On Tuesday voters in Craighead County reduced the millage for the public library in Jonesboro.
As we have written repeatedly, the Jonesboro public library has been at the center of multiple controversies for nearly a year and a half — including inappropriately hosting an LGBT Pride display in its children’s library, placing books with sexually-explicit images in its children’s section, and failing to adopt a policy that separates sexual material from children’s content.
As different people have pointed out, some of these books — such as Gender Queer and l8tr, g8tr — contain explicit images or descriptions of teens engaging in sexual acts.
Library officials have stood by their decision to share sexual material with children. The library even posted on Facebook that it isn’t the library’s responsibility to protect kids from obscenity.
Apparently citizens in Craighead County have decided enough is enough.
On Tuesday voters chose to reduce the library’s millage from two mills to one mill.
Library officials in Jonesboro have said the tax cut will “devastate” the library and could force it to close some of its branches, but news reports indicate the library has enjoyed a budget surplus of more than a million dollars for the past three years, and documents from the Craighead County Clerk’s Office show the millage tax provided more than $3.1 million in revenue for the library last year.
Even if the library weren’t spending public tax dollars on obscene children’s books, reducing the millage in Craighead County arguably will help balance the library’s budget and provide relief for taxpayers.
Public libraries are supposed to be for everyone. More and more, Family Council is hearing from people who are deeply troubled by the obscene children’s books that librarians have placed on the shelves of their local libraries this year.
As we keep saying, it’s ridiculous to think that a library isn’t in any way to blame when a child finds pornographic or obscene picture books in its children’s section.
Families should be able to take their children to the library without worrying about what their kids might see.
And taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize graphic novels that depict explicit images of minors engaged in sexual acts.
Hopefully, Tuesday’s vote in Jonesboro sends a message that public libraries cannot ignore the concerns of the people in their communities.
Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.