Did IPS violate its own rules when removing Lane? Library union asks for answers

Controversy continues over the Indiana Public School Library Board of Commissioners’ last-minute decision to remove Stephen Lane as one of their two appointees to the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees on April 25. Lane, the only librarian on the board, resigned with the full support of the community before they could remove him.

Recently, Library Union AFSCME Local 3395 leadership discovered that IPS Board of Commissioners did not adhere to their established laws in calling for the removal of one of their board members without first having a public hearing. IPS Board president Moore simply tried to quietly remove Lane from the IndyPL Board of Trustees. IPS appoints two representatives to the IndyPL Board. Lane had no public hearing and, as such, the union is calling for answers and explanation for a decision that doesn’t make sense. There was no public outcry for Lane’s removal and yet he was forced to resign.

Letter from Library union leadership

Members of the IPS School Board,

We write to you in support of Stephen Lane’s tenure on the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees. We are thankful for Stephen’s perspective as a former employee, and his advocacy for front-line library workers. However, we are concerned that Stephen’s removal was proposed with no notice to him or the public.

We believe that transparency into all Board proceedings is key in maintaining a trusting relationship between the Library Board of Trustees, adjacent Boards, and the community these bodies aim to serve.

We are asking for an explanation on this and specifically where the public hearing process occurred in the removal of the board member, referring to Sec. 5. Removal of Board Members in IndyPL Bylaws, even though he resigned.

Please send a reply on this issue to Michael Torres, President of AFSCME 3395 promptly.

With Respect,
AFSCME Local 3395-Indy Library Workers

Featured photo: Library worker and Union President Michael Torres testifying at the April 2023 Library Board of Trustees meeting where, behind closed doors, the Board appointed Greg Hill as CEO without applying for or interviewing for the job. Credit: Bryce Gustafson.