JONESBORO — The only point of contention Monday night at the Craighead Jonesboro County Public Library board meeting was over social media policy for the library.
Library attorney Donn Mixon spoke about the policy on social media, saying he thought the policy was well-drafted.
According to the policy, “Craighead Jonesboro County Public Library will review all comments and posts for appropriate content. …Although comments are not edited by public relations staff, a comment may be hidden or deleted if it violates the comment policy outlined here.
Comments will be deleted immediately if they are:
Abusive, offensive, threatening, obscene or vulgar language.
Harassment, stalking or abusive behavior.
Personal attacks of all kinds.
Language that targets or disparages any ethnic, racial, age or religious group, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
Specific or imminent threats.
Organized political activity.
Off-topic comments and posts.
Mixon said one of his concerns was if a board member entered a comment section on social media.
“My concerns about social media are how board members react. If you identify yourself as a board member, that could cause problems,” he said.
The policy was approved 3-2, with council members Shalon Tate, Michael Watkins and Mike Johnson voting in favor, and council members Mark Nichols and Kailey Luster voting against.
Nichols said the library would censor the comments.
Mixon responded by saying the library had established an objective standard for feedback.
The attorney, in response to Luster saying that Mixon did not respond to emails she sent him, said he would not respond to individual council member emails because he does not represent the individual members, but the board as a whole.
He said he would respond to emails from the library manager.
The board unanimously approved two policies, one on lending R-rated DVDs to under-17s.
The library will not allow under-17s to borrow R-rated DVDs unless a parent waives the restriction by presenting photo ID to the circulation desk and stating that they waive this restriction. restriction for her child.
It was also approved that if a proposed new policy or policy change is not approved by the board, that policy cannot be reintroduced to the board for six months.
Among the speakers at the meeting was the Very Reverend Terry Riley of the Southern Delta Church of Wicca. Riley expressed concern that the library was restricting access to children’s books.
“The library cannot take the place of parents in restricting children’s access to books,” he said.
Riley cautioned the board that if a proposed section on world religions is placed in the children’s area of the library, all religions must be included, not just traditional religions.
Another speaker, Robin Martin, said the library needs more than one person in its accounting office. She said the library had enough money to fund an additional post.
Kier Heyl spoke about the response at the March meeting when Library Manager Vanessa Adams said a Gay Pride exhibit would not be placed in the children’s section as it was last year. Heyl said “half the room erupted in cheers”.
He said his 12-year-old was happy with the gay pride protests and said the LGBTQ+ community was under attack.
“Who is going to defend my child? Heil said.