Indy library selects interim chief as new CEO
Gregory Hill, who has served in numerous roles with the Indianapolis Public Library over the past 12 years, was appointed CEO of the system by the board of trustees on Monday.
Hill has been serving as acting chief executive of IndyPL since December and as chief public services officer since August 2021. He started working at the system in 2011 as a clerk at the Warren Branch, followed by stints as an adult reference librarian at Central Library, manager of the Decatur Branch, manager of the Lawrence Branch and area resource manager of IndyPL’s east region.
The vote to appoint Hill as CEO took place at “a tumultuous meeting” that was moved to a private room and shut off to community members, according to The Indianapolis Star.
The Star said protestors banged on the door and chanted during the 4-1 vote, which took place after board members Khaula Murtadha and Patricia Payne, who opposed Hill’s appointment, left in protest.
The resolution to appoint Hill was introduced by board member Eugene White and supported by Luis Palacio, Raymond Biederman and Board President Hope Tribble. Stephen Lane voted to oppose it.
“Over his many years of service to IndyPL, Mr. Hill has demonstrated steady and sure leadership in every position he’s held,” Tribble said in written remarks. “He is uniquely suited to lead the library through the challenges it currently faces, and the board firmly believes he will be instrumental in securing a bright future for the institution. We are delighted to appoint him CEO.”
Hill becomes the system’s first permanent CEO since September 2021, when former CEO Jackie Nytes resigned amid allegations of discrimination.
The governing body of the public library system has faced accusations of discrimination and a lack of transparency in the CEO search that has dragged on after Nytes left.
Controversy began in December after the board selected out-of-state library leader Gabriel Morley as CEO of the system over interim CEO Nichelle Hayes. Morley initially accepted the job but turned down the position shortly afterward due to protests over his hiring from library union members, former employees and disagreement among board members.
Hill did not apply for the job during last year’s CEO search.
Prior to starting at IndyPL, Hill served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Liberty University, a master’s degree in library science from IUPUI and a second master’s degree in strategic management from Indiana Wesleyan University.
The library said Hill, in his job as chief public services officer, developed and implemented the system’s career development and mentor programs along with establishing and measuring system-wide public service diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
In a written statement, Hill said his first step as CEO will be healing divisions between system leaders and supporters.
“My commitment is to be a leader who brings people together, both inside IndyPL and across the community,” he said. “As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Indianapolis Public Library, I will work with our leadership, staff and community to ensure the Indianapolis Public Library can fulfill its mission by providing safe places where patrons can learn and grow for decades to come.”