A New Organization of Librarians Seeks to Shield Their Profession from the Radical American Library Association

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A New Organization of Librarians Seeks to Shield Their Profession from the Radical American Library Association
A New Organization of Librarians Seeks to Shield Their Profession from the Radical American Library Association

Few community members, even frequent patrons, realize how much progressive political ideology affects schools and public libraries. To a great extent, this philosophy comes courtesy of the American Library Association (ALA). Even the tiniest bit of research shows just how committed to leftist dogmas the ALA is.

So, it is heartening to see that some librarians themselves are taking up the battle. A new organization, the Association of Library Professionals (ALP), is taking shape to restore the profession.

Banned Books Week

Walking into a public or school library today is like taking a trip to the liberal side of town. This sense is especially prevalent during “Banned Books Week,” next scheduled for September 22-28, 2024. The first such event took place in 1982. Its goal is to bring attention to “the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community—librarians, educators, authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.”

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According to its promotional website, this festival is sponsored by numerous organizations. They include Amnesty International, the Association of University Presses, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD), the National Council of Teachers of English, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the People for the American Way Foundation.

However, the primary motivating force is the ALA. The 2023 poster shouts, “LET FREEDOM READ.” The lower right corner carried the ALA logo. As of this writing, the 2024 theme and design have yet to be released.

A quick look at the Banned Books Week website reveals their obsession with sexual themes. The website lists “The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022.” All thirteen descriptions include the phrase “claimed to be sexually explicit.” Seven of them also include “LGBTQIA+ content.”

The Purpose of Libraries

The quality of the local library is a barometer of a community’s intellectual life. The library is the warehouse of ideas. Librarians are supposed to develop the ability to put aside their prejudices when selecting materials that reflect the community’s values.

Unfortunately, the ALA currently does the opposite. It exclusively promotes progressive and leftist ideologies. It opposes any attempt to limit such ideas, shouting about the evils of “banning” books. It eagerly places pornographic books on the shelves, all the while congratulating itself on its “inclusiveness.”

At the same time, the organization betrays the very ideas that they pretend to uphold. While its chorus sings the praises for radical ideas, it quietly removes books with opposing, more traditional viewpoints. This process is sometimes known as “shadow banning.”

A Rising Competitor

The new organization began to take shape in April 2023 when “a small group of librarians across the country” started a series of online discussions about the need for a new organization. A particularly sore point was the contention that the profession was moving toward “divisive social activism.”

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The new group’s leaders explain, “In recent years, we have observed with dismay and concern how publicly-funded libraries and related professional organizations have become a ‘battleground’ in the culture war.” These battles have embroiled libraries in public protests, the “cancellation” of speakers at events housed in libraries and public hearings that focused upon materials deemed by many to be obscene.

In the ALP’s opinion, the proper response would be for the professionals to act as neutral mediators who attempt to forge agreement among the contending parties. Instead, the ALA’s position “has been to ‘double down’ on its commitment to promoting a particular suite of ideological positions and to condemn those who oppose them.”

In an online letter to other librarians, the new organization’s president, C. Eric Wilkinson, addressed concerns about children and inappropriate materials.

“In the case of school libraries, we acknowledge the reality that media specialists and school librarians are obligated to act as responsible caregivers in the absence of parents and should therefore exercise due caution and care in curating age-appropriate content.”

Still Room for Concern

Across the ALP’s website and associated materials, the most common word appears to be “neutrality.” This reference does raise a concern. Neutrality will not, in and of itself, protect children from having their innocence stolen from them by obscenity. It is rather like libertarians insisting that the lack of a moral code can protect the culture from immorality.

Even so, the ALP’s commitment to neutrality is far more comforting than the ALA’s obsession that exposing children to indecent materials is the best way to protect them from the tyranny of the Church and the parents who love them.

Photo Credit: © Ryan – stock.adobe.com

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