After much pressure from the community and state lawmakers, The Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) Board did the wise thing last Tuesday, unanimously voting to withdraw its membership in the American Library Association (ALA).

This move is mostly ceremonial, Clean Up Alabama, an advocacy group that opposed the state’s participation in the ALA, said in a statement obtained by 1819 News.

“APLS needs to totally remove ALA's resources and policies from state libraries for the change to be meaningful.

'[T]he decision to not renew the ALA membership is certainly better than the alternative but it is not the same as disassociating from the ALA,' it read. 'There must be a complete severing of ties with the ALA if we expect to see long lasting changes in our Alabama public libraries.'"

They are correct, because the influence and goals of ALA are particularly insidious and embedded in everything, as the ALA website outlines. From so-called “Banned Books” to DEI initiatives, the ALA is intent on activism and advocacy of left-leaning causes, rather than true intellectual diversity and expansion of learning for everyone. Its own president, a self-described Marxist lesbian, believes in “collective power” and stated that libraries should be sites of social organizing.

In other words, Johnny can’t read, but boy can he organize and protest! This is what they want for our children, which is why returning libraries to local control is essential to restoring sanity.

But in the eyes of some, the separation from the ALA comes at a cost, as APLS chairman Ronald Snider told 1819 News that canceling the membership would restrict “state access to ALA's resources, training, and advocacy materials.”

This is not a bad thing. Frankly, whether it’s a rich or poor community, people want to invest in their children. This is the South, home of fish frys and bake sales, so funding for children’s education can and will be found, but it can be done without the heavy price tag of indoctrination. Not to mention there are also community initiatives such as “Bookmobiles,” which particularly cater to low income and minority communities that often don’t have a network of libraries. And for more financially stable families, Amazon will sell you anything from Reichspfennig brass Swastika coins to pornography; so this concept of “restricted” access is a myth.

What’s really going on is that leftist activists want to turn the critical issue of a parent’s responsibility to protect their children from unnecessary harm, overseeing what their child digests, into a cudgel and a reason to paint people as racist and phobic. The leftist goal is simply to keep their free and unfettered indoctrination factories; but parents and the community have cut this off at the pass … for now.

Which leads us to what precipitated this decision by the APLS. It took groups like Moms for Liberty and Clean up Alabama advocating that books with sexually explicit content and/or advocacy of LGBTQ lifestyles be relegated to the adult section. That’s all. Nothing will be banned or censored, just given an age- or content-appropriate designation.

But “banned” elicits an immediate knee-jerk response in certain circles, and like Pavlov’s dog, the usual suspects are salivating.

1819 News also covered a recent meeting of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Board, where Moms for Liberty and a group called Read Freely Alabama, the latter of which wants these books to remain in the children’s section, to give arguments to support their viewpoint.

“Read Freely Alabama advocated for the books to remain, saying that moving books is a form of censorship. They believed that by moving the books, children might be harmed and unable to learn about their bodies and LGBTQ+ feelings that children and teens may have and may not feel comfortable or have the ability to discuss openly.

‘If they're not where they're supposed to be, then what's happening there is people are losing access to them,’ Dr. Marisa Allison with Read Freely Alabama said.”

If they are not in an assumed place, then you ask the librarian. After all, isn’t that what we pay them for? Or is all that training they received via the ALA only about how to teach children to protest, experiment with alternative lifestyles, and complain about inequity?

The 1819 News article about this meeting displays the images from some of the books that Freely Alabama wants to remain in the children’s section. This type of stuff used to be wrapped in brown paper behind the counter at the bookstore; now it’s available to any child who wants to grab it off the shelf. That is of greater harm to children than getting a parent’s permission in order to access such materials.

Individual county libraries still have the option to participate in ALA’s initiatives and programs, and county taxpayers will no doubt be required to cover them. But the entire state should not be funding an organization whose agenda is the antithesis of intellectual freedom and education.

Unfortunately, the narrative peddled by LGBTQ and leftist activists is that Republicans and right-leaning organizations like Moms for Liberty and Clean Up Alabama only wish to destroy access and community justice for low-income families. It is all too convenient for these activists to use minorities and the poor as an excuse for them to peddle their propaganda and perversion.

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, As the Girl Turns, is an investigative journalist, author, opinion analyst, and contributor to 1819 News, Redstate, and other publications. Jennifer writes on Politics and Pop Culture, with occasional detours into Reinvention, Yoga, and Food. You can read more about Jennifer's world at her As the Girl Turns website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]

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