February 16, 2018

Indy Library CEO Candidates Cite Experience, Connections

By Jennifer Pinkowski

Library management experience in tough times; an up-through-the-ranks career in the library system; and a deep local rolodex were among the reasons cited by the three notably local finalists for the CEO slot at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library for why each should get the job. At an October 27 public meeting held at a branch library, library interim director Laura Bramble; city council member Jackie Nytes; and library resource manager Michael Williams took questions from the public about how they would run the 23-branch system, which has annual budget of $31 million and 640 employees, according to local press reports. The Q&A came about six weeks before the expanded Central Library is slated to reopen on December 9. The library’s board of trustees is expected to select the CEO in mid-November.
All three have long histories with the library. Bramble, who has held various IMCPL management positions over the last 15 years, became the interim director when the troubled library system’s former CEO, Linda Mielke, resigned in January. The Central Library is over budget by $50 million. Among other top jobs at the library, city council member Nytes has served as the library system’s CFO; she has held her city government seat since 2000. Williams, who is the area resource manager for the south region of the library system, has been with the library the longest—25 years—the last 12 in different leadership roles. According to the Indianapolis Star, the 40 or so members of the public were impressed with all three candidates. “The library will be in good hands no matter what the final decision is,” library trustee Mary Lou Rothe told the paper.

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