Clean Up Alabama, the group formed to address sexually explicit children's books, praised the actions of Alabama Public Library System (APLS) board member and Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl for attempting to address the issue at a state level.
On Thursday, the APLS board of directors voted to seek an attorney general opinion on the board's authority to regulate local libraries' content after several representatives of Clean Up Alabama expressed concern over the availability of specific books.
The group sought statewide disaffiliation from the American Library Association (ALA) due to the group's open support of the books in question and alleged attempts to subvert conservative events and voices.
The effort began in Prattville, but other cities joined in after similar sexually explicit children's books were discovered in local libraries across the state. Since then, the Clean Up Alabama site has been launched.
The board also approved an investigation into how widespread the book issue is and a handful of conservative events at Alabama libraries that were subsequently canceled at the behest of Wahl.
"We focused our attention when speaking to the board on the ALA policies that shape the policies of the APLS and ALL public libraries across the State of Alabama as well as the accreditations Alabama librarians receive with their library science degrees," Clean Up Alabama said in a release. "The APLS Board's response was lukewarm at best with the exception of John Wahl who shared in our concerns with the inappropriate and often sexually explicit materials that have been flooding into our libraries."
"The board did not vote on disassociation during the meeting, but we are encouraged by John Wahl's motion to start an investigation into how the APLS can move forward. He also requested an opinion from the Attorney General's office as well," the release added. "The Chairman of the board agreed to allow his request to move forward. We look forward to seeing what comes of Wahls's investigation in the coming weeks as we seek to protect the children of Alabama and assure our public libraries reflect the community standards and values of the people of Alabama."
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