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American Library Association's Marxist president calls blowback over leadership 'regrettable,' claims her political agenda 'doesn't drive' organization
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American Library Association's Marxist president calls blowback over leadership 'regrettable,' claims her political agenda 'doesn't drive' organization

The American Library Association's new, self-described "Marxist lesbian" president told NBC News on Monday that the blowback over her leadership is "regrettable" and claimed that her political agenda "doesn't drive" the organization.

In a recent interview with NBC News published on Monday, the ALA's president, Emily Drabinski, addressed the controversy regarding her leadership at the association following a resurfaced Twitter post.

Drabinski, who became ALA president in July, celebrated her victory in April 2022 by posting on social media.

"I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary. I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity! And my mom is SO PROUD I love you mom," Drabinski wrote in the now-deleted Twitter post.

She later doubled down on her political affiliation in an interview, stating that being a Marxist is "very much who I am and shapes a lot of how I think about social change and making a difference in the world. But of course, I tweeted it into the middle of an extremely fractured society. One where we have the rise of an extremist right that has come for everything that I care about."

Drabinski voiced her support for "queering" the library by adding literature with a "queer perspective" to the catalog.

The ALA faced pushed back for hiring a self-proclaimed Marxist. In July, the Montana State Library became the first state entity to cut ties with the organization. Following Montana's decision, conservative lawmakers in Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Wyoming, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Idaho implored their public and school libraries to withdraw from the ALA.

Additionally, a new national organization, the World Library Association, launched in July in response to the ALA's decision to hire a Marxist.

The association's executive director, Dan Kleinman, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the new World Library Association aims to "provide some kind of counterbalance to this big group that has been pushing these inappropriate books that they have been for decades."

Drabinski addressed the pushback on Monday to NBC News.

"I was excited to highlight and celebrate two aspects of my identity that are really important to me, and are often under a lot of scrutiny," she stated. "I didn't anticipate these kinds of targeted attacks being used as a bludgeon against library workers across the country. I really think that is regrettable, and I wish that wasn't happening right now."

Drabinski referred to the criticisms against her as "organized pro-censorship efforts" by individuals who "want to erode support for public institutions that enable access to information for everyone," the outlet reported.

She told NBC News that she does not want the organization to "get stuck talking exclusively on the terms that they have set for us rather than the terms that I think the rest of us operate on every day."

"My own personal political viewpoint is a target right now, but my personal agenda doesn't drive the association," Drabinski continued. "It's the agenda of all of us together."

The ALA expressed its support for Drabinski in response to her recent interview with NBC News.

"Together, we will continue to support the work of libraries now and in the future," the association wrote on Twitter.

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