The Etowah County Republican Party (ECGOP) recently joined the growing list of local Republican chapters passing resolutions condemning state libraries’ inclusion of sexually explicit books targeting minors in public libraries.
Several other county GOPs have passed similar resolutions to address a statewide concern with the proliferation of children’s books that contain sexually explicit or LGBTQ+ material.
The library issue has gained the attention of state lawmakers, Republican leadership and Gov. Kay Ivey.
In its resolution passed on Monday, the ECGOP said it would encourage local libraries and those in leadership to appoint candidates to local library boards who “reflect conservative values and will ensure that sexually explicit, obscene content or gender ideology/transgender material not be available within reach to children, teens or young adults.”
“[I]t has become apparent to Etowah County citizens that the selection process of the Children, Teen and Young Adult collections do not automatically exclude materials that may be found to be obscene, contain explicit sexual content and/or discuss gender ideology and alternate lifestyles,” the resolution stated.
It continued, “The Etowah County Republican Executive Committee believes the vast majority of Etowah County parents and taxpayers do not support promotion of such content in the Children, Teen and Young Adult sections of the public libraries.”
In addition, the ECGOP admonished the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) and the Etowah County public libraries to disaffiliate from the American Library Association (ALA), an ongoing debate in the state.
The ALA is a national non-profit dedicated to improving library systems through advocacy. The ALA openly promotes diversity, equity and inclusion and seeks to “apply a social justice framework to the ALA strategic directions.” It has publicly supported the inclusion of books many parents have found sexually inappropriate for minors.
After a months-long back-and-forth with Ivey, APLS director Nancy Pack announced that the state library system would discontinue its membership with the ALA. The ALA membership cost APLS just over $38,000 since 2019, according to a previous release from Pack.
The APLS board will vote on disassociating from the ALA on Thursday. Clean Up Alabama, an advocacy group opposed to the books’ inclusion, recently claimed that Pack said APLS would likely re-join the ALA next June if the board voted to disassociate. Pack contacted 1819 News to complain about previous reporting but would not confirm or deny if she made the statement alleged by Clean Up Alabama.
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