Special Event: May 3rd Keynote

Tracie Hall, ALA Executive Director

Information Redlining: The Role of Libraries in Disrupting the Growing Socioeconomic Divide

Appointed to lead the world’s oldest and largest library association two weeks before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracie D. Hall, the American Library Association’s tenth executive director, looks at how the current public health crisis has exposed and exacerbated the deep employment, education, and basic information access divides in this country. Arguing that these rapid and volatile socioeconomic changes require that libraries, as both a sector and a construct, become even more intentional about shifting their orientation from outputs to outcomes and asserting their centrality in community recovery and resilience, Hall pulls from experience she’s gained working in social services, non-profits, and libraries (including the New Haven Free and Hartford Public Libraries) across the country. In this frank reflection on the changing role of libraries in this era and the association that exists to support them, Hall forecasts the major social shifts of the coming years, what they might mean for the LIS sector, and explains why libraries can’t adhere to the same playbooks.