If one theme runs through Tracie D. Hall’s career, it’s the passion she feels for young people and
ensuring they have the resources to succeed. As Queens Library’s newest director of strategy and organizational development, she’s involved in the library’s customer service priorities—but she’ll also ensure that youth services remains a priority.
“I’m always in awe of the raw potential in young people,” says Hall, who came aboard on July 16. “Institutions can either squash that and try to contain it, or create an atmosphere to foster that and help it grow.”
It’s clear which side Hall falls based on her work experience—from directing a homeless shelter in Santa Monica, CA, to working as a senior program manager in young adult services at the Seattle Public Library and working to help build partnerships between schools and public libraries.
“We wanted to reach students before they got to high school,” she says. “We wanted them to take the public library as a resource with them as they went along.”
It was her work in Seattle that influenced Hall to take her librarianship to the next level and earn her MLIS from the University of Washington’s Information School. She was named a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal in 2004, and throughout her career, she has continued to look for ways to widen programs for librarians and youth, including her position with the American Library Association directing its Office of Diversity.
“We we’re focusing on the next generation of librarians who had a heart for public service,” she says.
Hall says young adult services is one of the “hallmark” programs at Queens Library and it will continue to remain a priority there, as will working with the New York City Department of Education to open up the library’s holdings and provide more access to them for teachers across all boroughs. And for the first-time New Yorker, Hall is jazzed to start.
“People in New York seem to have an appetite for the amazing,” she says. “I think because of the magnitude, the scope and the size, people aren’t afraid of good ideas.”
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