Havre-Hill County Library Director Bonnie Williamson will be among eight people honored by Humanities Montana as a Humanities Hero on April 21 in Helena.
The reception and awards ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of the recipients at All Saints Hall at Carroll College at 5 p. m.
Others to be honored include the late Eloise Cobell, who led the successful suit against the federal government over the mismanagement of Indian Trust funds, and former Montana first lady Betty Babcock, a member of the 1972 Montana constitutional Convention and leader of the 1990s effort to restore the state Capitol.
"I couldn't believe it," said Williamson. "I was overwhelmed."
"I never looked at myself as a hero."
She said she had worked with Humanities Montana over the years and the organization had helped fund many library projects.
Humanities Heroes — people who have contributed significantly to the humanities by presenting engaging programs, hosting many humanities events, composing important books and articles about humanities topics, donating funds to sustain humanities work, and more — have been nominated by community residents
In announcing the award, Humanities Montana said Williamson "has served her community by bringing a wide variety of humanities programs and services to the area with an emphasis on quality, richness and partnership for a very long time."
Under Williamson's direction, Humanities Montana said, Havre-Hill County Library has brought hundreds of programs to the Havre community — using Humanities Montana Speaker's Bureau, One Book, Reading Groups or special events liberally throughout the years.
Her efforts at bringing in resources have been successful, Humanities Montana said in a news release. For example:
• The National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read program provided great opportunities for highlighting classic literature.
• A Gates Foundation grant improved library technology.
• Private donations helped bring new genealogical research tools to library patrons.
Williamson’s contributions gained her the Montana Library Association’s Sheila Cates Librarian of the Year Award in 1994 and the Library of the Year Award for the Havre-Hill County Library in 1998.
Others to be recognized: Helen and William Ballinger, Leslie Davis, Barry Ferst and Yvonne Seng.
The reception honoring the winners is free and open to the public.