McMasters receives James Madison Award at Freedom of Information Day

Contact: Andy Bridges
Communications Specialist
For Immediate Release
March 16, 2007

McMasters receives Madison Award at Freedom of Information Day

WASHINGTON — Paul K. McMasters is the recipient of the 2007 James Madison Award, presented by the American Library Association to honor those who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public's “right to know.”

McMasters was given the award for his tireless work toward openness in government. From his establishment and direction of the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center, to his work as First Amendment Ombudsman, he has demonstrated a genuine devotion to Madison's ideals.

“Since 1989, when Senator Patrick Leahy received the first James Madison Award,” McMasters said, “I have watched with pride as the American Library Association has used its immense credibility and prestige to underscore the importance of [Freedom of Information] by recognizing its foremost champions on the national scene. Never did I think that someday I might join that parade of luminaries. Obviously, I am both stunned and grateful.”

“It is an honor,” said ALA President Leslie Burger in her opening remarks at the ceremony, “to extend the congratulations and sincere gratitude of the American Library Association to Paul K. McMasters, a true public servant for openness and public disclosure of government information during his long and distinguishing career.”

“McMasters,” Burger continued, “has written articles, chaired panels, lectured across the country, and testified to Congress, all with Freedom of Information at the top of his agenda. His leadership efforts in celebration of Freedom of Information Day, his creation of the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame, and as his colleague wrote '…involvement in nearly every significant Freedom of Information initiative of the past two decades,' are what set him apart as a true spokesman for government openness.”


Freedom of Information (FOI) Day is an annual event on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison. Madison is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. 2007 marks the 41st anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, and the 18th year that ALA has presented the James Madison Award.