On Monday the Craighead County Public Library Board rejected a proposal to move books containing graphic sexual content out of the children’s section of the Jonesboro Public Library, according to KAIT News.

This is at least the second time that the library board has failed to adopt a policy addressing sexual content at the library.

You may remember last year the library made headlines after a lawsuit revealed that extremely graphic material was on the shelves in the children’s section of the Jonesboro library.

The proposed policy that the library board rejected on Monday said,

“The purpose of this policy is to protect minors from unintentional exposure to sexually graphic/explicit material in the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library and to assist parents who wish to allow children to browse through books in areas designated for minors by ensuring some areas of the library are free of detailed descriptions of sexual encounters. 

“Any material in the library placed in areas that are designated for use particularly by minors shall not contain text describing or images depicting sexually graphic/explicit acts.”

This proposal wouldn’t have eliminated sexually-explicit material at the library altogether, but it at least would have moved sexually-explicit material out of the children’s area.

Arkansas’ law against obscenity contains an exception for schools, museums, and public libraries, and to our knowledge libraries in Arkansas have never faced any consequences for loaning pornographic material to children.

Libraries have the ability to remove pornographic, obscene, or inappropriate material from their shelves — especially in areas of the library where there might be children. Unfortunately, the public library in Jonesboro is not taking steps to do that.