Recently, the subject of books in the children’s and teen area of the county libraries, what they contain, how they are displayed and what type of access is available to them has been a topic of considerable conversation in Saline County. While residents of the county may have heard about the issue, they may not know where it started and the actual function of the Saline County Quorum Court.
A description of the Quorum Court can be found at the website for Saline County government, www.SalineCounty.org. The following is taken from the Quorum Court section of the website. “The Justice of the Peace is an elected official in county government. Saline County has 13 Justices of the Peace who serve on the Saline County Quorum Court, which is the legislative body of county government. The Quorum Court meets twice a month to conduct county business which includes reviewing Ordinances and Resolutions for passage. The County Judge is the presiding officer over the Quorum Court. The Quorum Court may exercise the following powers, but are not limited to: levying of taxes in a manner as prescribed by law; appropriating public finds for the expenses of the county in a manner as prescribed by ordinances; establishing the number and compensation of elected officials and county employees; providing for any service or performance of any function relating to county affairs; to exercise any other powers necessary for effective administration of authorized services and functions.”
The first moment in which the library book matter came to public attention at a Saline County Quorum Court meeting was on March 13, 2023. A resident addressed the quorum court about books at the Saline County Library. Her comments begin at the 15 minute, 16 second mark (15:16). Click the link below to watch video of the meeting.
On April 17, 2023, during a meeting of the Saline County Quorum Court, the Justices of Peace voted to suspend the rules and add a resolution titled “A Resolution Requesting the Saline County Library Ensure That Materials Contained Within the Children’s Section of the Library are Subject Matter and Age Appropriate“. A link to the agenda for the meeting can be found here: https://www.salinecounty.org/plugins/show_image.php?id=2997
Discussion by quorum court members, their vote, and public comment can be found at the link below to the County YouTube page. The part of the meeting pertinent to the resolution begins at the 26 minute, 49 second mark (26:49). Public comment was allowed by alternating views of those in favor followed by those opposed for approximately 80 minutes. In order to speak, individuals must sign a request to comment beforehand.
The courtroom in which the meeting was held was filled to capacity. A line to enter the building stretched down to the street and around a corner. The issue was one which those in favor of the resolution before the court as well as those opposed felt strongly.
In the days since the meeting, we have contacted several of the individuals and groups involved in the discussion of the resolution in order to obtain their particular point-of-view as well as their background and how they came to this issue.
Coming soon: The people and groups contacted, who was interviewed and what they said.