ACRL 2017 Conference Keynote Speakers AnnouncedAugust 26, 2016
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces its celebrated lineup of keynote speakers for the ACRL 2017 Conference, “At the Helm: Leading Transformation”, to be held March 22-25 in Baltimore. The opening keynoter, on March 22, will be information designer David McCandless. McCandless is a British data-journalist, author and information designer. He creates stunning infographics that explore new directions for journalism and discover new stories among the vast amount of data surrounding us. His three books–The Visual Miscellaneum, Knowledge is Beautiful, and Information is Beautiful–along with his blog, help people visualize captivating and intriguing patterns and connections across many areas, including economics, philosophy, art, science, health, and pop culture. McCandless believes that the Internet has turned us all into visualizers for whom processing graphic information is effortless; as a result, data visualization is becoming increasingly important because it enables knowledge compression, allowing an enormous amount of information to be packed into a small space.
The second keynote speaker, on March 23, will be author and cultural critical Roxane Gay. Gay’s writing is widely revered for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. Her work garners international acclaim for her deft eye on modern culture and for the signature wit and ferocity of her critiques. She is the author of Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, and the forthcoming Difficult Women and Hunger, to be published in 2017. An Untamed State, Gay’s novel about a kidnapped Haitian-American woman, is currently being adapted for film. One of Gay’s latest projects is the new Marvel comic “Black Panther: World of Wakanda” that will premiere in November 2016. A companion series to Marvel’s “Black Panther”, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “World of Wakanda” is co-written by Gay and the poet Yona Harvey. Gay is one of the first-ever black women to write for Marvel Comics.
The closing keynote address, on March 25, will be delivered by Dr. Carla Hayden, the incoming 14th Librarian of Congress. She will become the first woman and first African-American to fill the post. After graduating from Roosevelt University and receiving her master’s and doctorate degrees in library science from the University of Chicago, she began her career as a children’s librarian at the Chicago Public Library. In 1993, she was appointed the director at Enoch Pratt Free Library. She was honored as the national Librarian of the Year by Library Journal in 1995, after she created an outreach program for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Dr. Hayden served as 2003–04 ALA President and was vocal in her public opposition to the Patriot Act, saying that the national security law gave law enforcement unprecedented surveillance, including easy access to library records. Along with voicing her objections to the Patriot Act, Dr. Hayden has done much in her career in outreach programs, with an emphasis on equality of access, which she promoted as one of the core values of libraries during her term as ALA President. Fortune magazine ranked Hayden among the World’s 50 greatest leaders in 2016.