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Orr predicts public libraries will lose state funding if changes aren’t made

State Sen. Arthur Orr said the Alabama Public Library Service needs to end its partnership with the American Library Association or lose funding from the state.

“If they don’t pull out of the national library association, I predict their state funding is gone,” Orr (R-Decatur) said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “Several other red states have gotten out already.”

The issue stems from some public libraries in Alabama displaying LGBTQ+ and sexually explicit books in the children section.

The ALA has supported the controversial books, causing Gov. Kay Ivey to send a letter to the APLS director in September demanding answers and accountability on the issue.

“Public libraries play a vital role in our communities,” Ivey said in the letter. “They facilitate research and learning. They provide recreation. And they promote literacy by fostering a love of reading that will improve our citizens lives and uplift our State’s communities. Regardless of background or income, Alabama libraries are or should be a safe place for all individuals in a community, including families and children, to read, learn, and explore.”

APLS Director Nancy Pack responded to Ivey with a defense of the books and the ALA, causing the governor to send another letter saying her concerns are still valid.

“After Reading your submission, however, I still lack confidence that our libraries are most effectively fulfilling their mission,” she said. “In my previous letter to you, I described the core problem as the exposure of children and youth to inappropriate materials without adequate means of parental supervision. Unfortunately, your response does not persuade me that Alabama libraries have policies in place to strike the right balance in responding to this problem.”

Orr discussed the issue further during a Friday appearance on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show.”

“The governor’s letter was very well reasoned,” Orr said. ” I read it. The logic is good. I think it reflects the will of most Alabamians.”

Orr also said the ALPS is almost asking for their funding to be cut because of their actions.

“What they’re screaming is ‘we don’t need your money, we can go it alone,'” he said. “The state supplies $6 to 7 million a year.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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