The Fate of Craighead County Library Remains Up In the Air


Leo Thompson, Editor

In mid-October of 2022, State Senator Dan Sullivan made an announcement about a Jonesboro controversy surrounding its libraries. The controversy stems from a display for Pride Month that the library set up last year. The person who set that display up resigned in November of last year, after months of criticism aimed at the library from local citizens.  This led to a Facebook petition for the defunding of the libraries in Craighead county. The petition has gotten over 500 signatures from people on Facebook.The petition to defund the library earned enough signatures to be added to the ballot in the ongoing midterm elections.  

Senator  Sullivan explained his reasoning behind signing the petition, stating that he believes there is no reason for a library to have a surplus of funds. The library was $800,000 under budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

The current  director of the library said that without the surplus of funds they would have to close doors on some of the Craighead County library locations.This could potentially affect the students of BIC who benefit from the Craighead County Library location in Monette. An additional problem pointed out by supporters of the library is that the plan to reallocate funding for the library is a bit unclear. They also said that usually Arkansas is below budget, and has no need for the extra money other than giving it to the library.

 While many people have expressed support of defunding the library, there has also been a great deal of support shown for the organization. American romance author Nora Roberts donated $25,000 for the campaign opposing the library defunding, and members of the community showed up for a “read-in” in which they lined the streets to express their appreciation for the library. 

 Ultimately the fate of the Craighead County Library will come down to the  results of the mid-term election that is currently in progress until the polls close on November 8th.