Florida is the latest state to break ties with the oldest library association in the country, as of Tuesday.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration are currently reshaping the K-12 educational system in the state, pushing for public school teachers to be prohibited from teaching Critical Race Theory and discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. The state took another step in late October by issuing a new rule forbidding grant activity to and from the American Library Association (ALA), an organization that has recently come under fire, due, in part, to its president’s self-proclaimed Marxist beliefs. (RELATED: School Board Folds On Banning Porn In Schools After Threats From Teacher’s Union)
Florida joins Alabama, Wyoming, Missouri, and Texas in cutting ties with the ALA!!🙌🏼
Can’t wait for the Reeeeing to commence!!
— Haley Kennington (@ladykennington) November 1, 2023
Since electing current ALA president Emily Drabinski, a self-proclaimed Marxist, the ALA has come under increased scrutiny. Drabinski was recently asked about the role of librarians in curating books with sexual content and said, “Librarians are professionals, we have master’s degrees.”
“We are experts in thinking about books and thinking about collections we build for everybody, not just the individual reader,” she said.
Drabinski authored an academic paper, “Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction,” which encourages librarians to incorporate Queer Theory into their curation practices, in 2013.
The ALA has also advocated for books with sexually explicit content, such as “Gender Queer,” All Boys Aren’t Blue,” and “Lawn Boy” to be kept in school libraries, according to an ALA policy titled “Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.”
In late September, the South Carolina State Library announced its withdrawal from the ALA, citing the group’s partisanship, while the Montana State Library (MSL) Commission voted in July to leave the association.
“Our oath of office and resulting duty to the Constitution forbids association with an organization led by a Marxist,” MSL said in a statement.