Senator Walker’s Testimony that an ALA Grant Required LGBTQ+ Conflicts with the Facts and the Revealed Grant Application  

Senator Walker’s Testimony that an ALA Grant Required LGBTQ+ Conflicts with the Facts and the Revealed Grant Application  

ATLANTA, GA – In introducing and explaining his reasons behind filing SB390, the Ban the ALA bill, to the Senate Government Oversight Committee last week, Senator Walker made several statements that have proven to be untrue and draw into question why the bill was even submitted. 

First, Senator Walker stated that a “good bit of the grant” was for children’s materials, which is incorrect. STOP Moms for Liberty (SMFL) has confirmed with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Houston County Public Library (HCPL), who purchased the materials, that, in fact, none of the grant was used to purchase children’s titles. The grant funds were used to purchase E-books and E-Audio for adults and older young adults. 

Second, Senator Walker stated, “The stipulations of the grant were that the material that they could purchase with the grant, probably from the American Library Association, had to be LGBTQ material or diverse, DEI type material…” STOP Moms for Liberty obtained a copy of the HCPL grant application to the ALA for the Covid Library Relief Fund, 2022, which, along with other sources, confirmed this entire statement is incorrect. 

The Houston County Public Library confirmed the grant’s focus was determined by the library, not ALA. The library proposed diversifying their digital collection with an emphasis on black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ voices. Additionally, the implication by Senator Walker that the grant funds were cycled back to the ALA through the purchase of books is also untrue. Our source at HCPL has confirmed that all the titles were purchased from Overdrive, an E-book and E-audio vendor. 

Third, Senator Walker went on to explain that “This, of course, caused some outrage by some members of the local library board when they fully understood the grant, after it had already been done,” but a source present at the HCPL Library Board meetings has confirmed they recall the board was told “a couple of times” before the grant application was submitted that the funds would be used in the majority for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC E-Book and E-Audio titles. 

Finally, at other points in his testimony, Senator Walker expressed concern that public funds were being used for political purposes, but both of those concerns are unfounded. Not only has the ALA stated in response to SB 390 that “[The] ALA does not espouse any political beliefs other than a commitment to the freedoms identified in our nation’s founding documents that are essential for our democracy,” the ALA Covid Library Relief Fund grants were from private, not public funds. 

SB 390, known as the “Ban the ALA” bill, would ban all Georgia libraries from association with the American Library Association (ALA) and would eliminate certification requirements for librarians.   

The ALA awarded seventy-seven COVID relief grants in 2022 for a variety of services and activities proposed by libraries across the United States and its territories, including funds for a part-time clerk to keep the library open five days a week in California, a library based STEM program for grades K-3 in Kentucky, and the creation of an Innovation Lab for a school library in Pennsylvania to re-engage students. HCPL’s proposal for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC titles was a local choice by a county that sought to continue its tradition of representing all people and cultures in its E-books and E-audio. The purchased titles also included representation of Amish, military, Korean, Arab, and indigenous people.  

SB 390 affects more than libraries and librarians: 

  • SB390 creates a scenario where the State determines which organizations are politically desirable, which are not, and with which organizations individuals may associate. 
  • The ALA offers standards, certifications, and professional development that maintain proven excellence in library community offerings, for which Senator Walker offers no alternative. 
  • The ALA encourages inclusivity in libraries so that everyone is represented and communities can explore diverse cultures, histories, political views, and ideas that would be stifled by State control over what is politically acceptable. 

STOP Moms for Liberty Statement 

“STOP Moms for Liberty urges all Georgians to become actively involved in helping us stop these bills in Georgia that target the civil liberties of you, your kids, teachers, and now librarians. Moms for Liberty has forced their so-called moral values on parents across the nation and most notably in Florida, where the underrepresented have been nearly silenced in schools. Here in Georgia, it’s not happening as much in noisy school board meetings. Instead, Georgians are losing their right to read diverse books and parent according to their own values at the State level through these sweeping bills. They’ve already passed laws making it easier to quietly ban books and fire inclusive teachers. Please tell your legislators and let your school boards know that Georgians do not co-parent with Moms for Liberty or their rebrand, Georgians for Responsible Libraries.” 


Part of the Progress Now network, Progress Georgia is a political digital and communications hub for the progressive movement in Georgia. Progress Georgia works to uplift the values and voices of the progressive movement across the state by keeping politicians accountable and elevating the issues that matter most to our communities. Learn more at 

STOP Mom For Liberty is  a focused movement comprised of relentless defenders of public education from across this nation. The organization is comprised of over 14K fierce advocates of inclusive education in public schools. We are fighting back against the far-right extremist groups like Moms for Liberty who are pushing for book banning and destroying public education. Learn more at

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