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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A growing number of states are calling out the dangers of the American Library Association (ALA) and distancing themselves from the organization, citing its promotion of sexually explicit materials to children and its hard-left turn toward Marxism.
The world's oldest and largest library association is now packing public libraries and YouTube channels with pornographic publications geared toward sexualizing even the youngest children.
Library watchdog Dan Kleinman, who runs the blog SafeLibraries, has been vocal about the ALA's plans to radically transform public libraries. He tells Church Militant,
"More states are waking up because Marxism within ALA is becoming more obvious, and Americans oppose Marxism once it becomes obvious to them," he maintained. "Many know ALA is now led by a Marxist. But more is coming out, and that's why more states are waking up and dropping out."
Kleinman pointed out that ALA's new president, Emily Drabinski, delivered a speech that sounded more like that of a "political activist" rather than a librarian serving the public. Drabinski referred to parents opposing her Marxist agenda as a "pro-censorship minority with a loud, large megaphone" and urged members "to wrench that megaphone from out of their hands and place it squarely back in ours."
Several states have taken action against the perceived Marxist influence on public libraries:
On July 17, the Idaho Freedom Caucus, consisting of 13 state legislators, called on the state commission for libraries "to immediately cut ties with the Marxist-led" ALA, stating, "ALA's role in corrupting libraries and exposing children to a pernicious ideology can no longer be ignored."
Drabinski's election was a red flag for legislators in Idaho and other states. "Her election raises issues about libraries' involvement in exposing children to explicit materials and injecting hard-left politics and sexuality into publicly funded libraries."
Maria Nate, the Idaho director of the State Freedom Caucus Network and self-described "protector of the innocence of children," finds problematic Drabinski's research on using queer theory to revise library classification systems — something one source referred to as "queering libraries."
"Her expertise in 'queer theory' aligns with the Marxist's objective, seeking to undermine the West by eradicating the traditional family, natural sexual relationships, distinctions between sexes, and the orderly structures that accompany them," she argued.
Nate continued, underscoring the ALA's abandonment of its original purpose:
Activists have burrowed their way into the ALA, bending the organization to promote diversity, equity, inclusion [DEI], and social justice instead of serving an educational purpose and upholding American ideals. Their strategic plan integrates these principles into the organization's mission, impacting Idaho libraries and attracting federal funding for DEI initiatives.
The Mississippi Freedom Caucus (MSFC), along with four GOP state senators, Chris McDaniel, Angela Hill, Melanie Sojourner and Kathy Chism, demanded an end to all state funding for the ALA, citing concerns about Drabinski's promotion of sexually explicit materials to children and the Marxist ideology.
In a July 14 statement the coalition declared, "No decent American should tolerate the promotion of sexually explicit materials to children, yet that is just what the president-elect of the ALA, a self-proclaimed Marxist, has dedicated her career to promoting."
Upon her election, Drabinski said of herself in a tweet, since deleted, "I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible 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!"
The MSFC, along with the four members of the state Legislature, called on "all state agencies and universities to immediately withdraw, separate, and denounce the ALA and discontinue any further payments to the organization."
"[W]e are particularly charged with ensuring taxpayer-funded institutions take no part in furthering ethically and morally repugnant agendas inconsistent with the values of the State of Mississippi," the caucus stated. "The State of Mississippi should never utilize taxpayer dollars to support such a radically left organization."
The Montana State Library Commission voted on July 11 to "immediately withdraw" the state library from the ALA, with members citing an oath of office that forbids association with a Marxist-led organization. One member said, "[O]ur oath of office and resulting duty to the Constitution forbids association with an organization led by a Marxist."
Another member who voted in favor of withdrawing from the ALA said the commission "ought not promote, celebrate or support what scripture condemns."
A Montanan parent representing the position of many others also spoke in favor of the motion: "I think this is a really good move to send a really clear signal to our national organizations that we are not in agreement with the direction they are taking these organizations."
In a notable move, the Campbell County Library Board in Gillette, Wyoming, decided in October 2022 to cut all ties with the ALA and its Wyoming branch, aiming to promote a traditionally pro-family mission statement. This was the first time that a library board disassociated itself from the ALA.
The board persisted with the vote despite an onrush of pro-LGBT leftists who attended the meeting and opposed the decision. It also modified the county library's mission statement to make it traditionally pro-family.
Local parents, some from Wyoming MassResistance, had been petitioning public officials for months to take action and remove the library's sexually explicit books targeting children and teenagers.
In April 2022, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) rejected anti-parent library policies after parents concerned about the left-wing agendas pervasive in their kids' classrooms got involved and won election to the board last year.
In a 10–5 vote, which exactly met the two-thirds majority threshold, conservative board members overwhelmingly rejected the inclusion of several American Library Association policies in the state's librarian certification requirements.
Kleinman, who is in the process of starting an alternate family-friendly library association, said there is a groundswell of opposition to the radical direction of the ALA.
"Librarians, library directors, library trustees, and citizens are starting to contact me often, sometimes three new leads a day," he said. "As ALA membership dwindles, more Americans are hopping on board to reclaim their libraries."
Thank you to President @BarackObama for supporting libraries and the freedom to read. And thank you to all library workers on the front lines "fighting every day to make the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas available to everyone." #UniteAgainstBookBans https://t.co/5rfJHW5o4r— American Library Association (@ALALibrary) July 17, 2023
A former Detroit librarian who has been following the transformation of the ALA from a once widely respected organization to its current radical state told Church Militant that "librarians once served the public; now library workers want to rule the country."
Not all Americans oppose the current direction of the ALA. Leaders at the highest levels defend it. Former President Barack Obama penned a thank-you note to the "dedicated and hardworking librarians of America."
Referring to the many parents who oppose shelves full of LGBT materials targeting their children, the former president wrote: "[Y]ou're attacked by people who either cannot or will not understand the vital — and uniquely American — role you play in the life of our nation."