The nation’s libraries, once seen as innocuous repositories of information and entertainment, have become a prominent battleground for an ongoing cultural debate over what type of material should be available to young children.
Municipal and public school libraries have come under fire in recent years for including explicit and controversial books on their shelves. On a national level, critics are upset by the American Library Association’s decision to elect a self-described “Marxist lesbian” as its next president.
Emily Drabinski was elected last year and took office earlier this month.
In a subsequently deleted tweet celebrating her achievement, she wrote: “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 [American Library Association]. I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity! And my mom is SO PROUD I love you mom.”
Montana lawmakers reacted to the election by voting to “immediately withdraw” state libraries from the national organization.
BREAKING: The Montana State Library Commission just officially voted to break all ties with the American Library Association over the fact that they elected a self described "marxist lesbian" as their president.
They are the first state to separate from the ALA. pic.twitter.com/AS77PQ4eN6
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 11, 2023
Elected officials in Idaho are following suit, as evidenced by a letter penned by 13 state GOP lawmakers that called on “local and school libraries” to sever ties with the ALA.
“We have significant concerns about the election of Emily Drabinski, a self-described ‘Marxist-lesbian,’ as the next president of the ALA,” the statement asserted. “Her election raises issues about libraries’ involvement in exposing children to explicit materials and injecting hard-left politics and sexuality into publicly funded libraries.”
The state officials, all of whom are members of the Idaho legislature’s Freedom Caucus, pointed to more than just Drabinski’s avowed Marxism in denouncing her ascension to the ALA’s top post.
“Drabinski has said in interviews that librarians aren’t focused on assisting minors in accessing pornography, but her writings and public presentations reveal that she has dedicated her professional career to precisely that while using taxpayer resources,” the statement continued. “Drabinski proposed using ‘queer theory’ to guide the way books are cataloged in libraries.”
Furthermore, the elected officials criticized the ALA as a whole, which they said “has provided LGBT resources and pressured libraries to include explicit materials on transgenderism and sexual deviance targeting young children.”