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Climate Improvement Process

The Indianapolis Public Library prioritizes Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity (DICE) as a core value in our pursuit of inspiring lifelong learning, because our patrons come from all walks of life and so do we. We celebrate being an equal opportunity employer because diverse backgrounds, ideas, and viewpoints makes our organization stronger.

Climate Improvement Process

Climate Improvement Process

In September of 2021, The Indianapolis Public Library's Board of Trustees engaged the Racial Equity Solutions Team of Ice Miller, LLP to lead a comprehensive climate study utilizing qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the experiences of staff in regards to equity and inclusion in the workplace, followed by a detailed written report of their findings and recommendations. The process, led by Ice Miller's Myra Selby, included:

  • An anonymous employee climate survey
  • Key stakeholder, board member, and employee focus groups and interviews
  • A racial equity internal document review
  • A workforce demographics review
  • A human resources systems and operations review
  • An employee policy audit

The Ice Miller Racial Equity Solutions Team presented its findings in a special meeting of the IndyPL Diversity, Policy, and Human Resources board committee on March 23, 2022. Links: Live stream of this meeting, the presentation slide-deck, and the full report.

IndyPL staff, leadership, and board members reviewed the climate study recommendations and developed an action strategy to move our organization forward, working toward positive, equitable experiences for both staff and patrons.

View the Dashboard

We are tracking our progress and sharing updated metrics publicly to ensure regular improvement and accountability. Our most recent dashboard was updated on September 21, 2023. Additionally, the items detailed below are examples of efforts in these areas, some initiated before Ice Miller's study, and some directly resulting from their findings.

Workplace Climate Improvement Progress

Improve the Board of Trustees Governance

  • Board members have reviewed the IN the Public Trust manual.
  • Board members participated training via The Indiana State Library on August 30, 2022.
  • New board member orientation took place March 22, 2023.

Implement Leadership-led Strategy to Restore Trust within the Library System

  • The DEI Officer established the DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity) Alliance in July 2022 to collaborate with IndyPL leadership to fulfill the climate study recommendations and represent employee concerns.

Update Interview & Hiring Processes to Utilize Structured Interview Methods

  • HR and managers are collaborating to create an interview toolkit resource that contains a list of standard questions for each IndyPL position. This is complete for Public Services hiring, which is the majority of staff positions.

Update and Reinforce Harassment Reporting and Investigation Processes

  • HR launched a new reporting tool for improved and (optionally) anonymous staff grievances in October 2022.
  • HR has audited policies and procedures related to harassment and bullying, and reinforcement will be ongoing.
  • IT is collaborating on harassment and bullying policies that pertain to phones, internet, and other technology.
  • Management and Human Resources Staff received Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation training. Sessions began on March 23, 2023 and will conclude on April 24, 2023.

Conduct a Compensation and Pay Review

  • HR, CFO, and CEO have reviewed the 2019 compensation study for fuller implementation, reviewed positions at other libraries to identify comparable positions and salaries, and staff received raises at the start of 2023 with opportunities for appeal.

Enhance DEIA Learning and Managerial Leadership Training

  • Public Services Managers, Area Resource Managers, and Circ Supervisors have completed disability training from Easterseals Crossroads to support the installation of accessible work stations at each location. Training for additional staff will take place April 6, 2023.

Enhance Internal Communication Processes and Practices

  • Communications relaunched an improved staff newsletter in Summer 2022, with updates based on staff feedback.
  • Considered various internal communication approaches and selected the following: holding in-person managers meetings twice a year, adding DEI discussion to the agenda of monthly staff meetings, resuming the internal newsletter on April 20, 2023, and conducting a Town Hall in Spring, 2023.
  • Added a list of short-to-medium term facility projects to the intranet to better inform staff of current and upcoming maintenance work.

Staff Development Progress

  • In 2021 and 2022, 336 full time employees completed racial equity training through Racial Equity Institute.
  • As of March 2023, 69 part-time or hourly employees completed racial equity training through Child Advocates.
  • All employees have completed the required staff competencies:
    • "Dismantling Institutional Racism"
    • “Prejudice: How to respond to prejudicial comments from customers"
  • Two required annual competencies have been added to internal employee DEIA training:
    • DEI 101 – Understanding the Basics
    • Welcoming Libraries and Trans Communities Parts 1 and 2.

Government Alliance on Race and Equity

  • In 2020, IndyPL joined the City of Indianapolis and other municipal corporations as part of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Work continues with city departments and other municorps organizations.

Equitable Public Service Efforts

One of the many challenges facing American institutions today is the need to acknowledge and examine histories that have resulted in the exclusion of Black, Latina/o/x, Native and Indigenous people, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and other groups with intersectional identities. We recognize the past and share this history. We must work to undo the systems that have influenced library service models and impeded equitable service to underrepresented members of our community. We work every day to establish trust with both staff and patrons. We want to be of service to you and know there is much more to be accomplished.

Collection Diversity

Our collection management department established a stretch goal of utilizing its purchasing budget on 30% African American, 10% Latinx, and 5% LGBTQ+ materials by 2023. Our 2021 spending reached 17%, 4%, and 5% respectively, in pursuit of that goal.

Browse Racial Equity Titles

Vendor Diversity

Our goal is to ensure 27% of our total vendor expenditures are paid to City of Indianapolis-certified Woman-, Minority-, Veteran-, or Disability-owned businesses annually. In 2021 this spending was 51%.

Vendor Diversity Commitment

No More Late Fines

At the start of 2021, IndyPL eliminated punitive late fines for all patrons, enhancing accessibility for those to whom late fines presented a barrier to our materials.

Learn More

Leading with Equity

In 2021, the IndyPL Board of Trustees approved a three-year strategic plan, which intentionally leads with racial equity as both an organizational value and priority initiative.

View the Plan

Feedback is Welcomed

We would like to hear from our entire community so that we may continue to grow, learn, and serve.

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