JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library has asked for police presence for an upcoming public event with author Meredith Russo.
Russo’s book, If I Was Your Girl, was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman.
Because of the topic, Jonesboro police say the library reached out to them about the hundreds of emails from people who opposed having Russo speak on Oct. 22.
According to CCPL, they received more emails supporting their decision to host Russo, than the emails opposing.
Jonesboro Police Public Information Specialist Sally Smith said, "CCPL wanted to make us aware of the situation surrounding this and the potential pro/anti demonstrations that may take place around the library. They have asked for extra patrol on Monday, October 14 and October 22nd."
The library also said several local schools that were planning on attending the public event, have canceled those plans due to “safety concerns.”
On Friday, the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library released a statement.
“The Library would like to address misinformation circulating about our annual author event. In previous years, schools have attended this event as a field trip. Due to safety concerns that have arisen, the schools have decided they will not be attending this year. Meredith Russo will speak in a public event about her book, “If I Was Your Girl,” on October 22 at 7 p.m. This book has won numerous awards, including the Arkansas Teen Book Award, in which teens vote for their favorite book," the statement noted. "To clarify, no one is required to attend and the author is there to discuss her book. Everyone in our service area pays taxes, either directly or indirectly, to the library for its materials and services. We would not be doing our job if we did not offer all types of materials and services to everyone whether everyone agrees with it or not.”
Meredith Russo will speak in a public event about her book, “If I Was Your Girl,” on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
The book has won numerous awards, including the Arkansas Teen Book Award, in which teens vote for their favorite book.