Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Birmingham DSA and UA students co-host ‘Save Our Libraries’ letter-writing event

CW / Hannah Grace Mayfield
Participants drop off letters at the letter writing campaign at Grace Presbyterian Church on Thursday, April 4.

The Birmingham chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America joined the UA Leftist Collective to co-host a “Save Our Libraries” letter-writing event at Grace Presbyterian Church on Thursday.  

The Save Our Libraries campaign, organized by North Alabama DSA and Birmingham DSA, aims to stop Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed rule changes to the Alabama Public Library Service that threaten to defund public libraries if they do not relocate “sexually explicit or other material deemed inappropriate for children or youth.” 

Birmingham DSA provided pens, paper, envelopes, stamps, buttons and pages containing talking points for advocates to follow. 

These pages denied that there were sexually explicit or developmentally inappropriate materials in children’s sections in libraries while criticizing the “singling out” of the American Library Association as government overreach. 

The American Library Association is a nonprofit that aims to promote and improve library services and information. In January, the Alabama Public Library Service decided not to renew its membership with ALA; the North Alabama DSA and Birmingham DSA believe the “singling out” of ALA is due to the president’s sexual orientation and her self-identification as a socialist.  

Faith Hubbart, vice president of UA Leftist Collective, wrote in an email that restrictions on literary classics and censorship of intellectual products will preclude a full understanding of the world.  

“Our history has shaped the nation and the narratives around difficult topics will not be clarified by hiding source material and obscuring information,” Hubbart wrote. “For a fuller understanding of life, our legal system, social circumstances, political discourse, and economic policies, we must not forget the trials and tribulations fought to reach our current point.” 

The American Public Library Service is accepting letters until the end of April. Students can write and mail letters either independently or through the Save Our Libraries website before April 29 at 4:30 p.m.  

Birmingham DSA member Julian Gaytan said that libraries are core institutions for communities that provide more than just books.  

“The Tuscaloosa library here provides hotspots and free Wi-Fi, the ability to use the computer, resources that not everybody are allowed to have, and so if we start removing and defunding these services and programs, then our community is going to be left alone and uneducated,” Gaytan said. 

Gaytan said that these proposals are erasing people from the community and that ignorance of different types of people can lead to separation and prejudice. 

Anne Ward, a sophomore majoring in communication studies, attended the event Thursday. She said that information is special and should be protected. 

“It’s important that we see all different kinds of people, and it’s important that we have queer, Black, all BIPOC authors,” Ward said. “We need those kinds of authors, we need those kinds of books because we will always have those types of people and we will always have those types of kids.”

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