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Public library funding in jeopardy following accusations of toxic work environment

Indianapolis Public Library responds
Indy, Beech Grove libraries approve merger
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 13:00:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Accusations that the Indianapolis Public Library is failing to address a toxic work environment could impact the library financially.

The "Indianapolis Foundation" — an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) — posted a message on Facebook, saying:

"As stewards of the $28 million Library Fund, The Indianapolis Foundation believes that libraries are important cornerstones of healthy and equitable communities."

The message goes on to say the Foundation is concerned to hear staff and board members, particularly Black women and other people of color, share experiences of inequity and bias.

The Foundation says that as a result, it's withholding future funding to the Indianapolis Public Library until "significant, meaningful and measureable change toward a more equitable internal environment is evident."

The Indianapolis Public Library released the following statement to WRTV following the Foundation's announcement:

"Since The Indianapolis Foundation has a six month lead time for grant applications, there will be no impact on 2021 programs. We are still evaluating the impact on 2022 programs. The Library is still determining what programs to offer in 2022. We don’t know what the total financial impact will be because we do not know how long the funding pause will last."

Last week, the Library Workers Union president and an employee talked with WRTV. They outline allegations that Library workers have enabled a racist, homophobic, and toxic work environment.

MORE | Employees ask for change of leadership at Indianapolis Public Library |