Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award

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Approved July 2009, Executive Board Meeting, Tab 18
Revised November 2017, Executive Board Meeting, Tab 3


Established in 2008, the Advocacy Award is given to recognize an AALL member or group who has been an outstanding advocate and has contributed significantly to the AALL policy agenda at the federal, state, local, or international level. The award honors the memory of Robert L. Oakley, AALL's Washington affairs representative (1989-2007).


Recipient of the award will be an AALL member or group. Members of either category are eligible. Current members of the Government Relations Committee are not eligible.

Administration of the Award:

The Oakley Advocacy Award shall be administered by the AALL Government Relations Committee in coordination with the AALL Awards Committee. The Government Relations Committee shall solicit and review nominations for the award. The Committee will choose one individual or group recipient each year for the Oakley Advocacy Award, or no recipient if it deems none of the nominees sufficiently qualified, and will submit the winning recipient's name(s) to the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee will oversee the grant of the Oakley Advocacy Award to the recipient(s) selected by the Government Relations Committee.

Judging Criteria:

  • A significant contribution to the advocacy agenda of the Association. The award is given in accordance with AALL's mission to provide leadership in the field of legal information and to promote equal access to government information. The award will reflect this by honoring the achievements of those who have been especially energetic or effective advocates of this mission.
  • The extent to which the individual or group has been an active advocate for law libraries and legal information at the federal, state or local level.
  • The extent to which the advocacy advances the AALL mission and Government Relations Policy.

Application Information:

Download the Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award Nomination Form

Nominations for this award are to be sent to the chair of the Government Relations Committee, via email or regular mail.

Award Process:

Nominations must be submitted no later than Feb. 1 of each year. The committee will complete its deliberations and the administrative aspects of the award by April 1.

The Government Relations Committee will review the nominations and make a final decision on who will receive the award. Each nominee shall be considered individually and confidentially and will be judged according to the criteria listed above. Sources of information for the committee about a candidate include the nominating letter(s) and recommendation(s) from the Government Relations Committee. To ensure confidentiality, contact with members of AALL other than the person(s) nominating, Awards Committee members, and Government Relations Committee members should be avoided.

Frequency and number of awards: The award may be presented annually, but there is no requirement that the award be given each year.

Award Presentation:

The award shall be presented during the AALL Annual Meeting, and it will be given in the name of the Association. It will consist of an appropriate memorial to honor the achievements of the individual or group.

Previous Winners:

2017: None awarded

2016: Sandra Levin, Executive Director, LA Law Library, Los Angeles, CA, For her efforts on behalf of California county law libraries to secure solid, sustained funding through the passage of California SB 711.

2015: 2012 California UELMA Advocacy Team: Michele M. Finerty, Retired, Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA, Judy C. Janes, Director and Lecturer in Law, UC Davis Mabie Law Library, Davis, CA, David L. McFadden, Senior Reference Librarian, Leigh H. Taylor Law Library, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, CA, and Lawrence R. (Larry) Meyer, Executive Director, Law Library for San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA

2014: Sarah (Sally) G. Holterhoff, Government Information/Reference Librarian and Associate Professor of Law Librarianship, Valparaiso University Law School Library, Valparaiso, IN

2013: Timothy L. Coggins, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services & Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law Library, Richmond, VA, For his many years of effective and committed AALL advocacy, particularly in support of digital authentication

2012: Barbara A. Bintliff, Joseph C. Hutcheson Professor in Law and Director of the Tarlton Law Library, The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX

2011: Joan M. Bellistri Director and Law Librarian, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, Annapolis, MD

2010: Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries County Law Library Special Interest Group

2009: Richard J. McKinney, Federal Reserve Board Law Library

2008: Robert L. Oakley (posthumously), Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Library, Washington, D.C.