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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Robinson resigns from Indianapolis Public Library board

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Indianapolis Public Library board member Dr. TD Robinson has resigned from the board, a library spokesperson confirmed. Robinson’s resignation is the latest development in the fallout from the library’s contentious CEO search.

Library staff received a short internal announcement early in the afternoon Jan. 10 from acting CEO Gregory Hill about the resignation. IndyStar was the first to report Robinson stepping down.

Robinson was one of two board members appointed by the Indianapolis City-County Council, which faced pressure from protesters during its meeting Jan. 9 to remove their appointees.

Robinson was one of four board members to vote to offer the CEO job to Gabriel Morley, who was coming from a library system in New Orleans where employees raised concerns about his performance and behavior.

Board President Hope Tribble is the council’s other appointed board member and also voted to offer Morley the job. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s not clear what comes next for the board or the city-county council as the appointing authority for Robinson’s seat. A spokesperson for the council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This process would be the purview of the board member’s appointing authority,” a library spokesperson told the Recorder.

In voting for Morley, the library board passed over the community’s popular pick, Nichelle M. Hayes, who had been interim CEO. The library has been without a permanent CEO since Jackie Nytes resigned in August 2021 amid allegations of racism.

Less than a week before Robinson resigned, several city-county council members penned a letter to the library board demanding they offer the job to Hayes. Library board members responded with a lengthy letter detailing why Hayes wasn’t offered the job, including that her interim role didn’t come with “promises or guarantees” of a promotion to the permanent role.

Reached by phone, board member Dr. Khaula Murtadha declined to comment on Robinson’s resignation. Murtadha has been a supporter of Hayes, saying in December that passing her over “is against what the community has told us.”

Staff writer Chloe McGowan contributed to this report.

Contact senior staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853 or tylerf@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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