Breaking News
More () »

Library director in Benton speaks on Saline County resolution

We are now taking a deep dive into the next chapter in a controversial resolution for libraries in Saline County involving access to certain books.

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Since the Quorum Court meeting that was held in Saline County on Monday, Patty Hector, director of Benton's library, has been busy.

"I've had a lot of staff that are really upset by the hurtful things that were said by people," Hector said.

The county passed a resolution that said the library should relocate books with sexual content that is deemed inappropriate by a parent to an area not easily accessible to children.

Hector also said there is an existing appeal process in place for people who have concerns about a book, but she believes the Quorum Court has gone too far.

"They took it a step further by saying no children's books with sexual content, so how do you define that? Who defines that," Hector asked.

She told us that the children's section includes books for ages zero to 18 that are on opposite ends of the building.

According to an existing policy, anyone in the library that is under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

"It's still up to that parent to make that decision for their own child. If we take it out, then a parent that doesn't think it's a bad book no longer has access to it," Hector said.

Hector also emotionally explained how a decision like this hurts marginalized groups like LGTBQ and even people of color.

"This really upsets me when people act like this," she said.

She also added that she fears the next step could be a loss of funding.

Since this is a resolution and not an ordinance, she's left wondering how the library will follow through with this.

"If you don't like a book, don't pick it up. If you don't want your child to read a book, don't let them check it out," Hector said.

Several members of the Saline County Republican Women spoke in support of the resolution.

We reached out to the group for a comment but we haven't heard back from them yet.

Before You Leave, Check This Out