The lessons we’re learning from the #SaveNilesLibrary campaign have been informing the organizational structure of the Niles Coalition. We’ve been networking and making so many new friends. We’re excited to connect with so many of you. Another world is possible, we just know it!
As you know, our cherished Niles-Maine District Library was taken over by an anti-library bloc of trustees: Carolyn Drblik, Olivia Hanusiak, Suzanne Schoenfeldt, & Joe Makula. Their heartless attitude toward the library staff and patrons is such a cruel and shameful display that is causing so much anguish in our community. But we continue to bear witness during meeting after intolerable meeting.
🏆 Ok, first of all, the community really SHOWED UP when we asked for y’all to send letters to reject the Steven Yasell corrupt contract. The Mayor of Niles was compelled to make a public comment at the June 16th library board meeting to plead with the board to work together. He cited the over 150 emails, text messages, and phone calls. The situation is ongoing but congratulations and thank you!
🌟 Secondly and even bigger news is that the employees of Niles-Maine District Library are organizing their union with AFSCME Council 31! Through the tireless efforts of library workers and allies they accomplished this amazing feat in such a short time frame. We were honored to sign on as a supporter of this effort to secure worker rights! We hope this helps protect them from the brunt of the wrecking ball but we aren’t slowing down to find out!
🕊 Unfortunately, through all these wins, the anti-library bloc confirmed one of our worst suspicions on the night of June 18th, 2021. After an unprecedented 4-hour closed executive session while desperate library workers waited and waited, the board forced the resignation of beloved Executive Director Susan Dove Lempke. (video) The impact upon the community is devastating.
📄 You can always read out blog post updates at our campaign page at SaveNilesLibrary.org. Two new blog posts have been published recently:
📢 What’s next you ask? We have been inundated with requests for action. We hear you and we will be reaching out with specific opportunities. For one, the Niles 4th of July parade is coming up and we want to get as many people as possible along the route wearing buttons, stickers, building awareness, and cheering on the librarians. Specific details about that and future actions will be sent soon. Please stay tuned!
PS- here are some signs you can print out and put in your windows!