May 9, 2002
The AALL Awards Committee has selected Jacqueline S. Wright, former director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Library, to receive the 2002 Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award.
Timothy Holthoff, director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Library, nominated Wright for "her contributions to the professions of law, librarianship and law librarianship, and because of her dedication, leadership and inspiration to others for nearly 20 years."
The Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award recognizes extended and sustained service to law librarianship, contributions to professional literature, and exemplary service to AALL. Established in 1984, the award was renamed in 1990 to honor Marian Gould Gallagher, a former law librarian and professor of law at the University of Washington, AALL president from 1954-55 and the first recipient of the award. Gallagher died in 1989. The 2002 Gallagher Award Subcommittee members consisted of John J. Hasko, Phyllis Marian, Patricia Wellinger and Chair Carol Grant.
Wright came to law librarianship relatively late. She raised three sons while completing law school. After graduating from law school, three judicial clerkships, a smattering of law practice in two states and a year of teaching followed.
She then took the helm at the Arkansas Supreme Court Library. The library was not classified, had a collection dating back to 1851, and was entirely without technology. In her first year, technology first appeared in the form of an electric typewriter; second was an electric pencil sharpener that Wright won in a drawing at a local library association meeting. By the time Wright retired, every title in the collection had an electronic record, the staff had grown to three, and computers outnumbered the staff.
Along the way, she spearheaded an effort to publish Arkansas case law on CD-ROM, followed by the addition of Arkansas administrative law. Her actions made it possible for Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions to become available on the Internet on the day they were handed down.
In addition to bringing her library into the electronic age, Wright was a regular contributor to legal and library literature, writing articles for Arkansas Lawyer and Arkansas Libraries, among others. She also produced the Handbook for Appellate Advocacy in the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, as well as a chapter on appellate procedure in the Arkansas Form Book.
Wright was actively involved in AALL. She belonged to the State, Court and County Law Libraries Special Interest Section and the Preservation Committee. She chaired the Government Relations Committee in 1997-98, a year marked by activity on intellectual property law, the Communications Decency Act and antitrust inquiry into the merger of legal publishers. Wright was also an active participant in the Arkansas Bar Association, where she served on a number of committees and influenced the manner in which legal information is distributed within the state.
Wright served as director of the Arkansas Supreme Court Library for 19 years before retiring on Dec. 31, 1998.
Wright will receive the 2002 Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award July 22 at the Association Luncheon at the 95th Annual Meeting and Conference in Orlando, Fla.