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


ALA Virtual Opening Session Speaker Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation

June 24, 2020

ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall reflected on her first four months as head of the Association, a period marked by the simultaneous struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global uprising against police brutality and racism. “Our resistance in these struggles requires our resilience,” Hall said. In 2026, ALA will turn 150, and Hall … Continue reading Misty Copeland Gets to the “Pointe” of Representation


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



Mary Ghikas

Hanging Up Her Hat

February 21, 2020

What plans do you have for retirement? The rumor is you’re going to Greece. Yes, that’s true. Well, that’s my plan. What’s the old saying? “People plan and then life happens,” right? I have two children. The younger one, who’s almost 38, she’s pretty much in Greece permanently and has been since 2007. She moved … Continue reading Hanging Up Her Hat




Reflecting on Our Mission

January 2, 2020

Like other nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, ALA exists because we seek to accomplish a mission, initially defined in ALA’s Constitution, “to promote library service and librarianship.” That critical social purpose was later more expansively stated in ALA Policy Manual, ­section A.1.2: “The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and … Continue reading Reflecting on Our Mission


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Listening to Your Community

November 1, 2019

At the event, R. David Lankes, now director of University of South Carolina’s iSchool, facilitated discussions on the topic. Participants from all types of libraries were asked to take an imaginary walk around their community: observing, listening, seeking to understand the aspirations of the community for itself. During the discussion that followed, participants talked about how … Continue reading Listening to Your Community


Mary Ghikas, ALA executive director

Future Destinations

September 3, 2019

As in our personal lives, a new year is a time for reflection. We look back at the surprises, successes, and disappointments. We look at how we performed inside the Association—and, even more important, at our impact on libraries, on the people who make both the Association and libraries work, and on all the communities … Continue reading Future Destinations