Distinguished Members

The Distinguished WestPac Member Award recognizes a history of service to the Chapter or exceptional service and/or achievements in the profession. The award is presented at the annual fall meeting. However, if there is no qualified candidate in a particular year, the award will not be presented. Nominations should include an outline of the individual’s achievements, an explanation of why the individual should be considered, and 3 letters of support. Only WestPac members may be considered. Current officers and board members are not eligible. One or more of the following criteria must be met:

  • Special or exceptional service to the Chapter;

  • Sustained record of service to the Chapter;

  • Sustained achievement in the profession.

The Grants and Awards Committee will select the winner with final approval from the Executive Board. Recipients will be recognized and receive a commemorative plaque during the Business Meeting at the WestPac Annual Meeting



Lee Warthen began attending WestPac meetings in 1976 when he started his library career. Over the years, he has worked on various committees, including Education, Nominations, and Local Arrangements Committees, and he chaired an Ad Hoc Committee which reworked the site selection process. Lee served as the Chair of the Preservation Committee for eight years. He is a past President of WestPac. As Chair or Co-Chair of the Education Committee and VP-Elect, he planned three WestPac programs for annual meetings and was heavily involved in planning local arrangements for the past three Utah meetings in Snowbird, Park City and most recently in Salt Lake City. His participation was always at the highest level of contribution and his enthusiasm and willingness to contribute went beyond mere participation.

In addition to his many WestPac contributions, which by themselves reflect achievement in the profession, Lee has also provided many years of AALL service. One specific focus of his AALL activity—and a real passion of his—is Legal Information Services to the Public. He is known throughout AALL for his service to this SIS and his commitment to assisting the pro se litigant, the lay researcher, and the public patrons in our law libraries.


After almost 30 years of service, Judy Meadows retired in 2013 as State Law Librarian of Montana. Judy’s career was truly distinguished and her impact on law librarianship has been felt far beyond Montana. She has given her time and talents to both WestPac and AALL and served both in multiple capacities, including as President of both organizations. The impressive list of awards Judy has received are evidence of both a distinguished career and a brilliant reputation. At the top of the list is the Marian Gould Gallagher Award in Recognition for Extended and Sustained Service to Law Librarianship, which she was awarded in 2013. She has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Montana (which she was awarded twice), the Bethany Ochal Award for Distinguished Public Service from the State, Court and County Law Libraries SIS, and a State of Montana Governor’s Citation.

Harriet Zook has cheerfully provided many contributions to WestPac over the years, such as serving on the Nominations and Elections Committee for many years; chairing the Membership Committee from 1997 to 2002; co-editing the WestPac Newsletter from 1997 to 2002, and again currently serving in that capacity; serving on the Membership and Retention Committee; and working on the 2010 WestPac Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Committee. She performed her tasks thoroughly, skillfully, and in a timely manner, and often shared her talents through articles, columns, news items, etc. in the WestPac Newsletter. However, one of Harriet’s most significant and lasting legacies to WestPac is designing the WestPac Willy mascot, which has become a brand for the Chapter. While Harriet has been a moving force behind many WestPac successes, she has never sought the limelight. It is steady and committed members such as Harriet who make WestPac the successful organization that it is.

2010 (Inaugural Honoree)

Kathy Carlson has been a constant at WestPac meetings for more than 25 years. During that time she has served WestPac in multiple capacities, from Local Arrangements Chair – twice (Jackson Hole, 1994, and Estes Park, 2004) – to President – also twice (1996-1997, 2003-2004), and she is the reigning Government Relations Committee monitor for Wyoming (serving since 1990). She has also been active on the national level in AALL, serving on various committees, as SIS Council Chair (2011-2012), as a member of the Executive Board (2003-2006), and in multiple capacities on the State Court and County Special Interest Section.

Beyond her activities in professional organizations Kathy served in her “day job” as Wyoming State Law Librarian for nearly a quarter century (1988-2012). Yet, for all of her formal activities WestPac members will always remember of Kathy for her tireless boosting of mascot WestPac Willy. While it is true that Willy was designed by fellow Distinguished Member Harriet Zook, Kathy has played a prominent role in promoting our Distinguished Bison.