The Library will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

 Welcome to SymBozium

SymBozium is a forum for civil discourse presented by the Bozeman Public Library. At this divisive time in our world the need to consider and understand diverse perspectives is critical, especially within our community. This free participatory event series will feature current topics and keynote speakers representing varied points of view. Join us for principled, productive, and respectful conversations. Let’s discuss.


Upcoming Events

Thanks to all who joined us on October 23rd for a fascinating glimpse into fake news, free speech and the state of democracy. A few of you have asked for sources that were mentioned last night and of course that is one of our favorite jobs here at the library.

Franke Wilmer's reference on an article about evaluating news found on social media can be found here: Heuristics: an approach to evaluating news obtained through social media.

Jeff Reed referred to an MIT study and that can be found here: Study: On Twitter, false news travels faster than true stories.

Fake News or Free Speech: Can Democracy Survive?

"Fake news" has always been part of the communication landscape. The difference now is that we are inundated with social media that makes it possible to disseminate "fake news” quickly and easily. In the past "fake news" was used as propaganda to isolate individuals or groups of people, destabilize governments, and foment anarchy. "Fake news" may be inaccurate, dishonest, misleading, intentionally untrue, and even intended to damage the paradigm of factual information. But is it illegal? Is it protected by the First Amendment? Can "fake news" -- or suppressing it -- undermine our democratic way of life?


Moderated by

Frankie Wilmer

Franke Wilmer

Professor and Department Head of Political Science at MSU






With Guest Speakers

Les AuCoin

Les AuCoin

Former journalist, professor of government, and nine-term U.S. congressman from Oregon




Jeff Reed

Jeff Reed

Technology executive





Will Dobson

Will Dobson

Chief International Editor at National Public Radio




SymBozium Planning Committee

Nicholas Wickes
Kit Heffner
Brook Merrow
Tanya Andreasen
Lee Selby
Susan Gregory
Kit Stephenson
Janay Johnson
Dawn Hobson