The Indianapolis Public Library’s interim CEO Nichelle M. Hayes, MPA, MLS, has been elected president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community while providing leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.
Hayes has been a member of BCALA since 2010, most recently serving as vice president. She says the organization has positively impacted her career.
“I’ve been personally impacted by learning from members informally and at conferences, as well as by being mentored by Marcia Smith Woodard and having access to leadership opportunities,” said Hayes. “As president, I want to continue the legacy of librarians like Effie Lee Morris, one of the BCALA founders, and Shauntee Burns-Simpson, our immediate past president. We are a 52-year young organization that strives to promote librarianship and advocate for the full inclusion of Black librarians within the profession. I want to grow our membership and increase our ability to connect members in a meaningful way.”
Hayes has been with The Indianapolis Public Library system since 2015, most notably serving as the manager of the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) located at Central Library and taking on the role of interim CEO in April 2022.
Hayes is a graduate of Arlington High School in Indianapolis. She earned her bachelor's degree and Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University, and then a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University in 2011. She is an alum of the Indiana Librarians Leading in Diversity Fellowship Program (I-ILID), which she credits as helping her join the librarian profession. She has served as the President of the Indiana Black Librarians Network and was nationally recognized as a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” in 2021. She is passionate about promoting Black librarianship, serving as one of four one of 4 co-editors of the book The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening. Additionally, she is a genealogist with a focus on African ancestry and has conducted several programs on the topic for Indianapolis Public Library patrons.
Her term as president of BCALA runs from 2022-2024.