Librarians are definitely rock stars, and now one has been named one of the most influential people in the world!
Time has named American Library Association (ALA) Executive Director Tracie D. Hall to the 2023 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Hall is the 10th executive director of ALA and the first Black woman to lead the organization in its nearly 150-year history.
Hall’s work in library and arts administration has focused on advancing early and adult literacy, expanding broadband access and digital instruction, advocating for equitable arts funding and leadership development, increasing educational programs and information services for people who are incarcerated or disenfranchised, and advancing socio-economic mobility in communities that have had limited educational or employment opportunities. In 2022, she became only the second librarian to be honored with a National Book Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement. And most recently, she was named the 2023 recipient of the Literacy Leader Award by scaleLIT and the 2023 Beacon Award recipient by Illinois Humanities as part of its public humanities honors.
“To be recognized alongside so many extraordinary individuals is incredible in itself. But to be recognized for working to protect the right to read and to advance the ability to read as a librarian, is doubly incredible and a sign to keep going," Hall said. "Those working in libraries today are on the frontlines of protecting our right to free speech and diverse narratives which is the basis of any true democracy. Their work to keep libraries open and accessible, even as censorship efforts escalate and become more extreme, is a testimony to their unrelenting commitment. It is for this reason that this honor is really a collective one in that it recognizes the power and importance of libraries and librarianship at this crucial moment in our nation.”
Now in its 20th year, the TIME100 recognizes the impact, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. The full list and related tributes appear in the April 24 issue of Time, available on newsstands now and at time.com/time100.