Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award

2011 Recipient Announced

The Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award Committee is pleased to announce that Sara Sonet, Research Librarian at the United States Supreme Court Law Library, is the 2011 recipient of the Award. The Committee thanks everyone who submitted nominations.

Apart from her dedication to the law clerks and justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to many in our profession during her years of work on AALL’s CONELL program and other projects, Sara has devoted her attention and service to Special Hockey Washington and especially to one of its affiliate teams, the Washington Ice Dogs. Special Hockey Washington is an organization dedicated to providing opportunities for athletes with physical and developmental disabilities to play ice hockey, allowing them to benefit by learning teamwork, building self-confidence, and participating in healthy physical activity in a stable, flexible, and supportive environment. More information about Special Hockey Washington and the Washington Ice Dogs can found at

Sara has been involved in the missions and growth of Special Hockey Washington from its creation in 1999, as the parent of a founding team player. Ever since that time, Sara has found time to take on many responsibilities within the organization. Using her library skills, she transformed the organization’s communication systems by developing and maintaining email databases to improve the lines of communication between coaches and parents. She also enhanced the organization’s record keeping by taking on a secretarial role and using her organizational expertise to assist the group in tracking their finances. She recruited volunteer mentors for the players, providing special assistance to the youngest participants.  In nominating Sara for this award, her co-worker, Pat Evans, notes that “years ago, my youngest daughter was recruited by Sara to be a mentor to the youngest hockey players in Sara’s Special Hockey program.  From that point on, our family was hooked on supporting these incredible young people!”

Additionally, Sara grew the program’s fundraising abilities by setting up numerous events, including a gift basket raffle and auction at the 2004 Special Hockey International Tournament and a wristband fundraiser at the 2010 USA Disabled Festival. She coordinated with the athletes’ parents and the local community and successfully raised the funds that allowed the Washington Ice Dogs to participate in tournaments across the United States and Canada.  In 2006, in honor of her commitment to sustaining and growing the program, Sara earned the formal title of “Program Parent Liaison” of the Washington Ice Dogs.  Sara Sonet’s contributions to the organizations and to the lives of the hockey players has been exceptional.

Sara Sonet is a worthy recipient of the 2011 Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service for her years of invaluable work to these young people, in addition to her service to the profession.

Selection Committee, Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award

Barbara Bintliff, Joseph C. Hutcheson Professor and Director, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law

Richard Leiter, Director and Professor Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska College of Law

Richard J. Spinelli, Senior Vice President, William S. Hein Co., Inc.

Donna M. Tuke, Editor and Publisher, Alert Publications, Inc.