SB 390 will be heard in the Government Oversight committee on February 7 at 5 PM
ST. SIMON’S ISLAND, GA – Senator Mike Hodges and, briefly, Senator Larry Walker met with constituents of Senate District 3 this past Saturday to discuss their sponsorship of bill SB 390, which critics say would hobble all Georgia libraries by banning any association with or funding to the American Library Association (ALA) and remove the requirement for librarians to have professional certification.
STOP Moms for Liberty was there and reports that both Senators shared they were supporting the bill because the ALA forced the Houston County Public Library (HCPL) to spend a publicly funded ALA grant on LGBTQ+ and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, which was privately funded, helped seventy-seven libraries across the United States provide a variety of services and resources for their communities, especially for traditionally underserved populations.
However, after careful research, STOP Moms for Liberty has learned that the story is untrue. STOP Moms for Liberty confirmed with the American Library Association that the $20,000 grant provided to Houston County Public Library (HCPL) was used for exactly the purpose it proposed in its grant application. The grant created a collection of E-audios and E-books for adults and older young adults with an emphasis on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices, characters, and authors in order to provide diverse life experiences and build empathy.
Georgia State Senate Bill 390 Would Undermine Georgia Libraries
ATLANTA, GA – STOP Moms for Liberty, a national, 14,000+ member movement, is working in Georgia to oppose SB 390 and other bills that threaten students, public schools and libraries. Through SB 390, Moms for Liberty, one of the designated Extremist, Anti-Government groups, as noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is mounting an attack on the American Library Association. The ALA is a strong voice in supporting First Amendment rights in opposition to book banning efforts by Moms for Liberty. As a result, bills and laws banning the ALA are showing up in Florida, Alabama, Montana, Missouri, Texas, and now Georgia.
Librarians across the state are uniting to inform their legislators that banning the ALA would harm libraries. Studies have demonstrated that students with certified school librarians have increased reading and writing scores. Librarians are concerned that not only will banning the ALA damage the ability to recruit and retain qualified librarians, but it will also make libraries less able to meet the needs of their communities.
The Oconee County Chapter Chair of Moms for Liberty, Julie Mauck, joins Georgians for Responsible Libraries in pushing for SB390, the Ban ALA bill, SB154, the Lock Up Librarians bill, and SB394, the Book Banning Bill, which would result in banning from all school grades any material describing “sexual conduct,” which according to Georgia state law includes anything LGBTQ+, and requires express parental permission for descriptive sex education from 7th to 12th grade, and forbids it for students 6th grade and under.
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.”
Blake Robinson, a 20-year-old member of the Georgia Youth Justice Coalition in Valdosta, Georgia, commented, “SB390 will do irreparable damage to our standards in this state. Though this bill claims to be helping Georgians, it will only hurt us as it removes the opportunities that come with the resources provided by the American Library Association. If this bill passes, it will eliminate degree programs at every public institution in Georgia that is certified by the ALA, and that is a slippery slope that I cannot accept.”
Sharon Hudson, a mother from Cobb County, stated, “I oppose SB390, and I’m shocked that legislators want to take funding away from our libraries. Having Georgia librarians certified by the ALA benefits everyone in the state of Georgia. Librarians are loved by their communities, and their passion and dedication to providing resources to everyone who walks through public library doors should be supported by legislators.”
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 https://progressga.org/.
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 https://stopmomsforliberty.com.