At least one state, Montana, has had enough of ALA’s marxist ways.
On Tuesday, a seven-member commission voted to immediately withdraw the Montana State Library from membership in the American Library Association. The commission citied ALA President Emily Drabinski’s public affirmation of her Marxist beliefs as one of the concerns with ALA.
During the meeting, commissioner Tom Burnett requested a letter be sent to the ALA clarifying that “our oath of office and resulting duty to the Constitution forbids association with an organization led by a Marxist.”
Before the vote, members of the community shared their concerns, including Bozeman parent Cheryl Tusken.
“I think this is a really good move to send a really clear signal to our national organizations that we are not in agreement with the direction they are taking these organizations,” Tusken said, likening the motion to the Montana School Boards Association’s decision last year to withdraw from the National School Boards Association. That decision was fueled by the NSBA’s request for federal assistance in addressing widespread threats against teachers and school board members over COVID-19 mask mandates and other issues — threats the NSBA likened to domestic terrorism.
Tusken and other parents were joined in public comment Tuesday by Derek Oestreicher, legal counsel for the conservative Montana Family Foundation, and by David Ingram, a board trustee at Kalispell’s ImagineIF library. Both framed their support for withdrawing the state library from ALA membership in the context of national culture-war issues, claiming the organization embraces policies tied to critical race theory and uses public funds to, as Ingram stated, “undermine truth and natural law.”
“Instead of pursuing the long-term viability of future libraries and supporting the traditional role of acquisition, preservation and circulation, ALA desires to inject the library into the vanguard of the culture wars,” said Ingram, whose local library’s recent struggles with such issues were the subject of an April article in the New Yorker. Fellow ImagineIF trustee Carmen Cuthbertson, who sits on the Montana State Library Commission, spoke in favor of and voted for the ALA withdrawal.
The meeting can be viewed below:
In June, The Gateway Pundit reported on the overtly political actions of ALA Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone on a Zoom conference call. Caldwell-Stone gave tips to libraries on how they can “keep control” and “handle” conservative events, including ways to disrupt the experience for conservative families.
When asked by a viewer to clarify what she said, Caldwell-Stone used upcoming events by conservative actor Kirk Cameron as an example. Caldwell-Stone shared in the meeting:
“You’re a public agency. Unfortunately it’s a little bit of Caesar’s coin there….you’re committed to non discrimination in the provision of services. So if someone wants, you know, who’s eligible to use the room, books the room, and has a Kirk Cameron story hour, you know they’re entitled to do that. The law protects their ability to do that.”
“But what you can do is exercise your own speech as an institution, you know.”
“Public libraries actually have their own right to engage in government speech to make clear what their mission is, who they support what their goals are and so, if you have a Kirk Cameron story hour booked in your library you could actually have a library sponsored pride festival the same day and fill the library with rainbows and have other programming in place.”
“You can put posters on the wall that make clear what the library’s mission is and commitment to inclusion and diversity is as people walk in.”
“You can make sure that there are anti harassment provisions in your behavior policy.”
“There are many steps you can take to make it clear where the library stands while serving your obligation as an institution obligated to follow the First Amendment rules, which do apply to every user in the community.”
? @ALALibrary director Deborah Stone-Caldwell shares ways that librarians can “keep control” of their libraries.
She’s giving direction specifically about our See You at the Library event happening August 5 across the country!
We need your help! Looking for people across the… pic.twitter.com/KVD6ZZ09PL
— BRAVE BOOKS (@BraveBooksUS) June 27, 2023
Source material can be found at this site.