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Law Librarian Mari Cheney Wins AALL Writing Competition

August 08, 2019

Mari Cheney, Assistant Director of Research and Instruction of Lewis & Clark Law School’s Boley Law Library, won the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) “Call for Papers” competition with her short form essay, “The Hearing-Impaired Law Librarian: Navigating Silent Spaces.” In addition to the honor, Cheney was recognized during an award ceremony at the AALL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. this summer, where she presented her paper at a program and received $300 (donated by LexisNexis). 

Cheney’s essay centers on her own experiences communicating with students and colleagues as a hearing-impaired law librarian, as well as those with similar experiences across the nation. Cheney’s frankness and compassion give a voice to those who have a disability and encounter difficulties charting a course of open communication in the workplace.

“At the end of the day, our goal is the same as the person living and working without an invisible disability: to do our jobs and do them well. Thankfully technology is available to help with many hearing impairments, and for the most part frustration and misunderstandings can be prevented by open and frank conversations with both coworkers and patrons,” Cheney concluded. 

Cheney’s achievement contributes to the history of excellence Boley Law Library holds, as a resource for both law students and practicing attorneys in Oregon. With over 520 thousand volumes, Boley is ranked by National Jurist as the best law library in Oregon and the 36th best in the nation. 

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