ImagineIF Libraries will receive the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award from the Montana Library Association on Aug. 5. This award will be given at the Tri-Conference Awards in Missoula. 

The award recognizes current and former ImagineIF librarians Sean Anderson, Kat Wilson, Starr White and former interim director Martha Furman. These librarians led the response to concurrent challenges against two books in the library's collections, "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison and "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe. 

The Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award is conferred upon an individual or group who has made significant contributions during the past year to the enhancement of First Amendment rights or upon an individual whose body of work over time has made significant contributions to the enhancement of intellectual freedom. 

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

The recipient should have applied that understanding of the principles in one or more of 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 that develop people’s ability to deal with a full range of opinion/controversy and with the issues associated with such controversy. Developing, or materially assisting in the development of, a legal base for the continued enjoyment of freedom of mind, its strengthening, and its defense. Expanding the philosophical foundations of the principle or contributing to better understanding of it.

For more information on the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award, visit mtlib.org/page-18252 or contact Tracy Cook at 406-444-9816 or tcook2@mt.gov

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