Keith Ann Stiverson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Keith Ann Stiverson with 2019 CALL Lifetime Achievement Award
Keith Ann Stiverson receives 2019 CALL Lifetime Achievement Award

The Chicago Association of Law Libraries honors Keith Ann Stiversion with the 2019 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Law Librarianship Award.

When Keith Ann retired in 2018, it marked the end of a decades-long career that spanned roles, geography, and countless revolutions in the way information is distributed.  

Through it all, Keith has remained, as the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin once described her, in a turn of phrase that made all of us cringe, “One librarian who doesn’t keep quiet.”  We are all fortunate that she didn’t keep quiet, and we should now raise our own voices to thank her for that service.

Keith Ann’s professional biography is well-known to most, but I’ll hit some of the highlights here.  Prior to being named Director of the IIT Chicago-Kent Law Library in 2001, Keith Ann spent five years at the University of Texas at Austin, where she served as associate director of its law library. Before that, she served as Special Assistant to the Law Librarian of Congress for 8 years.

Keith has been an active AALL member throughout her career. She has been especially involved in the association’s efforts to ensure permanent public access to legal materials. She advocated for all law libraries through her work on the AALL Government Relations Committee, first as a committee member and later with two terms as chair.  

Of note, Keith worked tirelessly for the Uniform Electronic Material Act (UELMA) and successfully persuaded the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Act here in Illinois.

Keith was elected vice president/president-elect of AALL in 2013. Her work on the AALL Executive Board was a fitting conclusion to her years of service to our profession.  

AALL President, Keith Ann Stiverson

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One of her initiatives was ensuring that educational offerings support members throughout their careers. This exemplifies her concern for the growth of a professional at all stages of their career and for the considered sustainability of professional associations.  

Speaking from a personal perspective, Keith’s biggest contribution to law librarianship may have been her ability and willingness to help launch the careers of so many leaders in our field.

Keith Ann StiversonThree out of Seven members of the current CALL Executive Board and 4 out of the last 7 CALL Presidents attended what one nominating member referred to as “the Keith Ann Stiverson School of Success” (i.e., worked at Chicago-Kent from 2001-2018).  

Passing through the School of Success often meant tearful goodbyes and objective losses for Chicago-Kent. But that is why Keith was such a great leader: her service was to law librarianship before service to any individual institution.

In any room of leaders in our profession, you are likely to find individuals who would list Keith Ann as a mentor, and you are guaranteed to find many who would count her as a friend.