OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — After the library board special called a controversial meeting nearly two weeks ago, that controversy may be starting to die down.

A petition has been circulated to fight the threat that Mayor Mark Blankenship made to defund the library if LGBTQ-themed books and books with sexual content are not off the shelves in the young adult section — for ages 12 to 17.

“The city council was not even aware that he was having that discussion with them 4 out of five are not for defunding the library and Frankie Wilson with the commission and Chairman Steve Mckinnon is not for defunding the library,” Adam Kamerer said.

The threat came after Mayor Mark Blankenship said a parent made him aware that his child ran across books he felt were inappropriate in the young adult section. The mayor immediately demanded they be removed from there, but he didn’t follow the library board’s procedure to request a formal review of the book that was brought up to him in March nor did the parent.

Before the meeting two weeks ago, Commissioner Adam Enfinger filed the first ever formal review form properly.

“If the committee that the board convenes says it needs to be moved or removed I don’t have a problem with that,” Kamerer said. “I do question the validity of one of the books I don’t think the objections were valid if you read it most of his comments were talking about bestiality and a female having sex with an older female those are phrased as jokes between teenagers.”

Kamerer, a library supporter said ironically, the controversy over library issues the past few weeks has helped them more than hurt them.

“They have seen a $925 increase in memberships to friends in the library in the last month and that’s a phenomenal blessing for the library we have heard of so many people who have gone to the library and renewed their library card,” He said.

The communication between the library board and patrons has improved as well so that citizens can have more input on how the library operates.

He said the city council is also looking to have a town hall or work session to discuss how to support the library better.

The “First to Fight” petition opposing defunding has over 800 signatures. The first copy was shown to the city council with 600 signatures and organizers plan to present it to the commission at the next meeting when they finalize the budget.

The board is reviewing some policies and convening a committee to review the two books in question. They will make a decision on what will happen next with those books at the next library board meeting on September 20th.