IBLN Statement Regarding Indianapolis Public Library’s CEO Search

On December 8th, 2022 the board of the Indianapolis Public Library convened at the Library Services Center and announced that they had selected Gabriel Morley as CEO, over Nichelle M. Hayes. Hayes had been serving as Interim CEO for the past 8 months.

The library board gave no explanation of why Morley was selected over Hayes. Board members Dr. Patricia Payne and Dr. Khaula Murtadha stated that they had not been informed that Morley had been selected before the board and Morley’s selection was done against what the community’s wishes.

The selection of Morley over Hayes shows that the work on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Access (DEIJA) was purely performative and that they have no desire to institute substantive change.

The selection of Morley over Hayes shows that with the exception of Drs. Payne and Murtadha, are disinclined to make decisions that are for the residents of Indianapolis.

The board of the Indianapolis Public Library decided that the emotional, mental and physical labor of Nichelle M. Hayes was good enough to fix the mess that Judge Jose Salinas created, but not good enough to serve as permanent CEO.

We reject the decision of the Indianapolis Public Library board, and we stand in solidarity with Nichelle M. Hayes. The Indiana Black Librarians Network works to dismantle white supremacy and are angered that the board continues to uphold white supremacy.

We stand with the choice the people of Indianapolis have made: Nichelle M. Hayes.

National Conference of African American Librarians!

The Indiana Black Librarians Network is happy to announce that Indianapolis will be hosting the 12th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL XII).  Culture Keepers XII: Unity in Diversity: Stronger Together in the African Diaspora.

IBLN President Mahasin Ameen and IBLN Secretary Rhonda Oliver are serving as program co-chairs.

IBLN members will recieve a registration discount for the conference.

If you are interested in volunteering for NCAAL XII please email ncaalxii@bcala.org.

Former IBLN President Named Interim CEO

INDIANAPOLIS – At the March 28 meeting of the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees, the board voted unanimously to appoint Nichelle M. Hayes as IndyPL’s next interim CEO, beginning April 2. Hayes will take over for John Helling, who has been the interim CEO since September 1, following the departure of Jackie Nytes last summer.

Hayes has been with the Library system since 2015, most notably serving as the manager of the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) located at Central Library. Since it’s opening in 2017, Hayes has led the CBLC to national recognition as a special collection librarian, through programming and events, and most recently the development of interactive digital kiosks and website to serve as educational tools that highlight local Black voices and enhance the CBLC’s impact.

“I am honored to be entrusted with the role of interim CEO, and I look forward to being an advocate and leader for the system,” says Hayes. “I believe that we as a staff and community are stronger together, and that the Library is a fundamental part of the fabric of Indianapolis.” Hayes is a graduate of Arlington High School in Indianapolis. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree and Master of public Administration from Valdosta State University, and then a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University in 2011. She is an alum of the Indiana Librarians Leading in Diversity Fellowship Program (I-ILID), which she credits as helping her join the librarian profession. She has served as the President of the Indiana Black Librarians Network, is currently the President Elect of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was nationally recognized as a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” in 2021. Additionally, she is a genealogist with a focus on African ancestry and has conducted several programs on the topic for IndyPL patrons.

Hayes enters the role of interim CEO as the Library, with approximately 570 employees, recently received results of a climate study to uncover an organizational understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion among staff. The findings include recommendations for improving board of trustee governance, improving trust among staff and leadership, updating hiring practices, updating policies around harassment and HR reporting, improving managerial training, and more.

In Memory of Lauren Freeman

Lauren D. Freeman (August 31st, 1983 – December 15th, 2021)

Lauren was elected as IBLN President in 2020 and remained an involved member as Vice-President while she battled with colon cancer. Lauren loved being a librarian and loved being a Black librarian. Her enduring sprit lives on in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew her. Please watch this space for information on how IBLN will be honoring Lauren Freeman.

Redistricing Impacting Indiana NOW!

What is a district?

