Favorite

Drug-reform books not appreciated 

NOT WELCOME: Some libraries reject books on drug reform.
  • NOT WELCOME: Some libraries reject books on drug reform.
You can give a drug book to a library, but you can’t make the library shelve it. Headquartered in Fayetteville, the Drug Policy Education Group, which hopes to liberalize Arkansas’s drug laws, has donated more than $8,000 worth of books, videos, booklets and article reprints to 48 public and college libraries across the state since 2002. DPEG has just completed a survey to determine whether the donated materials are placed on the libraries’ shelves. “Materials not shelved are commonly sold at library book sales at extremely low prices, which is not only a waste of our resources, but also does not accomplish our goal of making these materials available to the general public,” a DPEG report on the survey said. DPEG studied the donation retention rates for eight books and three booklets sent to all the libraries. It found that retention rates diverged as widely as possible — from 100 percent to 0 percent — and that the reasons for the discrepancy were not entirely clear, although high rejection rates seemed to reflect the “personal opinions/prejudices” of individual librarians more than factors such as the size and location of the libraries. College libraries had the highest retention rate as a group, perhaps not surprisingly. Arkansas State University at Jonesboro retained all 11 items surveyed. Henderson State University at Arkadelphia and Lyon College at Batesville retained 10. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the University of Central Arkansas at Conway and Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia retained nine. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock and Arkansas Tech University at Russellville retained six. Harding University at Searcy retained five. Information about the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff could not be obtained, DPEG said. Some community and regional libraries also did not respond to the survey. Of those libraries that did respond, the Central Arkansas area had the highest retention rates. Six of the eight libraries that received materials responded; their average retention was eight of the 11 materials, or 75 percent. Malvern retained all 11, Hot Springs 10, Conway and Little Rock eight, Benton and North Little Rock seven. Morrilton and Lonoke did not respond. The next highest retention rates were in the Northeast Region, where six of eight libraries responded. The average number of materials retained by the six libraries was six, or 56 percent. Newport retained nine, Paragould and Searcy eight, Walnut Ridge and Jonesboro six, and Wynne none. Three libraries out of five reported in Southwest Arkansas, retaining an average of five donations, or 48 percent. Magnolia retained nine, Texarkana six, El Dorado one. Seven of 13 libraries responded in Northwest Arkansas. The average number of donations retained was 4.5, or 42 percent. Fort Smith retained nine, Fayetteville eight, Mountain Home seven, Rogers four, Van Buren three, Dardanelle one, and Harrison none. DPEG said that Springdale and Bentonville were not part of the analysis “because we did not have budget to include them in our 2002 donation round.” In Southeast Arkansas, two of the four recipient libraries responded. Helena kept four of the donated items, and Pine Bluff kept three, for an average of 3.5 or 32 percent. That the highest retention rate occurred in the most densely populated region of the state (Central) and the lowest rate occurred in the least populated (Southeast) suggested to DPEG that “A primary consideration in tolerance toward reform literature may lie in numbers. Librarians for inhabitants of more highly populated areas may be more likely to feel ‘safe’ in considering topics involving personal behavior viewed as contrary to accepted public norms. Libraries serving greater populations would be expected to provide materials on a broader array of topics.” There were no reports of patron complaints about the donated materials, though DPEG admitted that input from librarians was “limited.” Still, the input from librarians was sufficient for DPEG to conclude: “High rejection rates of our donated materials seem to stem from staff decisions based on personal opinion. Perceptions about our mission or drug policy reform in general are likely factors in those decisions. One library director in a zero-retention facility stated that the community was conservative and that drugs (meth) were a serious problem there, causing him to conclude that the public would not accept our materials. He was not willing to accept a public outcry on this matter.” The report listed four options for DPEG in trying to improve library retention rates for its donated materials: Find alternative recipients within a region to replace recipients who have not retained any DPEG materials. Try to visit personally with key library staff at low-retention facilities. Ask DPEG supporters to request its materials at their local libraries, targeting low-retention libraries especially. And “Publicize this report to highlight how librarians’ personal opinions/prejudices about critical issues control the selection of public library materials available to entire communities.”
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansas medical marijuana supporters are back

    • Get top quality marijuana, (https://www.weed-plant.org/) supplies top quality marijuana, shatter, cannabis oil and wax with…

    • on September 25, 2017
  • Re: The strange demise of Melissa Byers

    • You don't have to be guilty of anything to be suicidal after you lose your…

    • on September 24, 2017
  • Re: The inadequate legacy of Brown

    • The gerrymandering piqued curiousity to view the attendance zones. So my '70's Hall High classmates…

    • on September 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation