In just a few days, the Montana State Library Commission will formally separate itself from the American Library Association. The Daily Montanan, which begrudgingly reported the news, said that the board has concerns over ALA President Emily Drabinski, who identifies as a "Marxist lesbian."
And Montana is not the only state considering distancing their libraries from the far-left, activist American Library Association. Campbell County in Wyoming has cut ties with the ALA, as well as with the Wyoming Library Association, which pays dues to the ALA.
Drabinski was elected in 2022, and congratulated herself on Twitter, saying: "I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible to build and can be wielded for a better world is president elect of ALA. I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity. And my mom is so proud. I love you mom."
She outlined her platform, saying "So many of us find ourselves at the ends of our worlds. The consequences of decades of unchecked climate change, class war, white supremacy, and imperialism have led us here. If we want a world that includes public goods like the library, we must organize our collective power and wield it." Her plans for the ALA are entirely social justice oriented, with LGBTQIA+, green initiatives, equity, diversity, and inclusion at the center of all her initiatives.
In an academic paper published with The Library Quarterly in 2013, Drabinski proposed changing the way books are catalogued in libraries, saying that "queer theory" should guide a move away from the US Library of Congress system.
"Queer theory," she wrote, "provides a useful theoretical frame for rethinking the stable, fixed categories and systems of naming that characterize library knowledge organization schemes and strategies for helping users navigate them. Queer theory is distinct from lesbian and gay studies, and this distinction, while necessarily drawn in broad strokes, is helpful for understanding the potential limits of a corrective approach to classification and cataloging." This is the perspective she brings to her leadership with the ALA, and one that critics of Drabinski's detractors are essentially upholding by dismissing their concerns.
Tom Burnett, Montana libraries commissioner, read Drabinski's tweet to the commission when he called for a special session to determine the fate of Montana libraries' relationship with the ALA. That led to more commissioners saying they would support leaving the ALA and Drabinski's leadership.
"I find that very disturbing, very disturbing," Commissioner Tammy Hall said. "I’d like to make that statement to them as soon as possible that this is not serving the purposes of what they need to be doing."
James Lindsay has been outspoken against the ALA, saying that the time has come for a new libraries association that is not obsessed with social justice initiatives and pushing sexually explicit graphic books into the hands of children and teens. "Time for states to break away from the American Library Association," he said, "Montana is about to lead the way."
This comes as parents have become very vocal across the country concerning their rights to be involved in their children's education, and to have a say in the materials made available to them in schools as well as in children's and young adult sections of public libraries. One group that has come under scrutiny from the left is Moms for Liberty, founded by moms to advocate for parental rights in education.
While many leftists claim the group is "banning books," the real goal is to prevent what is essentially pornographic materials, under the guise of LGBTQ inclusion, to be guided by librarians and educators into the hands of impressionable children.
Drabinski, however, has no interest in parental rights. In an interview after her election as ALA president, she said "If your kid checks out something you don’t want them to read, that’s between you and your child and the way that you’re parenting. And it just isn’t something that the state needs to be involved in."
She also shared an article attacking the parental rights group, boosting a hit piece by The Nation that lifted the views of the trans activists who protested Moms for Liberty for three days in Philadelphia during the Moms for Liberty Summit. Some of these activists engaged in violence, surrounding moms as they tried to exit the conference for the day.
The quote from The Nation highlighted in Drabinski's retweet was "Making fascists feel unsafe is as much a Philly specialty as a cheesesteak...and it felt awfully nice to indulge."
One activists tore pages out of a Bible.
Others claimed the event was fascist.
Moms inside the conference, like Megan Brock, told The Post Millennial "It's a bunch of moms who drive minivans and care about their kids education. I guess that's extremism."
The ALA has given awards and accolades to groups like GLSEN which, with funding from US companies including Target and Disney, push LGBTQ propaganda into schools across the country and around the world. The group provides "Rainbow Library Sets," which are described as "LGBTQ+ affirming text sets to schools free of charge."
The ALA also attempted to sabotage a book reading series from Brave Books and Kirk Cameron, which has made plans to hold a national book reading event on August 5 to promote books with Christian values.
"What if your library decided to offer a whole host of programs in its meeting room on August 5 making it unavailable for the public?" Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director at the ALA said.
"We're seeing groups that seek to censor LGBTQA materials or disparage or silence LGBTQA library users exploit the open nature of a public library to advance their agendas," she said. Notably, she did not include ALA president Drabinski in her condemnation, though Drabinski has said outright that she intends to use libraries to further implement her own ideologically based initiatives.
While Montana library commissioners have concerns about the loss of benefits they could receive from pulling their membership with the ALA, which costs Montana $10,000 per year, they are concerned about Drabinski's leadership and the initiatives she pushes.
In an oped, the Daily Montanan posited that the commission, in considering the move to bail on the ALA, "legitimizes stereotypes about both groups," those groups being Marxists and lesbians, "that may not just be unfair and unfounded, but also makes the people at the leadership level of our state library look rather uninformed." The claim goes further, saying that the entire concept of a library "is already dangerously communistic," the idea being that a little more Marxism would only be a drop in the proverbial bucket.
The Daily Montanan's Darrell Ehrlick claimed that only those with "small minds" would take issue with Drabinski's Marxist perspective. He went on to back the same ideas espoused by Drabinski, saying "Many far-right conservatives have spun a narrative that includes libraries being a clearinghouse of pornography, anarchy and history that isn’t red, white and blue enough."
Like Drabinski and the vocal critics of Moms for Liberty, including the SPLC, the concerns over truly vile books being made available in schools and public libraries' children and teens sections are of no concern.
These include Gender Queer, which has graphic illustrations of a woman fellating the strap-on dildo of another woman, books that tell kids they may have been born in the wrong body and can literally and physically change their sex, and additional graphic novels, like Flamer, which depict sex acts between teen boys.
Drabinski tweeted about the book on Independence Day.
Ehrlick writes "If libraries are not the proper institutions to welcome a diverse – and uncomfortable – array of ideas and beliefs, then where else should a lesbian Marxist be a leader?"
Perhaps, as states weigh in on whether or not that's the kind of agenda they want to support, the answer will become "nowhere."
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