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APLS executive board primed for decision Thursday

It will be up to the agency’s executive board whether to follow through on withdrawing from the ALA.


Dr. Nancy Pack, executive director of the Alabama Public Library Service, issued a memo last month indicating an intent to disaffiliate with the American Library Association.

But it will be up to the state agency’s executive board whether to ultimately follow through on that recommendation, made under pressure from lawmakers who have jumped on a national trend of vilifying the association because of its president’s “Marxist lesbian” identity.

Another portion of Pack’s memo took language directly from Gov. Kay Ivey, alerting libraries that the APLS does not consider moving books between sections to be censorship. There does not appear to be any action for the APLS board to take on that declaration.

Neither side is satisfied with Pack’s memo. Read Freely Alabama, which stands opposed to recent book challenges, said the memo undermines the stance they’ve been pushing that moving books intended for teens to the adult section does not qualify as censorship.

Clean Up Alabama, which has been leading the push for book bans, is not happy either, releasing a statement last week that the actions by Pack falls short because local libraries are not required to disaffiliate from the ALA or move books.

They have now pushed for citizens to contact Ivey and call for Pack’s resignation or removal. The group criticized Pack for allegedly telling library advocates in Fairhope that the APLS would rejoin the ALA next June.

Nancy Pack changes her verbiage on the issues depending on whom she is speaking to at the time,” Clean Up Alabama said in its latest email. “This behavior does not instill trust amongst the citizenry which she serves.”

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Clean Up Alabama also changes its verbiage depending on whom they are speaking to.

The group has often rebuffed claims that they are for banning books, or that they are more concerned about LGBTQ content.

But the group’s own roundtable in Prattville two weeks ago focused primarily on children’s books that affirm gender transitioning. And 1819 News president Bryan Dawson said to burn the books, to smiles and nods from the Clean Up Alabama members on the panel.

At that same panel, Dawson said he would rather children have access to Playboy magazines than books that affirm gender transitioning.

This is the group that has been at the center of the push for lawmakers to take some kind of action against the books they deem inappropriate.

Thursday, they could meet one of their stated goals, as disaffiliation from the ALA is the group’s top priority at the APLS level.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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