Saline County Quorum Court Votes to Put County Judge Over Library

The Saline County Quorum Court voted on Monday to give County Judge Matt Brumley authority over the county library.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that Monday’s measure prevents the county library board from hiring or firing library employees or regulating their salaries. The measure also subjects the library to an annual audit, and it effectively places the quorum court in charge of the library’s budget.

The move in Saline County comes after extensive controversy over the placement of inappropriate children’s books in the library’s catalog.

Family Council has heard repeatedly from people who are deeply troubled by obscene and inappropriate children’s books that some librarians have placed on the shelves of their local libraries.

For example, the Jonesboro public library has been at the center of multiple controversies over its decision to place books with sexually-explicit images in its children’s section and for failing to adopt a policy that separates sexual material from children’s content.

The library in Jonesboro went so far as to post on Facebook that it isn’t the library’s responsibility to protect kids from obscenity.

Following the controversy in Jonesboro, voters opted to cut the library’s millage in half last November.

Other public libraries in Arkansas have included graphic children’s books in their catalogs and failed to separate sexual material from children’s material as well.

Public libraries are supposed to be for everyone.

Families should be able to take their children to the library without worrying what their children might see.

Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize graphic novels that depict explicit images of minors engaged in sexual acts.

Hopefully, the Saline County Quorum Court’s vote this week will help ensure that library material in their community is appropriate for all ages.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Fayetteville Judge Blocks Part of State Law Protecting Children From Explicit Library Material

On Friday U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks blocked two sections of Act 372 of 2023, a good law that generally prohibits giving or sending a child harmful material that contains nudity or sexual activity.

The law also eliminates exemptions for libraries and schools in the state’s obscenity statute, and it clarifies how library patrons can work to remove objectionable material from a library’s catalog.

The law was slated to take effect August 1, but in June a coalition of libraries in Arkansas led by the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging portions of Act 372.

Friday’s preliminary injunction prevents the State of Arkansas from enforcing Section 1 and Section 5 of Act 372.

Section 1 of Act 372 makes it a Class A misdemeanor to give or send a child harmful sexual material that contains nudity or sexual activity.

Section 5 of Act 372 clarifies how library patrons can work to remove objectionable material from a library’s catalog.

The ruling did not affect Sections 2, 3, 4, and 6 of Act 372, which eliminate exemptions for schools and libraries in the state’s obscenity statute, address inappropriate material in public school libraries, and permit the disclosure of certain library records.

Family Council has heard repeatedly from people who are deeply troubled by obscene and inappropriate children’s books that some librarians have placed on the shelves of their local libraries.

For example, the Jonesboro public library has been at the center of multiple controversies over its decision to place books with sexually-explicit images in its children’s section and for failing to adopt a policy that separates sexual material from children’s content.

The library in Jonesboro went so far as to post on Facebook that it isn’t the library’s responsibility to protect kids from obscenity.

Other public libraries in Arkansas have failed to separate sexual material from children’s material as well.

Some of the people who testified publicly against Act 372 last spring signaled that they want to be free to share obscene material with children at a library. That simply isn’t right.

Act 372 is a good law that will help protect children in Arkansas. We believe higher courts will recognize that fact and ultimately uphold this law as constitutional.

Arkansas House Narrowly Passes Bill to Protect Children from Obscenity at Libraries

On Wednesday the Arkansas House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill addressing obscenity and other harmful material in public libraries.

S.B. 81 by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – Russellville) and Rep. Justin Gonzales (R – Okolona) prohibits giving or sending harmful sexual material to a child.

The bill eliminates exemptions for libraries and schools in the state’s obscenity statute, and it clarifies how library patrons can work to remove objectionable material from a library’s catalog.

On Wednesday, the measure received 56 votes in the Arkansas House of Representatives; it takes 51 votes to pass a bill.

Family Council has heard repeatedly from people who are deeply troubled by obscene children’s books that some librarians have placed on the shelves of their local libraries.

For example, the Jonesboro public library has been at the center of multiple controversies over its decision to place books with sexually-explicit images in its children’s section and for failing to adopt a policy that separates sexual material from children’s content.

The library in Jonesboro went so far as to post on Facebook that it isn’t the library’s responsibility to protect kids from obscenity.

Other public libraries in Arkansas have failed to separate sexual material from children’s material as well.

Some of the people who have testified publicly against S.B. 81 this year have signaled that they want to be free to share obscene material with children at a library.

S.B. 81 is a good bill that will help prevent that.

The Following Representatives Voted For S.B. 81

  • Barker
  • Beaty Jr.
  • Beck
  • Bentley
  • Breaux
  • Brooks
  • K. Brown
  • M. Brown
  • Burkes
  • John Carr
  • Cavenaugh
  • C. Cooper
  • Crawford
  • Dalby
  • Duffield
  • Duke
  • Eaves
  • C. Fite
  • L. Fite
  • Furman
  • Gazaway
  • Gonzales
  • Gramlich
  • Haak
  • Hawk
  • D. Hodges
  • G. Hodges
  • Jean
  • L. Johnson
  • Long
  • Lundstrum
  • Maddox
  • McAlindon
  • McCollum
  • McGrew
  • B. McKenzie
  • McNair
  • S. Meeks
  • Milligan
  • Painter
  • Pearce
  • Pilkington
  • Puryear
  • Ray
  • Richmond
  • Rose
  • Rye
  • Schulz
  • R. Scott Richardson
  • Steimel
  • Tosh
  • Underwood
  • Unger
  • Wing
  • Womack
  • Wooldridge

The Following Representatives Voted Against S.B. 81

  • F. Allen
  • S. Berry
  • Clowney
  • A. Collins
  • Ennett
  • D. Ferguson
  • K. Ferguson
  • V. Flowers
  • D. Garner
  • Hudson
  • Lynch
  • Magie
  • McCullough
  • M. McElroy
  • Nicks
  • Perry
  • J. Richardson
  • Scott
  • T. Shephard
  • Springer
  • Vaught
  • Walker
  • Warren
  • D. Whitaker
  • Wooten

The Following Representatives Voted “Present” on S.B. 81

  • Joey Carr
  • Cozart
  • Evans
  • Hollowell
  • J. Mayberry
  • McClure
  • K. Moore
  • Watson

The Following Representatives Did Not Vote

  • Achor
  • Andrews
  • M. Berry
  • Eubanks
  • Fortner
  • Holcomb
  • Ladyman
  • Miller
  • J. Moore
  • Wardlaw
  • Speaker Shepherd