Bonnie Williamson is stepping down as the director of the Havre-Hill County Library today, ending a 30-year career that has seen the library move from the Stone Age to the 21st century.
To many people, Bonnie Williamson is the Havre-Hill County Library. Maybe because there never was a Havre-Hill County Library before Bonnie came upon the scene. She oversaw the merger of the Havre and Hill County libraries, both substandard libraries that were situated just a couple of blocks from each other. It was redundancy repeated, but making one institution from the two was a difficult task
Sitting inside the library, you see a microcosm of Hill County. On any given day, you may see Hutterites, Native Americans from Rocky Boy, Montana State University-Northern students, senior citizens, business people, families and some people who look like they may be homeless. In other words, just about everyone is there.
That is in large part because of the atmosphere Bonnie Williamson has fostered at the library. Everyone is welcome, and everyone can count on first-class assistance from the staff.
Children’s programs, reading sessions, community gatherings, even yoga classes have been offered at the library, which has turned into a community center.
As she steps into retirement, she has received many accolades. Earlier this year, she was lauded by Humanities Montana for being a “Humanities Hero. ”
The library will continue in fine tradition under the new leadership, but it will seem strange not having that familiar face at the library.
Best of luck, Bonnie.