The 1st Amendment is one of the pillars of our democratic society. Right now, it is under attack at libraries and schools across the nation and in Craighead County.
A (third) censorship policy is being proposed on February 14 at the CCJPL board meeting. This policy disproportionately affects LGBTQIA+ individuals, as many books written by queer authors address instances of sexual abuse, gender, and sexuality.
This is important for LGBTQIA+ folks because of familial rejection and sometimes complete lack of sexual education. This policy bypasses the current process in place, which is to fill out material reconsideration forms. Further, passing this policy will be the gateway to removing or moving other materials the extremists find objectionable, such as issues related to racial inequities, women’s rights, science, and more. I also want to point out that this policy is targeting books like All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, which are not children’s books, but teen/young adult books in the teen and young adult sections of the library. Craighead County needs YOU to show the extremists that hate does not live here, and censorship is never the answer.
Here is the full policy:
Sexually Graphic/Explicit Materials Policy
Craighead County/Jonesboro Public Library
The purpose of this policy is to protect minors from unintentional exposure to sexually graphic/explicit material in the Craighead County/Jonesboro Public Library (hereinafter “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.
Sexually graphic/explicit material definition – Sexually graphic/explicit material includes detailed pictorial or text descriptions of explicit sexual acts including sexual intercourse, oral sex, or masturbation.
Exception to this policy – Material exclusively designed for sexual education shall be placed in a sex education section within the adult section of the library, or, in the alternative, within a young adult section within the adult section of the library. This policy shall apply to all existing and future physical material. Library staff shall have four months from the policy adoption date to review the existing material to ensure compliance with this policy.
How can you help?
-state in the subject line “Vote NO” or something along those lines with the word “no”
-be courteous but firm and tell them that you do not support the policy being presented