DeSoto’s ‘Renaissance Man’, Managing Dir. of Library Services’ Brings Experience To DeSoto

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Hunter Hayes
Photo credit City of DeSoto

DESOTO – If you have not heard the City of DeSoto has a new Managing Director of Library Services guru, now you know. In fact, the newly appointed library guru recently completed his first one hundred days.

Dr. Tracey J. Hunter Hayes who most call “Hunter” joined the library during the summer and has been going strong ever since.

Hayes, who DeSoto Communications Manager Matt Smith calls “DeSoto’s new Renaissance Man” even flew in to take part in the Mayor’s Summer Reading Kick-off Event.

The son of a US Diplomat, he grew up out of the United States in places like USSR and Turkey. Now, he is making an impression on DeSoto at the city’s library.

According to Hayes, one of the strong changes the library is offering now is “patron-centered services with intentionality.”

Numerous Opportunities For DeSoto’s Library

As for challenges, his response is “None, yet there are numerous opportunities. We offer tutoring, with retired world class teachers. Additionally, we have the Teens Cooking Series utilizing cookbooks to affirm an appreciation of self-sufficiency and cultural dishes; practicing and exploring Self-care issues such as reading or listening to and enjoying a good book or article, while learning new skills such as Cooking and Gardening, Sketching, Genealogy, and Latin Dancing.”

Hayes is a 32-year career librarian with a proven record as the first African American male American Library Association fellow (1992-1993). A former tenured faculty member and a consummate professional “bibliometrician” creating “new performance thresholds and building sustainable services in the Library and Information Science world.”

His biography also highlights he served on several ALA Presidential task forces and committees which launched, “The ALA Spectrum Scholarship” from his fellowship survey and data to “recruit persons of color into the professional library ranks.”

A Servant Leader

two men talking
Hunter with Mayor Pro Tem Byrd Photo credit City of DeSoto

He began his librarian career as a Children’s Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia with the support and training from Dr. Carla Hayden (University of Pittsburgh professor, and current Librarian of Congress) and Dr. E.J. Josey (professor, advisor, mentor, and founder of Black Caucus ALA). He served as the Director/Dean of libraries at several HBCU’s, the oldest Protestant Seminary in United States, a military library and as a faculty Librarian at two ACRL’s. During his career, he has raised more than $20 million, and renovated a historic library while earning a Middle States Commission of Higher Education commendation.

A Snowbird Leadership alum, over the years Hayes has also presented at state and national conferences. He chaired the International Relations Committee’s Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for multiple years and has attended several IFLA conferences during his career.

Hunter is an educator and practitioner with a bachelors and a master’s in library science, a seminary degree and a doctorate. Hayes can best be defined in DeSoto and throughout his career as a “servant leader with a library philosophy of, ‘welcome, which in library speak is ACCESS.”

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