On Sept. 27, a ballot petition was reportedly presented to the Craighead County Clerk that could negatively impact the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library.
According to KAIT, “a petition filed by two county residents and two city residents would cut the mills for county property tax from 2 mill to 1 mill.”
Craighead County Library Director Vanessa Adams told KAIT that losing half of the library’s funding could mean losing everything – the outreach work they do for nursing homes and daycare facilities, summer programs, after-school programs, book clubs and library employees.
Adams said she believes that if the funding is cut, the library could lose state funding as well, which would force the library’s doors to close.
In 2021, AMP reported on the heated debates that were sparked among the community following a June Pride display at the library and several children’s books that contained LGBTQ+ content. This led to multiple contentious board meetings and the removal of materials that pertain to sex education from the children’s section.
David Eckert, who was the director of the library at this time, attested the titles in question were considered educational resources. He later submitted his resignation from the library in November of the same year.
The petition is currently expected to be on the November ballot for Craighead County residents to vote on.