More libraries and county governments have broken ties with the American Library Association (ALA) since the election of the group’s current president, Emily Drabinski, a self-described “Marxist lesbian.”
An analysis published Nov. 6 at The College Fix found “at least eight government entities” have ended their affiliations with ALA since Drabinski assumed the organization’s top post.
The state libraries of Missouri, Montana and South Carolina, as well as the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, have all cut ties with ALA, as have Collier, Hernando and Citrus counties in Florida, and Campbell County in Wyoming, reports the Fix’s MJ Cadman.
Leesa Aiken, agency director of the South Carolina State Library, wrote to ALA in August about the reason for ending its affiliation:
ALA has become a distractor from the core mission of serving all people and has failed to develop an understanding of differences in geographic areas. Guidance which has been provided by ALA concerning book bans, and handling difficult situations locally have quite frankly been tone-deaf and show a lack of understanding of what is happening in the field.
Local CBS 42 News in Birmingham reported as well that the Alabama Public Library Service board director is recommending cutting ties with ALA amid pressure from both parents and state legislators who argue the national library group “doesn’t align with Alabama values.”
Under Drabinski, ALA has doubled down on its support for sexually explicit books in libraries and has worked to keep out events hosted by Christian authors such as actor Kirk Cameron.
In an interview in July with Human Events host Jack Posobiec, Cameron, a Brave Books children’s author, described ALA’s radical actions:
Everything has escalated. First, we had some grumpy librarians who didn’t want us to come and talk about peace, love, joy and faith, but now we have the ALA itself trying to block access for us as authors and families from coming to their own public libraries to read any book of Christian virtue, or any book at all.
Drabinski and her director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom, he added, “went on national virtual conference and instructed librarians everywhere on how they can deny access to quote ‘the Kirk Cameron thing’ and how to invent programming so that the day’s programming for the reading room is all filled up on August 5, the day of our national event.”
Parental rights organizations are outraged over ALA’s dismissal of concerns over children’s access to sexually inappropriate books.
“The American Library Association has been pushing pornographic materials in our public schools under the guise of ‘educational freedom,’” parental rights activist Karen England tells The Lion.
The president of Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), England has been actively fighting against sexually explicit books in public school libraries, as well as state laws and district policies that bar teachers from informing parents of their child’s claim of another gender identity while at school.
“Our organization is leading the charge to expose the vulgar nature of the books they have been supporting and the policies that make it difficult for parents to protect their minor children from sexually explicit materials while at school,” England explains. “It’s no longer just behind the counter at a supermarket – the porn is right down the hall in your child’s school.”
ALA has defended library drag queen story hours for young children for several years, and bestowed its Alex Award, which honors “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 though 18,” on the sexually explicit titles Lawn Boy and Gender Queer – both of which have been a focus of outrage by parents.
Drabinski, however, appears to have driven ALA to another level.
At Truthout, for example, the ALA president also penned a piece in May titled, “The Fight Against Book Bans Is Mobilizing a New Generation of Student Activists.”
“The rise of organized attempts to censor school curricula and materials available in school libraries is proving to be a fertile training ground for a new generation of student activists,” Drabinski wrote. “Facing the removal of books about LGBTQ+ and BIPOC experiences, students are demanding the right to read in schools across the country.”
Following Drabinski’s election in April 2022, the Federalist noted her LGBTQ activism.
In 2021, for example, the ALA president delivered a lecture titled “Teaching the Radical Catalog,” in which she referred to injecting the concept of multiple gender identities into the library catalog system as part of “critical thinking.”
During her campaign for ALA president, Drabinski was endorsed by fellow leftists, including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who said:
In the face of increasing challenges to school library books and teachers’ curricula, we need a strong American Library Association defending free inquiry in our shared pursuit of the public good. Emily Drabinski knows how to organize and mobilize on behalf of library workers and our communities.
England says her organization has worked to create model policies that embrace parents’ rights to protect their children.
“We are thrilled to see school boards using our model policy on sexually explicit materials to replace the ALA policy that has been stacked against parents and evaluated in secrecy by the same people who want this vulgar material in the hands of minors,” she says.
“Sadly, there are still school districts who blindly follow the ALA recommendations and continue to expose minors to overly sexually explicit materials, but they are waking up and we are here to assist them in protecting their children.”