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Indianapolis Public Library CEO stepping away from her role

Indianapolis Public Library.JPG
Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-21 15:30:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes will step away from her role at the end of August.

A press release from the library said it was a joint decision between the board of trustees and Nytes following a special board meeting Friday afternoon.

Some library employees have called for resignations and a change of leadership since May, claiming some members of management have created a toxic work environment. Some employees say under Nytes, there is an environment where racism, sexism, ableism, and other issues are swept under the rug.

Nytes has been CEO of the library since 2012 and was reappointed at the end of 2019. Her term was scheduled to conclude at the end of 2022.

“It has been my greatest joy to serve the Indianapolis community in this role, and I feel fortunate to have facilitated many significant and lasting changes for The Library and how we serve our city,” said Nytes. “I am grateful to everyone who has supported us, inside the Library and outside in the community, in accomplishing all that we have together. And I am grateful for the many dedicated Board members I have worked for over the years who understood the needs of the community and my vision to serve them."

Library employee Stephen Lane, along with others, called on Nytes to resign.

"I think this was the right decision on the part of our CEO. I know it wasn't an easy one. I know it was hard and to do it in such a public way is very hard, but I definitely feel like she made the right decision," Lane said.

The library says a search process will begin immediately to find the next CEO, a position that requires a majority vote from the board for appointment.

Lane says he hopes the board consults with the library union to find Nytes' replacement.

"We know we can find a leader who really cares for library workers as well as they do the public and the legacy that it brings," he said.

An interim CEO is expected to be named and confirmed at the next regular board meeting on August 23.

“We thank Jackie for her dedicated service over the years and agreed that this is the correct time for a change in leadership. We look forward to finding the next CEO and working with Library staff to guide this important community pillar into its next phase of service for Marion County residents," the board said in a joint statement.

Lane and other workers say there's one more person they'd like to see step away from their position.

"We still have one more resignation to go ... we need the board president Jose Salinas to step aside as an act of goodwill and good faith that he's also committed to bring about these positive changes to our public library," Lane said.