Librarian and executive director of the American Library Association (ALA), Tracie D. Hall, has been named to one of Forbes’ Top 50 Over 50 lists for 2023.
The lists—four total, recognizing Lifestyle, Impact, Innovation, and Investment luminaries—are produced in partnership with journalist Mika Brzezinski and her Know Your Value Initiative and highlights women doing their most innovative, impactful work at ages 50, 60, 70, and beyond.
Hall was selected for the magazine’s Impact list for her leadership during the COVID pandemic that saw libraries close across the U.S. and for her efforts to help protect the freedom to read in a time of unprecedented book bans and challenges. “[Hall] is the very example of someone who is not just embracing her power, but wielding it for good,” writes Forbes.
The magazine also cited Hall’s work bolstering ALA’s in-house legal resources and legal defense fund, her push for policy change alongside political leaders, and the launch of the Unite Against Book Bans initiative that aims to equip everyday people to fight back against censorship in their own communities.
“This is the moment in which we have to assert the belief that freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to read—there's a reason they're part of our First Amendment rights,” Hall told Forbes. “You don't get to personal protections [and] you don't get to a democracy unless you have the right to read.”
“I feel like history at some point is going to judge us,” she said. “And I think that if we keep going in the way that we are, I think we as librarians will be on the right side of history. That goal keeps me going.”
Read the entirety of Hall’s entry on the Top 50 Over 50 here.