MassResistance influences Florida county to defund American Library Association membership

Thanks to MassResistance’s lead, Citrus County becomes first in Florida to vote to leave ALA

Library Board voted 5-1 after strong local testimony – then County Commission agreed

September 15, 2023
ALT TEXT After hearing overwhelming testimony from residents, the Citrus County Library Board became the first in Florida to vote to defund the ALA membership from the library budget.

It’s well-known that the American Library Association (ALA) is a far-left anti-parent force that is notorious for its aggressive push to target children with sexually explicit LGBT materials and “Drag Queen Story Hours” in libraries across the country. The ALA's current president is self-proclaimed "Marxist lesbian" Emily Drabinski, who has a long track record of advocating for the "queering" of public libraries.

Last October, after pressure from MassResistance, Campbell County, Wyoming became the first district in America to officially cut ties with the ALA. Next, the Montana State Library left the ALA, influenced by Campbell County, according to reports. Then more began leaving. The ALA blamed MassResistance for starting it all.

Citrus County, Florida residents decide to take action

On July 28, 2023, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, along with fellow U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer and Mike Braun called for federal funds to the ALA to be halted and demanded the government investigate the organization for advising libraries to discriminate against Christian book publisher Brave Books, which publishes author/actor Kirk Cameron's children's books.

This got the attention of Citrus County. They were outraged when they found out that their county tax dollars were paying for membership dues to this vile group. Something needed to be done. The county needed to remove itself from the ALA.

Groundwork for action in Citrus County laid by MassResistance

Although Citrus County is a Republican-dominated area, pro-LGBT leftists and RINOs have been elected to local offices and run the Chamber of Commerce and other influential groups.  And the local newspaper is aggressively leftist. All of that makes strong pro-family activism critically necessary.

In June 2021, Citrus County parents were outraged when the county’s library system decided to recognize “Gay Pride Month” with LGBT propaganda displays in the libraries. In early 2022, MassResistance worked with Citrus County parents to successfully block the return of the obnoxious displays. Thanks to a lot of activism, the county’s libraries did not celebrate “Gay Pride Month” in June 2022. This has become permanent; the LGBT displays did not come back this year, either.

MassResistance has continued to help people there as a clearinghouse for information. In particular, we’ve worked closely with John Labriola, who runs the Citrus Crusader blog. The Citrus Crusader has become a powerful and influential pro-family voice throughout Citrus County and was key to this victory. They saw how MassResistance was successful in Campbell County and were determined to replicate it there.

Taking on the battle

It was early August. The goal was to have the Citrus County Commission remove the ALA dues from the county’s library budget, which would be voted on during the Commission’s Sept. 7 budget hearing. So they had to move fast!

But the first job was to deal with the Library Advisory Board. In Citrus County, the Library Advisory Board annually reviews the library budget before it’s approved by the County Commission. The Library Board was scheduled to meet on August 22.

The battle at the Library Board

Winning the Library Board vote was critical. They needed to hear from the public! It was crucial that a large number of Citrus County residents come and testify to urge the Library Board to remove ALA dues – which folks learned the county had been paying since the library system’s inception – from the proposed 2023-24 budget.

John reached out to several local conservative clubs and churches, which were very helpful. The Citrus Crusader blog, which also has a large email list, also notified pro-family residents throughout the county. Just over 24 hours before the meeting, the Crusader published an urgent message: Call to Action: No tax dollars for ALA groomers.

It worked! On the morning of August 22, about 30 pro-family residents came to the Library Board meeting and testified. They were very articulate and knowledgeable about the depravities of the ALA and its aggressive anti-family and anti-Christian agenda being pushed in libraries across America. It was quite a forceful gathering!

ALT TEXT This lady said she's had enough of society becoming full of homosexuality. It needs to stop in the libraries.
ALT TEXT This man said the Library Board needs to do the right thing and not be afraid of what liberal media might say.

Three local leftists came to the meeting to support the ALA in the libraries. They basically claimed that parents were lying about it, and resorted to their trademark of vicious name-calling.

ALT TEXT This angry leftist identified herself as a retired public school teacher. She called the pro-family people a "small radical group of extremists" who are trying to "limit freedoms" in the community.

After the testimony, there was a short period of Board discussion. One of the Board members, a College of Central Florida librarian, said the ALA's purported membership benefits, such as access to discounted employee handbooks and information on federal grants, can be obtained through the county’s existing regional library partnerships.

Then the Board voted 5-1 to recommend that the county cancel the annual ALA membership dues. Two Board members, both vocal liberals, did not attend that meeting.

On to the County Commission

There were two opportunities to address the County Commission on this issue. Later that same day (August 22), the County Commission held one of its regular meetings. John was there and testified. He described all the problems with the ALA. He informed Commissioners that the Library Board had just voted to recommend removing ALA membership dues from the budget and implored the Commission to go along with the Board’s wishes.

ALT TEXT After the Library Board meeting, John testified at the County Commission meeting about the radical nature of the ALA - and of the decision by the Library Board to request that the funding be removed.

When the news of the Library Board’s vote got out, a group of pro-LGBT leftists publicly offered to donate the money for the ALA dues to the county. Pro-family residents called and emailed Commissioners demanding that they remove the dues and not accept any donation to cover it.

Commissioners and County administrators clearly got the message! By the time of the County Commission’s budget hearing on Sept. 7, ALA dues were completely out of the budget, and the budget was approved as presented. Commissioners said they agreed with ditching the ALA and ruled out accepting any “donation” to renew the county’s ALA membership.

ALT TEXT When the County Commission met on Sept. 7 to vote on the library budget, the ALA funding had already been taken out!

A great victory for the parents! Citrus County is the first library district in Florida (possibly the first in the Southeastern U.S.) to publicly vote to leave the ALA! (Another Florida county quietly dropped ALA membership a few years ago without voting on it, we were told.) We’re sure that there are more to come!

Final thoughts

A big part of John’s success was not backing away from the truth about how the ALA’s aggressive LGBT grooming agenda, as well as its other anti-family and anti-Christian agendas, harm children in terrible ways. Parents and grandparents were not squeamish about saying they want none of their tax dollars supporting this. And it worked!

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