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School Commissioners make new appointment to Indy Library Board of Trustees

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Public Library board has a new trustee in its ranks, as the board faces criticism for handling its CEO search.

The Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners named Stephen Lane to the position. He’s taking over former Board President Jose Salinas’ seat now that his term has ended.

Lane’s appointment came two days after the board —in a special session— named a temporary chief administrative officer.

The library board meetings have been somewhat of a faceoff between the board and community members. Many showed continued anger around the controversy of a long-awaited CEO search.

“In my board appointment, I feel that I can really bridge that breach of trust that the community has with the board. And the workers have with the board. As well as the patrons and see if we can rebuild that trust,” Lane said.

Lane says he’s enjoying the energy the community is putting behind the library board CEO search.

A former library employee and for a time stood alongside the community members calling for the board to heed their advice and name the previous interim CEO to the permanent position. He says he submitted an application during the summer, hoping to be a voice for the community. And the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners chose him. He’ll join the school commissioner’s other appointment: Dr. Khaula Murtadha.

During the latest special meeting to name a chief administrative officer, Murtadha asked to wait until new trustees were named. The board voted against it and appointed the CAO, Anita Harden.

“The board has rushed through a few decisions, and I think people are understanding that we just need to move forward with what we’ve got and work with the board that we have,” Lane said. “And see what we can really accomplish together.”

Lane’s appointment is a bit of a shake-up, considering his activism and outspoken stance on recent library decisions. He says what he’s been asking for best serves library employees and the community.

“I do know some of my methods before getting on the board could be seen as controversial. However, I don’t have to pick up a bullhorn anymore as I will have decision making power at that table,” Lane said.

He says he’s read through the board documents and agenda and is ready to step into his new role.

“I feel very fortunate and honored to be serving the city in such a way.”

One more trustee seat still needs to be filled. The following library board meeting is scheduled for Monday night.