Author Archive: Tracie D. Hall

From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Hurting Thing

May 3, 2021

Usually the calls were about the kids who frequented the library—which ones had graduated, who was off to college or the military, and sometimes, sadly, who had been shot or killed, or gone to jail. One call still haunts me: A teenage boy I knew well was facing serious time in a juvenile detention center. … Continue reading A Hurting Thing


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Revolutions Where We Stand

March 1, 2021

Those words seem especially prescient now as we look across the country at the libraries that have struggled most during this period of widespread library defunding and service reductions. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, there has long been an unmistakable correlation between communities that navigate high rates of poverty and those that … Continue reading Revolutions Where We Stand


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Defending the Fifth Freedom

January 4, 2021

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. About 698 per 100,000 of the national population are in some form of detention. According to a March 2020 report from the Prison Policy Initiative, the US criminal justice system detains almost 2.3 million people in various facilities in the US and its territories. Chief … Continue reading Defending the Fifth Freedom


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Ending Information Redlining

November 2, 2020

In my most recent column, I called out equitable information access as a matter of social justice and questioned how ALA and its collective constituency might work even more intentionally to eradicate information poverty. I want to pick up this discussion. Let’s look at the pervasive and persistent inequities in information and digital access—and the … Continue reading Ending Information Redlining


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Necessary Trouble

September 1, 2020

Lewis, who served as a US representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district for more than three decades, was a friend to libraries and to ALA, for which he was a frequent speaker. His late wife, Lillian, had been a librarian, and libraries played a major role in Lewis’s early activism. He often spoke about how, … Continue reading Necessary Trouble


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Let Our Legacy Be Justice

July 1, 2020

Just as there was an outcry across the field to keep our staff and communities safe and protected from COVID-19, so too are we obligated to decry racism. As library and information workers, our resistance in both fights requires resilience. The future of libraries rests on building institutions and developing leaders who will promote racial … Continue reading Let Our Legacy Be Justice


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Front Lines and Fault Lines

June 1, 2020

“Wow,” he exclaimed, asking where I had heard about it. I told him there were regular updates on the internet about supply distribution and, ­perhaps even more important, about the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by zip code. To which he responded earnestly, “But how many people have the internet?” I gestured toward his phone, … Continue reading Front Lines and Fault Lines


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

Perfect Storm

May 1, 2020

And all this within the first 30 days of my taking the helm. On day 31, a member wrote to me acknowledging the unforeseen series of events that had played out, and confided, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you had buyer’s remorse.” I didn’t, and I don’t. Though I certainly would have wished for other … Continue reading Perfect Storm


Race and Place

April 23, 2020

Tracie D. Hall is current ALA executive director. This article appeared in the February 2007 issue of American Libraries magazine, when Hall was assistant dean at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. By the time my grandparents purchased what my grandmother referred to as an “old … Continue reading Race and Place