Bestselling author Nora Roberts has made a $25,000 donation to help fight against an effort to defund the Craighead County/Jonesboro Public Library.
The Save Our Libraries campaign announced the donation today by Roberts, who is best known for her more than 200 romance novels.
Those wanting to defund the library got proposals to cut the library’s two mills in half to one mill on the Nov. 8 city and county ballots.
Scott McDaniel, a member of the Ballot Question Committee, which is trying to save the library, said, “This measure was filed at the 11th hour, just days before the deadline, which naturally makes it very difficult to fundraise and implement a legitimate campaign.”
Roberts’ “incredibly kind and generous donation gives us the foundation we need to start making our case to the voters,” McDaniel said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We truly appreciate the willingness of Ms. Roberts to stand up and fight for libraries,” McDaniel added. “Our fight is actually part of a nationwide attack and Ms. Roberts is very passionate about defending against these attacks. She has given money to other fights and we are beyond grateful that she believes in our fight. We hope her contribution gives others confidence that our effort is worth investing in.”
McDaniel said funding is crucial to plans to “launch a full-scale political campaign designed to defend the local library.”
Library Director Vanessa Adams has said the defunding measure resulted from controversy over a Pride display in the Jonesboro library more than a year ago.
“If this happens, we will lose all of our programming,” she said. “We do outreach to nursing homes, to daycare facilities, we will lose all of that. We will lose our summer reading program. We will lose our after-school programs. We will lose our book clubs. We will lose employees.”