August 4, 2021

Nytes Talks About Equity Efforts At Indy Public Library

Presentation slide from municipal corporation committee meeting. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Presentation slide from municipal corporation committee meeting. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes addressed charges of racism from staff at a City-County Council committee meeting Wednesday night. Her statements were given as part of a regular update for the municipal corporation.

This year numerous library staff called the library out for equity issues including racism and sexism. Nytes said the library invested in diversity, equity and inclusion training in recent years and made DEI a priority in strategic planning. She said the organization is committed to improvement.

"It’s become clear that there are employees who still haven’t felt comfortable really expressing their concerns," Nytes said, "and we need to make sure that there is a very transparent process for employees to be heard."

After the reports from employees, the library announced it will conduct an internal climate study.

As part of the library’s regular report to the council, Nytes said it has a funding shortfall for two newly planned branches at Glendale and Fort Ben because of increased construction and labor costs. The library will request an additional $4 million for the branches, but new bonds should prevent an increase to tax payers.

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