Passing the Torch: BYU Law Library Prepares for New Leadership

By Michael Cazanave May 11, 2023

On May 1, 2023, following nearly 18 years of dedicated leadership, Kory Staheli stepped down as Director of the Howard W. Hunter Law Library and Shawn G. Nevers, formerly Deputy Director of the Howard W. Hunter Law Library began service as the Law Library’s Director.

Kory Staheli, Outgoing Director of the Howard W. Hunter Law Library

As director, Staheli guided the Law Library through a period of tremendous change while solidifying its reputation as a hub for legal research education, legal scholarship, and innovation. During his tenure, a number of physical changes were made to promote collaboration and innovation, and to adapt to a new generation of law students, including the creation of a new Quiet Reading Room, a Library Instruction Room, and an Innovation Space. Staheli’s time as director also coincided with a time of great technological change as library acquisitions shifted from primarily print to primarily digital resources, with faculty and students now having access to millions of documents through subscription databases. 

Staheli’s focus on faculty and students has been a hallmark of his directorship. Under his leadership, the Law Library has become a place where staff and faculty are encouraged to innovate, collaborate, and grow, ultimately benefiting the academic goals of BYU Law. Former Deputy Director Shawn Nevers said that Staheli “has always prioritized providing the best resources and services to faculty and students. He has welcomed new ideas, but always with an eye toward how those ideas will benefit our students and faculty.” 

Shawn Nevers, Incoming Director of the Howard W. Hunter Law Library

A graduate of BYU Law and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Nevers has been a member of the BYU Law Library faculty since 2006 and has served as the library’s Deputy Director since 2014. A prolific and distinguished scholar, he has published more than twenty articles in a range of scholarly law publications and has been invited to speak at various law schools including Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

“Shawn Nevers is considered one of the best law librarians in North America, possibly the world. He has peers at almost every top law school in the U.S., who regularly collaborate with him to get things done,” said David Armond, BYU Law School’s Assistant Dean for Information Technology. “As students and colleagues know, Shawn is a gifted teacher and loves to help people reach their highest potential. The Law Library, more importantly, the University will benefit immensely by having Shawn guide the Howard W. Hunter Law Library forward.”

Nevers on his recent appointment, “We are very blessed to have had a director like Kory who cares so much about the BYU Law community. His library experience and expertise combined with his deep love of BYU Law has helped our library thrive in its mission to play a meaningful role in the educational lives of our students and faculty. The BYU Law Library is already a world-class library and I look forward to the challenge of working with my colleagues to make it even better.”

After stepping down, Staheli will remain on the law library faculty as a senior law librarian.