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Brave Books Hosts Library Reading to Counter ALA Leader’s Call for ‘Socialist Organizing’

After the American Library Association president declared that libraries need to be a “site of socialist organizing,” Brave Books swung back with a salute to freedom.

The conservative publisher held a patriotic story hour at the South Regional Library in The Woodlands, Texas, featuring the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of “God Bless America,” and a reading of “The Island of Free Ice Cream,” a cautionary tale about the “dangers of socialism.”

Brave Books framed its Saturday program as a response to remarks by Emily Drabinski, American Library Association president, at the Socialism 2023 conference over Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

“I think your point that public education needs to be a site of socialist organizing, I think libraries really do, too, and that happens,” said Ms. Drabinski in a recording posted by psychologist and writer Karlyn Borysenko on her Actively Unwoke substack.

Ms. Drabinski, a self-described “Marxist lesbian” who began her tenure as president in July, was referred to by the moderator as “comrade,” as were the others lined up to speak.

“I haven’t seen that working in libraries, but I think there’s a real opportunity here to both connect with what’s happening in public education, what’s happening in libraries, but also we need some help in the libraries,” Ms. Drabinski said. “We need to be on the agenda of socialist organizing.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, called her comments “insane,” saying that “Americans shouldn’t have toxic ideology pushed on them in libraries.”

The ALA issued a statement Thursday emphasizing that it is a “nonpartisan, non-profit organization.”

“While we respect the rights of individuals to exercise their freedom of thought and expression, ALA does not align with, endorse, or promote the political beliefs, values, or ideologies of any one individual — including its elected leaders and members,” said the ALA in an email to newsfeedworld.

Brave Books, which has led the battle against the lurch to the left at public libraries, had a book for that.

Brave Books founder and CEO Trent Talbot read the 2021 children’s book “The Land of Free Ice Cream,” written by conservative activist Jack Posobiec, which “teaches kids that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Mr. Talbot was followed by Texas state Rep. Steve Toth, who read the newly published Kevin Sorbo children’s work about masculinity, “The Test of Lionhood.”

Across the street at a park, the LGBTQ group Woodlands Pride gave out free popsicles at an event called “Popsicles with Pride” and collected LGBTQ-themed books to donate to the library.

The ALA and Brave Books have tangled before.

In June, an ALA official offered tips on how to thwart the publisher’s “See You at the Library” mass book-reading in August by, for example, scheduling other events at public reading rooms to stop them from being reserved by conservatives.

“We hope that Christian conservatives see what we are doing and wake up to the reality that if we don’t fight for these institutions like our libraries and public education, they will be lost in short order,” said Mr. Talbot, “and once they are gone, they will be near impossible to win back.”

The latest stop on the Brave Books public-library tour was held without Christian actor and author Kirk Cameron, who was stuck at the airport but sent a video message thanking parents for bringing their children to the Houston-area reading.

“In this fight we have on our hands for our for truth, for beauty, and for goodness, be encouraged by the words of our Founding Father, Samuel Adams, who said, ‘It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather, an irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men,’” Mr. Cameron said. “And I would add, brushfires of faith.”

Next on the agenda is a reading Saturday at the Castle Rock Library in Colorado featuring Jaiden Rodriguez, the 12-year-old Colorado Springs boy who was pulled out of class in August over the Gadsden flag patch on his backpack. His school ultimately let him keep the patch after a national outcry.

Jaiden is slated to read “The Test of Lionhood” at the story hour, which is sponsored by Grandparents 4 Kids.

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