The chief executive officer of Indianapolis Public Library has agreed to step down at the end of August. In a statement, the library said the move was a joint decision between Jackie Nytes and the library’s board of trustees.
Nytes had been with the library for 23 years and was made CEO in 2012. She was reappointed most recently in 2019, and her three-year term was set to conclude at the end of 2022, the library said.
The decision was made during a special board meeting on Friday, the library said.
Nytes previously served at chief financial officer for the library and associate director of management services. She was an Indianapolis City-County councilor for 12 years, according to the library’s website.
The library said an interim CEO is expected to be named and confirmed at the board’s Monday meeting. A search process for the next CEO will begin immediately, and appointment to the position will require a majority vote from the board, the library said.
“It has been my greatest joy to serve the Indianapolis community in this role, and I feel fortunate to have facilitated many significant and lasting changes for The Library and how we serve our city,” said Nytes.
Earlier this month, a foundation that serves the city said it would not give money to Indianapolis Public Library until the government agency acts on racial equity in the workplace.
The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, announced the decision publicly in a Facebook post.
“We are disheartened and concerned by ongoing testimonies from Indianapolis Public Library staff and board members — particularly Black women and other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) — about experiences of inequity and bias,” the post said. “Libraries are critical community and education centers that must be spaces where all members of the community are welcome and have equitable access to knowledge and culture – no matter place, race or identity. That cannot happen if all staff do not feel welcome, included and supported in doing their work.”
The Indianapolis Foundation oversees a $28 million library fund.
In May, the foundation’s Library Fund awarded $714,000 for various projects, including ones for an Indianapolis bicentennial retrospective on race and race relations in central Indiana, for racial equity training for Library Fund partners, and for expending access to BIPOC literature at Indianapolis Public Schools. The majority of the money, $628,000, went for an internet project in the library.