A Midwest Community Foundation has announced Monday it plans to withhold future funding to a local public library. This is because racism and discrimination concerns were brought up by some Black library workers and patrons. Moreover, the institution does need to make “significant, meaningful and measurable change” going toward a more equitable internal environment. That will be until there is a library-board-approved climate improvement process does conclude.
Midwest Community Foundation Upset by Inequity and Bias
“Moreover, we are disheartened and concerning by continuing testimonies from Indianapolis Public Library staff and board members. This is particularly distressing regarding Black women and other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) — about their life experiences of inequity and bias.” “Libraries are an important community. The education centers must be spaces where all members of the community are welcome. It does have to have equitable access to knowledge and culture. In fact, no matter place, race, or identity. Moreover, that can’t happen if all staff does not feel welcome. This would include being supporting them in doing their work. In fact, we do take these accounts very seriously.”
Seeking Resignation of Jackie Nytes and Jose Salinas
Tension has been brewing for quite some time. In fact, since May, some current and former library workers and patrons have, in fact, been seeking publicly the resignation of Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes. Also library board president Marion County superior court judge Jose Salinas.
Contributing to racism, discrimination, and a toxic work environment in the library system for years, Nytes has been a party to that and contributing to it. Moreover, during a virtual library board meeting in May, Salinas went ahead and muted the microphone of Bree Flannelly. She is a Black woman and former library worker who did try to address the board about racism and discrimination. She also tried to discuss her experiences and what she witnessed first-hand at the library.
In fact, the current and former library workers have since spoken publicly about how the devaluation of Black library workers and library workers of color. This has been an ongoing issue at the centuries-old institution for many decades.