On Thursday the Jonesboro Sun reported that the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library Board hired Vanessa Adams to serve as the library’s new executive director. The decision comes after the library’s previous executive director and assistant director resigned late last year.

The Jonesboro Public Library made headlines multiple times in recent months over controversial material in the library’s children’s section.

In June the library placed a large selection of pro-LGBT material in its children’s library area. One mother noted that the picture books showed very young children identifying with different sexual-orientations. The publishers’ age range for these books reportedly was as young as four years old.

In October a Fort Smith attorney and a former library board member filed a lawsuit alleging that the library board’s Sensitive Content Subcommittee violated Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act.

The lawsuit alleged that the subcommittee met after learning that “several books in the library’s children’s section contain nudity, sexual conduct, and graphic images of various sexual acts,” but failed to properly advertise the subcommittee meeting to the public ahead of time as required by state law.

Because the meeting was not advertised, parents and families did not know that the subcommittee was meeting to discuss the presence of sexually-explicit material in the children’s library — meaning they did not have an opportunity to make their voices heard about the graphic material.

Following the controversy, the Jonesboro Sun reports that the Jonesboro Public Library’s executive director and assistant director submitted their resignations late last year, citing “the surrounding uproar following the gay pride display as the reason for their departures.”

Families should be able to walk into a public library without worrying about the books that might be in the children’s area. Hopefully, families in Jonesboro will be able to do that in the future.

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