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Board meeting to finalize job posting for new library director

The Craighead County-Jonesboro Public Library Board is expected to discuss and finalize how to move forward with selecting a new library director.

David Eckert currently fills the role, in which he has held for just under 10 years. On November 11, Eckert submitted his resignation from the library, which is set to go into effect on January 1, 2022.

Eckert on Tuesday spoke to content partners KLEK about his decision, telling them that he and his wife decided over a year ago to begin looking for a new job.

"Admittedly, I get really itchy feet after a while," said Eckert. "My wife and I have moved to several different places throughout the course of our marriage. We had talked about moving away anyway in the past year or two."

He also said he wanted to give his college-aged sons some time to get settled before looking for another job. Eckert told KLEK that he will be moving to Waterloo, Iowa to take a similar position at their library.

Eckert also said the recent discussions surrounding how "sensitive materials" are handled at the library also played a role in his decision, saying it gave him the "push that he needed."

He has has defended the library's actions on how it handled the 'sensitive materials' debate which was sparked after some patrons complained about sex education books in the children's section.

The debate has evolved into a conversation on outright banning certain books from the library's circulation - especially some about the LGBTQ+ community. Eckert said the library has done nothing wrong and challenged patrons to see the library's extensive and diverse collection as an opportunity to learn about different topics.

"The public library is an all inclusive place. So, everybody has to realize that while everybody doesn't like everything that's in the library - including myself, I don't like everything that we have in the library - but that's not the point. The point of the library is to have a little something for everybody," Eckert said.

After months of discussion, the board had decided to not change the library's 'sensitive materials' policy, which gives discretion to library staff to choose how those materials are handled.

The library had begun moving some books to the parent-teacher section.

The library board meeting will be at 1:00 P.M. on Monday in the children's section of the Craighead County-Jonesboro Public Library.

Anyone who would like to make comments about the library director search can email board@libraryinjonesboro.org.