Benton (KATV) — The Saline County Quorum Court earlier this week passed a resolution to remove inappropriate books from the county public library's children's section. Saline County Public Library director, Patty Hector shared with KATV why they do not plan on following the court's recommendation.
According to Hector, it's been a tearful few days since the resolution passed. She said the court's recommendation does not parallel that of the recently passed ACT 372.
“There’s goes a step further, they’re just saying in any children’s book that any parent objects to; actually it’s any parent or person, so anybody in the community whether they have a child or even have a library card," she said.
ACT 372 is a law concerning libraries and obscene materials; to create the offense of furnishing a harmful item to a minor; to amend the law concerning obscene materials loaned by a library.
Hector said the Saline County Republican Women have a list of books they want to be removed but haven't shared what's on that list.
“I don’t believe that there endgame has anything to do with books, especially not sexual content," Hector said. "I think that’s the wedge that they used to get to libraries. I think they want to erase people of color and marginalize LGBTQ people."
KATV reached out to the women's group for an on-camera interview, but they weren't available on Wednesday for comment. One of their members, Mary Lewis made a public comment during Monday's quorum court meeting.
"We need to make sure they have a solid foundation of goodness not things that are not to be," Lewis said. "Because you open the door to that and that's just opening up every single kind of evil in this world."
According to Hector, they updated their policy to that of ACT 372. She also said they do not have any obscene materials in the children's area and that they have no plans on removing any books. Hector said her concern if books are removed from the children's section is a lawsuit could be filed. Hector told KATV such an action could infringe on freedom of speech.
An official with Saline County said the library will not be punished if they do not follow the resolution.