Each year, the American Library Association seeks to honor those who have rendered distinguished service to libraries and librarianship. Such recognition is made for individual achievement of a high order in some area of librarianship. The winners of ALA awards for individual achievement constitute a "hall of fame" for librarianship.
But the men and women in whose honor the awards are named are often little known. This photo essay offers a glimpse into the lives of a few of the people who have had an award, scholarship, or other commendation named for them. They include librarians, authors, illustrators, and civil rights workers. Not everyone included here had a direct impact on libraries or literature during their own lives, but all of them left their mark on the profession in some way.
This month, ALA launched a database organizing information about its full list of awards and recipients. The database can be used to explore the different awards that are offered, the past winners of awards, and how someone can apply for an award.