Alabama: “State Library Director Nancy Pack Concedes to [Governor Kay] Ivey, Dissolves State Board Membership with American Library Association
UPDATED POST (November 3, 2023): Alabamians React to Public Library Service Leaving the American Library Association (via AL.com)
Librarians and other organizations this week expressed disdain or support for Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) director Nancy Pack’s recommendation to leave the American Library Association (ALA).
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From 1819 News:
A recent letter from Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) director Nancy Pack announced that the APLS would discontinue its membership with the American Library Association (ALA) and offered guidelines for libraries to address sexually explicit children’s books. In the newest development in the ongoing saga surrounding Alabamians expressing concern over sexually explicit children’s books at public libraries, Pack appears to have heeded the promptings and recommendations of Gov. Kay Ivey. [Clip] While Pack’s decision does not mean that individual libraries cannot have an ALA membership, she announced in the letter that APLS would end its membership with the ALA. The ALA membership cost APLS just over $38,000 since 2019, according to a previous release from Pack.
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The APLS board will have the final say on this decision, according to Pack. In Saturday’s interview, Pack said Gov. Ivey was comfortable staying within the ALA. Still, Republican legislators in the Alabama State House pushed for the recommendation.
“I think we’re going to do it just to get our state aid, but I don’t know,” Pack said in the interview. In a series of communications between Pack and Ivey over the last couple of months, Ivey mandated that state funding to APLS should be contingent on whether libraries had plans in place to keep inappropriate content from children.
Matthew Layne, president of the Alabama Library Association, an ALA chapter, said in an email that by disaffiliating from the ALA, the APLS “will lose access to a professional organization with over 50,000 members of professional librarians and library workers from around the world. They will lose access to workshops and training from brilliant librarian leaders, thinkers, and the important collegiality that one experiences in such organizations.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.