All hands on deck: Appoint Hayes as library CEO now!

Monday, March 27
6:30 pm
Southport Library
2630 E. Stop 11 Rd.

The next IndyPL Board of Trustees meeting is this upcoming Monday, March 27. We are at a critical juncture in the struggle to install the people’s choice–Nichelle Hayes–as IndyPL CEO. Over the last few months, broad sectors of the Indianapolis community have united in a dedicated struggle against certain board members who stubbornly and blatantly disregard the community’s will. The people’s struggle forced the resignation of several board members, weakening the anti-Hayes faction.

Moreover, last week, the current library leadership, under the guidance of Interim CEO Greg Hill, told several prominent LGBTQ organizations in the city that they are no longer permitted to run mobile clinics that conduct lifesaving HIV testing on library property. Fortunately, community pressure forced them to reverse their decision. This is clear evidence of the absence of decisive and pro-people leadership that Hayes could easily provide.

The appointment of Stephen Lane, a former Indianapolis librarian, member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and organizer with the Indianapolis Liberation Center, tipped the balance of forces in the people’s favor.

The other newly-appointed member is Dr. Eugene White, who will make his first appearance at this Monday’s meeting. White has not openly stated that his position on Hayes’ appointment, although he told the Indy Star‘s Ko Lyn Cheang, “I know there’s some serious issues on the board.” According to the same article:

“His first priorities will involve asking questions about what happened during the CEO search, why Hayes was not offered the CEO position, and why, after Morley declined, she still was rebuffed. White said that from what he knows, he believed their explanation to be ‘weak.'”

To be sure, White is understanding the case, as the entire community knows there was no explanation, except for a series of lies that changed in a matter of weeks. In a letter to the City-County Council published by the Indianapolis Liberation Center, AFSCME Local 3395 President Michael Torres stated that, “as a member of the CEO Search committee, I personally feel the search was rigged.”

This is the moment!

Given White’s public statements, it seems reasonable to anticipate that he will, unlike his predecessor, do the right thing and honor the community’s wishes. Yet it seems just as reasonable that the powerful forces influencing the anti-Hayes faction will force him to reverse his position.

This is an all-hands-on-deck situation. Everyone who wants to see our library flourish for years to come should make every effort to attend this Monday, invite as many people as you can, and make a public comment in support of Hayes!