patty hector

The "social section" in Crawford County Library's Van Buren branch (Screenshot from court documents)

Arkansas governor appoints two conservatives to state library board amid lawsuit, content debate

BY: - November 20, 2023

This story was updated at 9:38 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2023. Former Arkansas state senator Jason Rapert, a Conway Republican who founded the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, is one of the newest members of the Arkansas State Library Board at a time when children’s access to library materials is a subject of statewide debate. […]

Arkansas senator hopes to defund library advocacy group, which is not a state-funded agency

BY: - October 24, 2023

An Arkansas state senator said Tuesday he hopes the state will withhold funding from a library advocacy organization — a group that does not receive state funds, according to its president. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Jonesboro, has been critical of the Arkansas Library Association (ArLA), the state’s chapter of the American Library Association. Both organizations advocate […]

Library books on shelves. (Getty Images)

Arkansas librarians meet for annual conference amid censorship pressures

BY: - October 12, 2023

Library administrators and staff from across Arkansas are gathering in Hot Springs this weekend for an annual conference, at a time when librarians in some parts of the state are under pressure to remove or relocate books pertaining to controversial subjects. The Arkansas Library Association (ArLA), a chapter of the American Library Association, is a […]

Patty Hector, director of the Saline County Library, listens during public comment on a resolution that would restrict children's access to books that contain "sexual content or imagery" at an April 17, 2023, meeting of the county Quorum Court. The court adopted the resolution. At left is Leigh Espey, library manager. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Saline County Judge fires library director after months of debate over children’s access to books

BY: - October 9, 2023

The Saline County judge fired the director of the county library system Monday, seven weeks after county officials gave the judge some power to hire and fire library staff. Patty Hector, who ran the Saline County Library for seven years, said County Judge Matt Brumley and county human resources director Christy Peterson told her in […]

Kennedy Kasten, left, and Mollie Palmer, hold signs while protesting an ordinance that increases the Saline County Quorum Court’s control over the county’s library system. The quorum court voted for the measure during its monthly meeting at the Saline County Courthouse in Benton on Aug. 21, 2023. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

UPDATED: Saline County officials shift power over library staff, operations to county judge

BY: - August 21, 2023

This story was updated at 6:02 p.m. Aug. 22, 2023 BENTON — The Saline County Quorum Court granted the county judge some control over the local library system’s staff, budget and operations Monday at the third consecutive meeting in which county residents verbally sparred over the availability of certain library books. The all-Republican county governing […]

Saline County Quorum Court will fill a second vacancy on the local library board

BY: - June 26, 2023

The Saline County Quorum Court will appoint a new member, for the second time in a month, to the board that oversees the county library system. Laine Holleran resigned from the five-member board last week, and the board has received seven applications to replace her, chairwoman Marian Douglas said at a special board meeting Monday. […]

Officials in one Central Arkansas county consider shifting library authority to county judge

BY: - June 20, 2023

BENTON — The Saline County Quorum Court will decide at a future meeting whether to shift some control over the county library system’s staff, budget and operations to the county judge. The proposal, read for the first time at a Monday meeting, would amend the 1978 ordinance that created the five-member board that oversees the […]

Saline County officials move to tighten their authority over library hiring and budget

BY: - June 6, 2023

Library Director Patty Hector‘s name was mud at the Saline County Courthouse Monday night, as the county judge, Quorum Court members and a roster of riled Republicans condemned her ongoing refusal to remove books from the young people’s section. Justice of the Peace Josh Curtis introduced an ordinance to give the county judge power to […]