Librarian and activist Stephen Lane will join the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees.
Lane, a former special collections librarian and union member at IndyPL, was appointed by the Indianapolis Public Schools board Jan. 19. Lane, an archivist at IUPUI, now fills the seat of Jose Salinas, whose term expired at the end of 2022. He was allowed to remain active until his seat was filled.
Lane has been vocal in his support to appoint Nichelle M. Hayes as the new CEO of the library, speaking out at previous library board meetings and a protest in December. With Lane on the board, he joins members Dr. Khaula Murtadha and Dr. Patricia Payne to evenly split the board’s support for Hayes.
“We must strengthen the board’s relationship with the workers of the library and our community,” Lane said at the school board meeting. “I want to serve as a bridge for the Indianapolis Public Library board and the library workers and the community.”
Lane, whose appointment is effective immediately, will serve a four-year term. The school board members voted unanimously in support of his appointment, with Will Pritchard abstaining.
In a statement, the school board acknowledged Lane is “outspoken” and “an advocate for social justice.”
“We are aware that the decision to appoint Mr. Lane is a controversial one, and we reviewed concerns regarding his appointment with great care,” the school board said. “We thoughtfully considered several candidates and spent much time conversing with Mr. Lane about his ability to serve as an effective member of the board.”
Lane’s appointment to the board came the same week the board voted to pass a resolution that would create a new position and appoint Anita J. Harden as a temporary contractual chief administrative officer.
Contact Indianapolis Recorder staff writer Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.