States Disassociate With American Library Association Over Radical Agenda

Aug 23, 2023

CHICAGO, IL – Three states, Montana, Missouri, and Texas, have withdrawn support recently from the American Library Association (ALA) since the organization now promotes Marxism and “equity, diversity and inclusion” through children’s literature and discriminates against faith-based story hours in public libraries. 

As evidence of the organization’s radical agenda, the ALA elected Emily Drabinski, a self-described “Marxist lesbian,” as president for 2023-2024. After she was elected,  Drabinski wrote in a now-deleted social media post, “I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary. I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity!” 

Drabinski also referred to herself as a Marxist in a 2022 interview in which she said, “I never thought in a million years they'd give a Marxist a chance.”   

In a 2021 video on “teaching the radical catalog,” Drabinksi spoke about her sexual preferences. “I could be straight. I could be a lesbian. I could be queer. 'Gay woman' and 'homosexual' were already outdated terms that we sometimes used to make fun of ourselves, but we certainly didn't use to describe and define ourselves,” she said. 

Last month, Drabinski publicly called for librarians to be activists. “We need to make trouble–good trouble, the kind of trouble that matters, the kind of trouble I became a librarian to get into–and we need to make it together.”

As a result, public libraries have attempted to prevent or cancel faith-based story hours with actor Kirk Cameron throughout the year and for “See You at the Library Day,” a nationwide event hosted by Brave Books on August 5. The ALA even gave suggestions on how libraries could block public meeting room use under the pretext of the space already being taken for other activities. 

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced in July that his office would no longer support the ALA following comments by the organization encouraging libraries to take measures to “exploit loopholes to block” the story hours in libraries across the country. Ashcroft sent a letter to ALA Executive Director Tracie Hall, calling out the organization’s “blatantly political stance.” Ashcroft wrote that the ALA’s Bill of Rights states in Article VI, “Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. The Missouri State Library, a division of the Secretary of State’s office, provides millions of dollars each year through grants and other funding and promotes the development and improvement of library services throughout the state. I believe strongly in the value of public libraries. My office will continue to be an advocate for Missouri’s libraries, as they serve a vital role in our communities,” Ashcroft added. 

The Montana State Library Commission voted 5-1 in July to withdraw from the ALA after an hour of public comments, with some voicing objections to the presence of sexually explicit and other controversial materials in children’s libraries. 

The ALA also promotes a group called “Unite Against Book Bans” and provides an updated “guide to LGBTQIA+ books for children and teens” on its website. 

Last week, Texas State Rep. Brian Harrison announced the Texas State Library and Archives Commission will not renew its contracts with the ALA after he called on the commission to cut ties with the group over the election of Drabinski. 

Harrison wrote, “Taxpayer funded indoctrination has no place in Texas, yet Ms. Drabinski has promised to radicalize the ALA to ‘advance a public agenda that puts organizing for justice at the center of library work.’ In 2013, she published a paper entitled, ‘Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction,’ where she explicitly opposes library neutrality in favor of forcing librarians to become ‘politically engaged’ from a ‘queer perspective.’ The ALA works against parents by fighting to keep pornographic materials in public libraries under the guise of opposing ‘censorship.’ The ALA’s ‘Office for Intellectual Freedom,’ states that libraries can’t remove inappropriate books because ‘children and teens have the right to find the information they choose’ and ‘no one has the right to make rules restricting what other people use, or to make decisions for other families.’” 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We commend these states for cutting ties with the American Library Association. This organization has no business pushing radical agendas at innocent children. More states need to follow suit.” 

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