With the American Library Association’s newest president being an outspoken Marxist, Republican State Rep. Brian Harrison of Midlothian is calling on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to cut ties with the association. 

Harrison issued a statement this week calling on Commissioner Chair Martha Wong to cut all ties with the ALA, saying Texas should lead the fight against Marxist ideology, not subsidize it.

“Today I asked the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to immediately cut ties with the American Library Association after they elected a self-described ‘socialist’ and ‘Marxist lesbian’ President,” wrote Harrison. “Texas should be leading the fight against dangerous Marxist ideology, not subsidizing it. Taxpayer funded indoctrination has no place in Texas, and I will not allow my constituents’ money to be weaponized against them, their values, and their children.”

In 2023, ALA announced that Emily Drabinski, a self-proclaimed “Marxist lesbian” and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, would be its new president. However, Texas Scorecard uncovered alarming statements she has made and radical work she has done in the past. 

After her win, she interviewed with an openly socialist publication, Red Fault, where they congratulated her, writing, “It’s a huge inspiration to socialists, librarians, and socialist librarians.”

During Drabinski’s interview, she claimed she was not running for ALA president as a socialist. However, she proclaimed during the interview that she wants to create a “socialist vision for public libraries.”

I think we talked to and, crucially, listened to as many people as we could about the importance of libraries as part of what you and I might call a socialist vision, but I think could be called a progressive vision, a liberal vision. But I think it resonates with a lot of people in the way that socialist ideals do right now.

In 2013, Drabinski published a paper called “Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction,” where she states that she favors forcing librarians to become politically engaged from a queer perspective. 

The ALA is known to support keeping pornographic materials and inappropriate content in public libraries, despite many parents fighting against it.

Citing the ALA’s “Office for Intellectual Freedom,” which states that libraries can’t remove innapropriate books because children have the right to find the information they choose, Harrison says the association may be undermining Texas laws designed to protect children.

“I respectfully ask that the Texas State Library and Archives Commission do the right thing for hard working Texas parents and taxpayers by immediately cutting all ties, financial and otherwise, with the ALA,” wrote Harrison. “By sending tax dollars to the ALA, you are forcing my constituents’ money to be weaponized against them, their values, and their children.”

As of publication, the Montana State Library Commission was the first state to separate from the association. Since their announcement, nine other states’ Freedom Caucuses have called on their state library associations to cut ties with the association as well. 

Commissioner Wong has not responded to a request for comment.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.