Marxist Library Association President Scorns Conservative Pushback


Shelves full of books on C-level, a quiet floor for studying, in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 2014.
(Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images).


The American Library Association (ALA) has been facing increasing controversy over alleged book bans, particularly books with LGBTQ+ themes. Emily Drabinski, the new head of the ALA who is a self-professed “Marxist lesbian,” called these conservative efforts to remove sexually graphic books from public libraries “attacks on children” during a recent appearance on “The Ezra Klein Show.”

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Drabinski has faced criticism due to her openly progressive politics, which has led to states like Montana considering leaving the ALA. The Montana State Library Commission voted to withdraw from the ALA after Drabinski celebrated her election as president with a tweet that read, “Hey, I cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary.” This tweet led to the Montana commission voting 5-1 to leave the ALA, citing opposition to “Marxist ideologies.”

READ: ALA President: ‘Public Education Needs to be a Site of Socialist Organizing’

In response to efforts to remove certain books from libraries, Drabinski stated that children’s choice in reading material should be respected. She argued that these efforts are not attacks on books, but rather, “attacks on children.” She further added, “And attacks on libraries right now are shaped and framed as attacks on books. But I think we all know they’re attacks on people and attacks on children.”

The ALA president expressed regret for her tweet that sparked controversy and led to the rift between the state and national library system. She said, “I just wish I could go back in time and push that tweet right back in the bottle because it was an excited utterance for me and my friends… And to forget for a moment that I was in the public square was regrettable.”

Despite the challenges and controversy, Drabinski remains committed to the ALA and its mission. She said, “And I think all I want to do is make good on the promise of the ALA for American librarians and the communities we serve. And to have this stand in the way of that has been a devastation, for sure.”


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