Report Reveals Culture of Harassment and Intimidation at Indianapolis Public Library
INDIANAPOLIS — A New report presented this week by law firm Ice Miller to the Indianapolis Public Library Board describes a workplace where employees, especially African Americans, feel harassed and silenced.
After nearly a year of accusations of racism, sexism and bigotry, the Indianapolis Public Library has hired a law firm to investigate. The 94-page climate report shares insights into employee thoughts and feelings.
For example, 22% of Black employees said they felt harassed or intimidated by co-workers in the past year.
Ice Miller consultants also made recommendations, such as updating and strengthening a harassment policy.
Hope Tribble, Head of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, spoke during the presentation.
“There may be things that are highlighted that are uncomfortable. It’s not just planned, but necessary for growth,” Tribble said.
Former employee Stephen Lane has quit over the issues highlighted in the report. He says the report makes him feel seen.
“The presentation was very affirmative of what we were saying,” he said.
Michael Torres, president of the Library Workers Union, says it could be a sign of good things to come.
“It’s good information, and it’s a start. This is a start for us to start voicing our concerns and working on these issues,” he said.
The union is still processing the full report, but Lane says he thinks a key recommendation is missing.
“Judge Salinas must resign as chairman of the Indianapolis Public Library Board,” he said.
Salinas came under fire after cutting off a former employee’s microphone expressing his concerns at a board meeting in May. It was the incident that sparked public controversy over workplace culture at IndyPL.
Judge Salinas made no indication that he would resign. On Friday afternoon, WRTV left a voicemail for IndyPL’s communications director requesting an interview. This phone call was not returned.
The library released a statement that quotes Tribble as saying, “We started this process because we needed to get a clear picture of what our employees were going through…the next phase of this process begins tonight. We will review the findings and recommendations and consider how, in partnership with employees and the community, the Library can implement them effectively. »
“Once you know better, you have to do better at this point. I wish the best for the Indianapolis Public Library,” Lane said, hoping IndyPL will keep its promise to change.
As for the union, it will continue to fight for change, so employees can do what they love: helping the people of Indianapolis.
“When we give the resources they are looking for, it is our joy. And that’s what we will always do, no matter what,” Torres said.
There will be a Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday with a public commentary portion. It will take place at the Library Services Centre.