Lawmaker's Wife Accused of Targeting Little Free Libraries

She said she has been buying Bibles, 'swapping out' content
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2023 6:21 PM CDT
Lawmaker's Wife Accused of Targeting Little Free Libraries
“Keep removing them, Jennifer. We won’t stop," said the Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice.   (Getty Images/rasilja)

After a Facebook post from the wife of a Republican state lawmaker in Arkansas, conservatives in the state were accused of seeking to censor Little Free Libraries as well as school libraries and public libraries. "I have been swapping out books in little free libraries for awhile. I have seen good books, terrible books, toiletries, and needles (yes, needles)," wrote Jennifer Meeks, per the Arkansas Times. Meeks, wife of Rep. Stephen Meeks, said she had been "picking up free Bibles at flea markets and thrift stores. Sometimes I find good devotion books or kids' Bible stories at a good price to add." She said gospel tracts were also good additions and described the libraries as "opportunities to be salt and light in our communities."

"From what I have seen a lot of these books and other things don't align with Christian values. Today, I saw a bunch of Pride stuff in one," Meeks wrote in the post. "There's a group of leftists, especially in Conway, who are very active in keeping little libraries well stocked." The Faulkner County Coalition for Social Justice addressed Meeks in a social media post, saying it had received more than $1,000 in donations to "supply our community with food, toiletries, reproductive care items, and naloxone. These materials are saving lives." A spokesperson said the "needles" Meeks mentioned are probably the overdose reversal kits.

Meeks' husband said Tuesday that her post had been "misconstrued" and while she has been adding Christian materials to the free libraries, she would never remove Pride content. He said her post about LFLs was publicized because somebody she was friends with on Facebook "basically betrayed her," Newsweek reports. LFL Executive Director Greig Metzger tells Newsweek that minority groups including LGBTQ+ people are "overwhelmingly" the targets of people who remove books from the free libraries that don't match their beliefs. "We applaud the Little Free Library stewards who offer books that enlighten readers, nurture empathy, and open up a world of diverse perspectives," he said. (More Arkansas stories.)

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