The state of Indiana has 150 legislative districts, each has one representative. The state Senate has 50 districts and the state House has 100 districts.

Elected officials must represent the interests and needs of the people who live inside those districts no matter party affiliation.

Why is Indiana redistricting now?

In Indiana, the state legislature is responsible for drawing both congressional and state legislative district lines. Populations change, some districts gain residents, others lose them. Districts also may change demographically. That’s why district boundaries are redrawn every ten years to ensure each district has about the same number of people and that districts are reflective and representative of the electorate.. The governor may veto the lines drawn by the state legislature.

Why does this matter?

Redistricting has a direct bearing on what matters a legislature chooses to tackle, and which to ignore. 

Redistricting also affects whether the nation’s diverse communities are represented in its legislative bodies. The redistricting process uses data from the 2020 census to redraw and reshape our representation in government and funding that includes funding that goes into our public library system. 

According to a study done at George Washington University, Indiana’s legislative maps are 95% more biased so we need to be aware of that.

How can I learn more?

Visit Ballotopedia: https://ballotpedia.org/Indiana_House_of_Representatives#District_map

Solidarity Statement in Support of Latrice Booker

We as members of Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN), stand in full support of Latrice Booker and her resignation letter as Indiana Library Federation (ILF) president, that exposed white supremacy and anti-Black racism within our library profession and professional organizations like the ILF. We know a few things to be true, the libraries where we work can be hostile to Black and other marginalized people, whether they are patrons or library staff. Black library staff see the importance in the work that we do to help serve the informational needs of the people in our communities; the ability to do our jobs more effectively would increase if we did not have to navigate toxic work environments or toxic situations with our colleagues and those in power at our institutions.

This year the Indiana Black Librarians Network will celebrate 20 years as an organization. We stand as an organization that provides a place of support, learning, mentorship and information exchange for Black librarians and our allies. We encourage anyone who wants to learn the richness of our Black librarians working in the state of Indiana to follow and support IBLN through membership, donations and attending our programs. We know that much change is needed to make our profession live up to the myth that librarianship is the cornerstone of democracy. We can only move in that direction if we acknowledge our white supremacist past and its lasting effects. That we call on white librarians to do their part in dismantling white supremacy in our profession and our professional organizations.

Here are our demands for ILF: 

  1. There needs to be a strategic effort to hire and retain Black librarians in the state of Indiana.
  1. Intentional outreach to diverse librarians with ILF in leadership and programming. They can work with IBLN members to increase their diverse programming and outreach that amplify the voices and concerns of Black librarians in the state of Indiana. 
  1. Set up a scholarship program supporting diverse populations. We need to eliminate the monetary barrier for Black librarians to enter into the profession. 
  1. Anti-racism training for ILF leadership and members. This will help Black librarians and other librarians of color feel more comfortable working with ILF leadership and its members moving forward.

These demands are not meant to be easy. These demands are not meant to absolve the harm that has been done. These demands are to create a new path forward that breaks the cycle of white supremacy in our profession so that we all can thrive.

Find more information about IBLN at our website: http://indianablacklibrarians.net

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/INBLN

Call For Papers

Call for Papers

Library History and Library Historians During COVID-19: Reports from the Field

Libraries: Culture, History, and Society (https://www.psupress.org/Journals/jnls_LCHS.html) and LHRT News and Notes (https://lhrtnews.wordpress.com/) unite and provide writing opportunities for a global community of scholars, practitioners, students, and retirees interested in library history. As we all near the one-year anniversary of remote teaching, service disruption, and quarantine brought on by COVID-19, the editors invite your reflections on how the pandemic has affected our discipline and how it has changed members of the library history community as human beings. For the Fall 2021 (volume 5, number 2) issue of LCHS, and for the 2021 cycle of News and Notes, we will publish brief, personal essays from our readers describing and reflecting upon their experiences of the past year. 

