Arkansas: Crawford County Parents Sue Library System Over Relocation Of LGBTQ+ Children’s Books
From the Arkansas Advocate:
Three Crawford County parents have sued the county judge, quorum court, library board and interim library director, alleging “unlawful censorship of materials,” specifically children’s books with LGBTQ+ topics, in the county’s five library branches.
Rebecka Virden, Nina Prater, Samantha Rowlett and their minor children are all Crawford County residents and library patrons, according to the complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. The plaintiffs object to “the stigmatization of certain books by placing a prominent color label on them and moving the books to a separate ‘social section’” in each library, according to the complaint.
Supporters and opponents of children’s access to LGBTQ+ content in libraries have spent months sparring before Crawford County’s 13-member quorum court.
Opponents of the books in question have claimed they are sexually explicit, but “none of these books could fathomably be accused of ‘grooming,’ ‘pornography,’ or ‘exposing children to explicit sexual ideas or imagery,’” the complaint states.
Some of the books in question include a children’s guide to LGBTQ+ Pride flags and a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale with gay characters, according to the complaint.The plaintiffs want the court to “order the Crawford County Library System to restore and maintain its books and future acquisitions to the same administrative controls and processes as they existed in June 2022,” per the complaint.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.