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Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award

The Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award is conferred upon an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the enhancement of First Amendment rights.

The recipient should have demonstrated a clear understanding of the principles, nature, responsibilities and implications of the First Amendment.

The recipient should be a Montanan or a non-Montanan whose contribution has a demonstrable effect on Montana. The recipient should have applied that understanding of the principles in one or more the following ways:

  • In defense of the principles in the face of a serious challenge to it which defense is not necessarily limited to libraries
  • In support of the principles through an active role in Formulating programs which develop people’s ability to deal with a full range of opinion/controversy and with the issues associated with such controversy, or
  • Developing or materially assisting in the development, of a legal base for the continued enjoyment of freedom of mind, its strengthening, and its defense, or
  • Expanding the philosophical foundation of the principle or contributing to better understanding 

Recipients of the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award

  • 2022 - TBA
  • 2021
  • 2020 - Connie Behe, Library Director; ImagineIF Libraries
  • 2019 - MSU Bozeman Renne Library
  • 2018 - Mark Wetherington, Library Director; Bitterroot Library Board and Staff
  • 2017 - Wendy Campbell, Darby Community Public Library Board and Staff.
  • 2016 - Daniel Zolnikov, Montana state representative, House District 47, Billings (Republican)
  • 2015 - Livingston Public Schools Board of Trustees
  • 2014 - Billings Public Schools Board of Trustees
  • 2013  - Karen Gonzales, Missoula Public Library (retired)
  • 2012  - Amy Collins, Geraldine Public School
  • 2011  - Nicky Whearty, Helena Schools
  • 2010
  • 2009  - Director, Board and Staff of Lewis and Clark Library
  • 2008  - Diane Thompson, Jefferson High School
  • 2007  - Johanna Freivalds, Lockwood Middle School
  • 2006  - Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana and Montana State Legislators Jim Elliott and Jim Shockley
  • 2005  - Suzi Watne, Coordinator of Library Services, Dr. Bruce Messinger, Superintendant of Schools, and School Board member Brenda Norlund of Helena Public Schools
  • 2004  - Helena Education Foundation
  • 2003  - Suzanne Goodman, Park High School
  • 2002  - Great Falls High School
  • 2001  - Bozeman High School
  • 2000 
  • 1999
  • 1998 
  • 1997  - John Frohnmayer, Bozeman
  • 1996  - Jim Heckel, Great Falls
  • 1995  - Senator Mike Halligan, Missoula, and Representative John Bollinger, Billings, and Representative Deb Kottel, Great Falls
  • 1994  - Debbie Denzer, Kalispell
  • 1993  - Lewis and Clark Library Board of Trustees (Wendy Wheeler,Chair, Mary Sheehy Moe, Bernard Grainey, Sue O'Connell, Bob Cooper), Helena
  • 1991  - Representative Pat Williams, Washington, D.C.
  • 1984  - Janis Bruwelheide, Bozeman

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