Essays should be 500-3,000 words (roughly 2-7 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced) and written in the first-person point of view. Citations/endnotes are not required unless there are quotations. Please send your submission by Friday, April 20th, 2021 to LCHS@press.psu.edu . All submissions will be editorially reviewed. Up to six essays will be selected for publication in LCHS; others may be forwarded to News and Notes.

While COVID-19 has touched virtually everyone, it has done so in very different ways. Many of us are still living through the pandemic. Some have made sense of everything we’ve seen, heard, done, or felt; others have not. Thus the editors welcome submissions that describe positive, negative, mixed, and ongoing experiences. Essays may take either professional or personal points of view (or both) and may be certain or uncertain in their conclusions. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: 

*How the pandemic has affected your research plans

*Use of digitized collections for library history research

*New projects or lines of research prompted by the pandemic

*Challenges and opportunities of professional networking

*Using archives and rare materials during quarantine

*Efforts to document closures, curbside service, and libraries’ other historic experiences 

*Personal challenges, such as social isolation or work-life balance

*Gender, race, class, and other perspectives on being a historian, researcher, or librarian during COVID 

*Pandemic-related stories that point to larger truths

*Lessons learned and insights gained from the pandemic

*Post-COVID plans and hopes

For questions, please contact the LCHS editors, Bernadette A. Lear (BAL19@psu.edu) and Eric C. Novotny (ECN1@psu.edu), or News and Notes editor Brett Spencer (DBS21@psu.edu). 

Looking forward to your submissions!

Bernadette A. Lear (she/her/hers/Ms.)

Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian

Co-Editor of Libraries: Culture, History, and Society

Penn State Harrisburg Library

351 Olmsted Dr., Middletown, PA 17057

BAL19@psu.edu – 717-948-6360


Libraries, Leadership and Social Justice – Free Webinar

The UC Davis Libraries and the Librarians Association of the University of California, Davis Chapter is hosting a special Zoom talk by Dr. Renate Chancellor – Libraries, Leadership and Social Justice: Lessons from E.J. Josey – on Wednesday, February 10, at 1:00pm PT (details below). 

The event is free and open to all library professionals. Registration [https://ucdavis.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcqcuqqqzgqEtO2xOGLaaGsTd0Xs-gD18KN] is required to receive the link to join. We look forward to seeing you there!


Librarian, educator and activist E.J. Josey stands out within the broader social and political landscape of civil rights for his courage and leadership in desegregating the library profession. As president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 1984 to 1985, he successfully drafted a resolution preventing state library associations from discriminating against librarians of color — an act considered by many to have desegregated the ALA.

During this online talk, Dr. Renate Chancellor, author of E. J. Josey: Transformational Leader of the Modern Library Profession (2020), will seek to answer the following questions: How did Josey transform the modern profession? What lessons can we take from his leadership and apply today?

Renate Chancellor is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. in Information Studies from UCLA. Dr. Chancellor’s research focuses on human information behavior, organizational leadership, social justice in library and information science, and library education at historically black colleges and universities. She has published in scholarly journals and presented her research in national and international venues. Recent publications include: E.J. Josey: Transformational Leader in the Modern Library Profession; Racial Battle Fatigue: The Unspoken Burden of Black Women Faculty In LIS; Struggling to Breathe: COVID-19, protest and the LIS response; and Libraries on the Frontlines: Neutrality and Social Justice. She is a recipient of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Leadership Award and the ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award.

ALA IRRT Webinar

September 30 Webinar: Accessing African Children’s Literature Through Online Resources

 Come learn from our two panelists, experts in juvenile literature from Africa.

The International Relations Committee and Africa Subcommittee is pleased to present a webinar on September 30, 2020:

Accessing African Children’s Literature through Online Resources

Please share with colleagues and other groups.

All are welcome!


September 30, 2020  

Time Zones: 6:00 pm Nairobi

11:00 am Eastern Time (USA)

10:00 am Central Time (USA)

9:00 am Mountain (USA)

8:00 am Pacific (USA)