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Executive Director Tracie D. Hall to Depart from the American Library Association

  • 1.  Executive Director Tracie D. Hall to Depart from the American Library Association

    Posted Oct 05, 2023 02:03 PM

    CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) announced today that Tracie D. Hall will resign from her role as executive director following nearly four transformative years at the Association. Her last day will be Friday, October 6.

    During her tenure, Hall brought ALA greater public recognition, private funding, media visibility, and key partnerships. Upon her departure, she leaves behind a string of key accomplishments, including advancing the Association's work in the areas of accessibility, adult and family literacy, arts access, broadband access, digital inclusion, library services for people who are incarcerated and reentering communities after incarceration, and intellectual freedom and the right to read.

    "Tracie has been a strong guiding force for ALA and a tireless champion for libraries, library workers, and the communities they serve," said ALA President Emily Drabinski. "A passionate steward of our profession, she has demonstrated unparalleled leadership and an unwavering commitment to ALA's mission, especially at a time when there has been unprecedented attention around our work. As she now moves onward, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Tracie for her outstanding service and indelible contributions to ALA and wish her continued success in her future endeavors."

    In addition to programmatic expansion, Hall, who assumed her leadership role two weeks before the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, worked to successfully grow ALA's membership and rebuild its financial health. Under her leadership, ALA received the largest unrestricted grants in its history and allocated more than $10 million to school, public, and academic libraries, including a number of minority-serving institutions.

    "To serve as executive director of ALA at any time would be a formidable task," said Hall. "To take on that role at the outset of a pandemic and during an unprecedented escalation in censorship attempts has required intensive effort, which I have relished and learned from. And though there is still so much to do, I believe I am leaving the association-stewarded by its dedicated board, membership, and committed staff-on course to achieve new levels of impact in the realization of its mission."

    For her work in service to libraries and the public, Hall received numerous accolades, bringing a heightened level of national attention, awareness and support to ALA and its mission. In 2022, Hall became the second librarian to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Foundation. This year, she was named a Beacon Award winner by Illinois Humanities for her contributions to the arts and humanities in the state. Hall was also named the 2023 recipient of the Literacy Leader Award by scaleLIT, a Chicago-based literacy advocacy organization, and shortly after, TIME Magazine named Hall to the TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Institute selected Hall as the 2023 recipient of its Freedom of Speech and Expression medal, an honor previously awarded to Rep. John Lewis and journalists, Dan Rather and Nikole Hannah-Jones. 

    ALA will name an interim executive director in the coming weeks as it prepares to begin a robust, nationwide search for a successor who will continue to uphold the Association's core values, advance its longstanding mission, and provide strong leadership.  

    Marsha P. Burgess
    Council Secretariat
    American Library Association
    (312) 280-3204