Lewis & Clark Library Director Awarded Librarian of the Year by Montana Library Association
April 15, 2015 (Helena, MT)—During the 102nd annual Awards Dinner on Friday, April 10th at the Montana Library Association conference in Bozeman, Lewis & Clark Library Director Judy Hart, was presented with the Sheila Cates Award for Librarian of the Year.
Hart was nominated for the award by Matt Beckstrom, Lewis & Clark Library Systems Librarian, with letters of support from Montana librarians. Beckstrom explains that, “Judy was nominated for her tireless support for libraries and librarians around the state.” Beckstrom’s nomination went on to explain that “She was nominated for her support of the Lewis & Clark Library, its staff, and the community. She supported the library through a permanent mil levy, a book challenge, and a re-organization. She also enhanced library services in the county with an expanded branch in East Helena, an additional meeting room in Lincoln, and a bookmobile.”
Hart’s dedication to helping libraries expands beyond the Lewis & Clark Library. On the state level, she has been very active in the Montana Library Association. Hart served on the Board of MLA in a variety of capacities and is the chair of the government affairs committee and the incoming chair of the intellectual freedom committee. She also serves as the Coordinator of the Broad Valleys Federation of Libraries. In addition, Hart is very active in many local organizations, including Rotary, serving as coordinator of the youth exchange programs; serving as the President of the Board of Directors for ACLU of Montana; serves on Board of the Lewis and Clark Literacy Council; and she has been involved with Soroptimist International of Helena for a number of years.
During her acceptance, Hart thanked the librarians of Montana for their tireless efforts to provide quality library services to the people of Montana; “I am so humbled by this award, and out of my comfort zone. I don’t like individual awards because I truly believe that it’s not about the individual, but about the people you work with. At the Lewis & Clark Library we have an amazing board of directors and they are so supportive of me and of the entire staff, and because of them we make things happen. But beyond that, I’ve never experienced anything as special as Montana’s statewide connection to libraries, librarians and the camaraderie that exists among and between librarians from all across the state. That just doesn’t happen in other states. Whether it is a call for help, or a call to action, Montana librarians respond. We depend on one another and we get it done together. It truly is a special relationship, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
The Sheila Cates Award for Librarian of the Year is conferred upon a librarian in recognition of outstanding leadership and accomplishment in library service. The award is based upon, but not limited to, activities or accomplishments such as: provision of high quality, community-centered library services; distinguished service to the profession, including outstanding participation in activities of professional library associations and/or notable publications; and outstanding development of library techniques, management, and/or facilities.