CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — LGBTQ+ books in Crawford County libraries are causing controversy in the community.
In 2022, community members raised concerns about LGBTQ+ books being displayed in the children’s section at Crawford County libraries. After those concerns were brought up in December, the books were moved to a special section in the library where adult supervision is needed.
On Tuesday, Crawford County Library System Board held a special board meeting. The only item that was discussed during the meeting was financial questions about the 2022 budget. The board chair, Tammi Hamby, raised concerns about overspending last year. In response to the questions raised about the budget, the board voted 3-2 to only spend money on day-to-day items until there was more time to review the budget.
At Tuesday’s meeting, people packed into the room to share their opinions on LGBTQ+ books in the libraries. There was no public comment during the special board meeting. Nick Koontz is a local pastor who said Tuesday’s discussion only prolongs the discussion regarding the books.
“This whole meeting just read like it was circling around and around, looking for an attack,” Koontz said. “I think the broader context of the last month and a half or so on open statements about banning LGBTQ+ books is really the story and the intent of what was going on here.”
Sarah Ramirez also attended the meeting to share her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I don’t think that a small group of people should get to govern unconstitutionally against other human beings simply for who they are,” Ramirez said.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda was an item to “address a possible violation of fiduciary duties.” However, that topic was not discussed and the board did not go into an executive session.
The Crawford County Library System Board’s next meeting is set for March 14. The LGBTQ+ books are expected to be discussed then.