In February 2020, Tracie D. Hall became the tenth Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world with over 50,000 members serving library and educational institutions throughout and beyond the US. The first Black woman to helm ALA, Hall has served in numerous library and arts leadership positions nationwide. More about this author >
In February 2020, Tracie D. Hall became the tenth Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world with over 50,000 members serving library and educational institutions throughout and beyond the US. The first Black woman to helm ALA, Hall has served in numerous library and arts leadership positions nationwide.
Prior to joining ALA, Hall served as the Culture Program Director at the Joyce Foundation where she was recognized for creating numerous programs to advance racial inclusion in arts administration and equitable funding for arts institutions founded by and for Black, Latino, Asian, Arab, Indigenous, and other people of color. As Deputy Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events she oversaw the visual and performing arts, film, and community market programs for the city of Chicago and received citations for her work to expand arts access and neighborhood outreach. Hall was the Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Development at Queens Public Library where during her tenure she founded the NYC Early Learning Network.
Hall’s former roles also include Community Investment Strategist and Chicago Community Investor for the Boeing Company’s Global Corporate Citizenship division and Assistant Dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. As the Community Librarian at Hartford Public Library, Hall conceived and curated the NEH-funded Festival of Caribbean Literature with the Connecticut Center for the Book. Then-mayor, Eddie Perez, designated February 13 as “Tracie Hall Day” to acknowledge her service to the city of Hartford. Hall also served as the Youth Services Coordinator at Seattle Public Library where she developed the long-running SCRIBES youth creative writing program for Hugo House. Holding dual bachelor’s degrees from University of California, Santa Barbara, and master’s degrees from the Yale University School of International and Area Studies and the University of Washington School of Information, Hall’s work in library and arts administration has focused on advancing early and adult reading literacy, expanding digital access and literacy, protecting the right to information access for people who are incarcerated, eliminating barriers to arts production and participation, and increasing socio-economic mobility for those who have had limited educational or employment opportunities.
Apart from her administrative assignments, Hall is a noted artist and curator and a recipient of numerous awards and residencies including an Artist Trust award, Cave Canem Fellowship, and Jack Straw Fellowship. In 2016, she founded the small but influential Rootwork Gallery in Chicago to raise the visibility of artists working in folk, vernacular, traditional, and street art traditions. Hall is a native of South Central Los Angeles and has lived in and between New Haven, New York City, Montgomery, and Chicago for the past two decades.