In this case, librarian Amanda Jones is suing Citizens for a New Louisiana (a conservative group) and two men (Michael Lunsford, who runs CFNL, and Ryan James, a Facebook user), alleging they defamed her, including harming her reputation and inciting words of violence against her after she spoke out against removing LGBTQ+ books while at a board meeting.
Per remarks in the complaint, Jones stressed her belief that all folks in the community deserve to be “seen” and see themselves in the public library collection. “Censoring and relocating books and displays is harmful to our community,” she stated. “But will be extremely harmful to our most vulnerable — our children.”
Jones, who also serves as the president of the Louisiana Association of School Libraries, alleges in her lawsuit that she’s been living with emotional distress and anxiety since the start of a social media campaign against her. The campaign includes posts on Facebook where, for example, one specifically questioned why Jones was “fighting so hard to keep sexually erotic and pornographic materials” in the children’s book section. The post includes a photo of Jones where she appears to be a target.
According to the lawsuit, additional posts tagged Jones’ account and at various points accused her of being a “pedophile” and a “criminal.” According to the complaint, the conservative group also requested access to emails sent and received by Jones at work, as well as her personnel records.
The lawsuit alleges that posts in another Facebook group, Bayou State of Mind, posted a meme that included a photo of her and an allegation that she advocated for teaching minors about anal sex.
According to the suit, these posts have been removed, but Jones believes it was Facebook that did the removal. Now Jones is seeking a temporary restraining order as well as the removal of all social media posts about her, plus punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
In speaking to NBC News in an interview, Jones said she’s had “enough.”
“Nobody stands up to these people,” she told the outlet. “They just say what they want and there are no repercussions and they ruin people’s reputations and there’s no consequences.”
If you want to check out Jones and the excellent work she does for young readers and the community at large, you can watch this YouTube video below.