ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall Receives Literarian Award from National Book Foundation

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/07/2022


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office

CHICAGO – American Library Association (ALA) Executive Director Tracie D. Hall will receive the 2022 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community from the National Book Foundation.

Awarded by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, the award is traditionally presented to an individual for a lifetime of achievement in expanding the audience for books and reading. The recipients of the Literarian Award represent a variety of literary activists, helping to increase access to and diversity in literature. The award comes with a prize of $10,000.

Hall’s long history of working toward greater inclusion and opportunity was one of many reasons that she was selected for the honor.

“In this moment when books and libraries are under attack more than ever, we were thinking of her and her work,” Ruth Dickey, executive editor of the National Book Foundation, told the LA Times. “She’s been a huge champion for equal access to information for everyone, not only for books but also literacy, which is so critical. [Hall] has been a real champion about the importance of dismantling racism in libraries and information services .... She’s incredibly inspiring, and we’re so proud to be able to celebrate her work.”

Hall said her first thoughts on winning the award were of her family.

"My first thought upon being notified about this honor was wishing my grandparents could share this moment,” she said. “They were the ones who, because of their own interrupted schooling, introduced me to libraries as places for self-education. Because they—especially my grandmother—saw libraries and librarians as advocates for the community, they fostered in me the belief that libraries can and should play a role in bolstering equity and access. It is that foundation that has informed my work in libraries and at ALA, and that provides daily a sense of urgency."

Hall will be honored on November 16 during the 73rd National Book Awards ceremony in New York City. This will be the second consecutive year the Literarian Award has been given to a librarian.