Amira Malcom: “Stephen has always stood on the side of library workers”

Editorial introduction

The following statement by former Indianapolis Public Library worker Amira Malcom was written for the April 25 press conference in solidarity with Stephen Lane’s decision to resign from the Board. Malcom is a writer, visual strategist, librarian, and project manager who served as multimedia project manager for one of Indianapolis’ most important educational and cultural institutions: the Center for Black Literature and Culture. Founded by Nichelle M. Hayes in 2017, Malcom was integral to the successful launch of the Center’s second phase in 2022. Malcom boldly advocated for library patrons and the community at numerous library board meetings, risking her job in the process. We thank Malcom for letting us publish her statement and for the example she continues to set for all of us.

Statement of solidarity

Hello IndyPL Community,

My name is Amira Malcom, and I am a former IndyPL library worker. I worked alongside Nichelle M. Hayes for the better part of three years working on improving the Center for Black Literature and Culture and implementing some of the technology advances that have brought media attention and positive engagement to what is unfortunately still a hidden gem in our city.

From the beginning of my journey in this library system, Stephen Lane has been an earnest help and resource when it came to understanding our library system and the importance of librarians in our society. It is because of my many talks with him that I ended up pursuing my own MLIS [Master of Library and Information Science] journey, which I will finish in May of 2025 at Indiana University – Indianapolis. 

I was incredibly excited when I heard that Stephen had chosen to pursue a role on the Library board. Through the many issues and struggles staff have had within this library system, Stephen has always stood on the side of library workers and advocated for their needs. He works to understand the human element of the problem, and is not afraid to call out injustice when he sees it. I am confident that these elements of his character will continue to shine through, and it’s for this reason that I fully support his advocacy journey, wherever it may take him.

Amira Malcom

Featured photo: Amira Malcom (right) and Keshia McEntire (left) during a FOX59 interview on Juneteenth programming at the Center for Black Literacy and Culture in 2022. Credit: Amira Malcom.