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Program Information
 Community supports critic of structural racism at Evanston Library
 Community Members,Lesley Williams
 Dale Lehman/WZRD  
 For non-profit use only.
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Community members and friends of Lesley Williams turned out again in support of the Evanston Public Library's Adult Services Librarian, ahead of a termination hearing called by Director, Karen Danczak-Lyons.

Unwilling to discuss, let alone correct, long standing issues of racial inequity raised by community members, organizations and librarian Williams, the Director and the EPL Board have conspired to remove "the thorn" from their side as revealed in emails between a board member and Director Danczak-Lyons.

Community members are demanding intervention by the Mayor and make a group call to him to end his silence on the issues
and the Directors apparent vendetta against Librarian Williams.

People speak out about why they are there and the library's minimal resources devoted to developing readers in low income communities of color.

One sign read: "This hearing makes as much sense as covfefe."
PRESS RELEASE: FOIA’d Evanston Library Emails Confirm Contempt for Community Concerns as nearly 100 rally again for Evanston’s only Black Librarian
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Contact: Michael Deheeger,, 847-494-0356


FOIA’d Evanston Library Emails Confirm Contempt for Community Concerns as nearly 100 rally again for Evanston’s only Black Librarian

“The library’s attempt to silence Lesley suggests that the library director is afraid of words,” Lesley Williams's attorney states as Library seeks termination over critical Facebook post; community members call on Mayor Hagerty to intervene

6/2/2017, Evanston, IL: Nearly 100 community members rallied in support of Lesley Williams as she faced possible termination over a critical Facebook she wrote questioning the library’s commitment to racial equity. This is the second time in two months large numbers of Evanston and area residents demonstrate to defend Lesley against a pattern of persecution over her steadfastness in challenging library leadership on racially equitable distribution of resources including library branch locations; building a collection that fully represents all Evanston communities; and staff management.

The day before the rally, emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed suspicions that Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons; Library Board President Michael Tannen; and other board members including Vice President Margaret Lurie had long been waiting for a pretext to push Lesley out.

In one email dated March 10, before the last disciplinary hearing Lesley faced, Lurie wrote to Danczak-Lyons that “LW is clearly the thorn in our sides, but at this point, unless she really oversteps her role, we are stuck, Agreed?” Danczak-Lyons replied, “Agreed.”


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00:47:17 English
 Evanston Public Library, Evanston, Illinois
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