ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall Set to Receive the Freedom of Speech and Expression Award from the Roosevelt Institute

For Immediate Release
Thu, 09/21/2023


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office

CHICAGO — Tracie D. Hall, executive director of the American Library Association (ALA), is set to receive the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Speech and Expression Award at the 2023 Four Freedoms Awards on Saturday, September 23. Held annually, the prestigious awards program honors individuals who represent the principles proclaimed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941: freedom from fear, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship and freedom from want.

Past Freedom of Speech and Expression laureates include Congressman John Lewis, Studs Turkel, Bill Moyers, and Nikole Hannah-Jones, who was the 2021 recipient. This year, Hall will be recognized and celebrated for her steadfast commitment to protecting libraries, championing literacy initiatives, and tirelessly striving to safeguard and enhance universal access to information.

“This honor acknowledges the essential role that libraries and librarianship play in the maintenance of freedom,” said Hall. “As such, it is shared with everyone fighting to protect the constitutional right to read, those working to provide instruction to those navigating limited literacy, and those that ensure that libraries are the guarantors of those aims. I share this award with and dedicate it to the heroic membership and staff of the American Library Association and every librarian, library worker, library trustee, and library advocate fighting to keep libraries free and open at a time when our stories are being silenced and libraries are facing existential threat. Let us be encouraged and undeterred.”

Hall will be honored at Saturday’s ceremony alongside other acclaimed figures, including the honorable Nancy Pelosi, speaker emerita of the U.S. House of Representatives; Dr. Walter Earl Fluker, professor emeritus of ethical leadership at Boston University; Ady Barkan, creator of the Fed Up campaign and founder and co-executive director of Be A Hero; and Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District.

The ceremony will begin at 11 AM ET and will stream live on the Roosevelt Institute’s website. For more information, visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit