JONESBORO – David Eckert, director of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, announced Friday evening that the library will be moving children’s sex education books to the parent / teacher section of the children’s library.
“We made the decision to move the sex education books for children to the parent / teacher section of the children’s library. This section contains educational resources for caregivers to help with schoolwork, learning disabilities, and those who homeschool their children. One of the titles moved to this section is ‘It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender and Sexual Health’ by Robie H. Harris.
He said the books already moved are:
“You Are You: A Children’s Guide to Gender, Sexuality and the Family” by Jonathan Branfman.
“Why Boys and Girls Are Different” by Carol Greene.
“Talking to your children about sex: from toddlers to tweens” by Lauri Berkenkamp
“In the future, the library will be reviewing other books in our collection,” Eckert said on the library’s Facebook page.
“We have listened to our community and we appreciate the feedback,” he added.
Brandi Hodges, the library’s public information officer, said Monday that a list of books that will be moved will be released later this week.
The library was embroiled in the controversy during an exhibit in June celebrating Gay Pride Month. Several parents objected to the content of some of the books in the exhibition. At the October 11 library board meeting, about 20 people stood up and made public comments to defend and oppose the books.
Board member Mark Nichols made three motions to move three books, but his motion died for lack of a second.
Nichols cautiously responded to the decision via email on Monday.
“It is simply too early to say whether the concerns of parents in the area will be resolved or not. Currently, only one book requested by parents to be moved has been moved, ”he said. This particular book, ‘This is Perfectly Normal’ was mixed with other children’s books and contained graphic images of adults in various sexual positions, images of children masturbating, and instructions on how to use them. ‘having anal sex, which the CDC says increases cancer risk dramatically.
“Parents in the area are losing faith in our library because this book should never have been where kids could accidentally pull it off the shelf in the first place… I’m certainly glad the library staff moved this book. particular book in another location, but it’s also clear that we have more work to do as a library.
Nichols spoke to Eckert this week posting a list of books to move.
“Director David Eckert has announced that they will release the list of additional books that will be moved this week,” Nichols said. “I know many parents in the area are encouraged to hear that the library will start listening to parent feedback because parent feedback is really what we should be listening to for the kids area. I am sure parents in the area will continue to wait carefully to see if our library becomes a safer place for children to explore freely. “
Craighead County Judge Marvin Day applauded Eckert’s decision to move the books to the parent / teacher area.
“I’m glad David is listening to the board and the audience,” Day said. “I appreciate it.”
One of Day’s candidates, Whitney Hicks, for the library’s board of trustees, broke down at the Craighead County Quorum Court meeting on October 11 when the nomination motion went unsuccessful. second. Day’s other candidate, Michael Watkins de Bono, was approved by the quorum tribunal.
Day said he worked on the open board seat and told people about it.
“I had a conversation with David Eckert as recently as Friday,” Mayor Harold Copenhagen said on Monday, “and I think they are taking action to sort out their processes, as evidenced by Friday’s announcement.
“While as mayor I do not oversee the operations of the library, I feel responsible for bringing the concerns I hear and helping to encourage the library to adopt policies that best serve all residents. of Jonesboro. “
Eckert was out of the office on Monday and was not available for comment.