A state organization behind challenging sexually explicit library books is calling for the resignation of Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) director Nancy Pack after Pack allegedly proposed going back on her pledge to disaffiliate from the American Library Association (ALA).
The inclusion of sexually explicit and LGBTQ+-advocating books in public libraries continues to be a political divide in the state. The issue arose after residents expressed concern over certain books being made available to minors.
Those opposed to the inclusion of sexually explicit books have frequently criticized the ALA and its "Library Bill of Rights." Several Alabama lawmakers and politicos have advocated for complete disaffiliation from the ALA for its advocacy and political stances, even suggesting withholding funding from APLS unless it does so.
The ALA Library Bill of Rights strictly condemns limiting book access based on the age of the reader, even if those books contain explicitly sexual material, either in word or depiction.
In September, Gov. Kay Ivey sent a letter to Pack demanding answers in the growing controversy surrounding Alabama libraries and sexually explicit books and APLS's connection with the ALA.
Pack later responded to Ivey's letter, attempting to give answers to the questions, along with a self-authored defense of the ALA.
Ivey later responded by offering a series of policy recommendations. In an administrative memorandum obtained by 1819 News last month, Pack sent a series of policy recommendations to the board of directors and trustees. In the memo, Pack announced that APLS would remove its affiliation with the ALA, among other policy recommendations for local library boards. The ALA membership cost APLS just over $38,000 since 2019, according to a previous release from Pack.
In a release from Clean Up Alabama, which has been at the forefront of addressing the explicit library books, it claimed Pack walked back the ALA disaffiliation at a "Library advocates" meeting on Sunday.
"Less than a month after expressing willingness to protect children from sexual content in Alabama's libraries, Nancy Pack — the state's top librarian — indicated to a crowd in Fairhope that she has no intention of following through on that," the statement read.
The release claimed that Pack told a Fairhope crowd that, although her original memo announced that APLS would separate from the ALA, it would likely rejoin the ALA next June.
The statement continued with an admonishment to call Ivey's office and insist on Pack's removal from her position.
"Nancy Pack has proven that she is dishonest and has no intention of protecting the children of Alabama," the release continued. "She has lost the trust of the people of Alabama and must either resign or be removed from her position."
Pack did not immediately respond to inquiries from 1819 News as to the accuracy or validity of Clean Up Alabama's claims.
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