Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie recently announced the city's 2024 fiscal year budget, which included $355,000 for the controversy embroiled Prattville-Autauga Library.
For months, parents in Autauga County have expressed concerns over the library's inclusion of dozens of sexually explicit books for minors.
What started as a small group of mothers bringing a handful of books to the library board has led to hundreds of books being added to a list of explicit materials.
The group has since launched a statewide effort called Clean Up Alabama to address similar issues in libraries across the state.
"The library continues to violate state law and basic human decency by providing children access to pornographic and obscene materials," said Hannah Rees, executive director of Clean Up Alabama. "Any city councilor who votes for the mayor's proposed budget before the library issues are addressed simply enables the library to continue sexualizing the children of our community."
She continued, "If a politician fails to stop a public library from grooming children then votes to give that library taxpayer dollars, he or she is complicit and will be held accountable by the people of this state."
In a release, Clean Up Alabama decried the continued funding of the library while these issues are still being worked out.
"Elected officials have numerous options to put a stop to the overreach of the public libraries," the release read. "From adopting ordinances prohibiting anyone from allowing minors access to pornography to pursuing civil action to abate a nuisance per state law, local officials not only have the ability to do something but they have a duty to protect the children in their communities."
Several concerned citizens in Autauga County have repeatedly approached the city council and county commission since both are responsible for appointing library board members and funding.
The Prattville library issue has made its way to the Alabama Public Library System, which recently requested an attorney general opinion on its scope of authority to regulate state libraries.
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