The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office invites nominations for its James Madison Award. The award recognizes an individual or group who has championed, protected, or promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.
The award is named in honor of President James Madison, known as “the Father of the Constitution.” Madison was a noted advocate for the importance of an informed citizenry, famously writing in 1822:
“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowlege will for ever govern ignorance: and a people who mean to be their own Governours, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Winner of the 2017 Madison Award, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, was nominated by ALA member Ann Ewbank for his longstanding bipartisan commitment to increasing public access to information. You can watch the presentation and Sen. Tester’s acceptance speech here.
ALA will present the 2018 award during or near Sunshine Week, the week that includes March 16, Madison’s birthday.
Submit your nominations to the ALA Washington Office, care of Gavin Baker, no later than January 19, 2018. Please include a brief statement (maximum one page) about the nominee’s contribution to public access to government information. If possible, please also include a brief biography and contact information for the nominee.
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