While larger issues often define our political beliefs, we are a local party trying to work on local issues. We intend to document some of the issues we're working on so you know how you can get involved.
Cullman Library Faces Book Challenges
Book bans have been gaining momentum in many areas, and Cullman is no exception. This issue originally came to light in the article "County commissioners sign Clean Up Alabama petition regarding libraries," published on September 9, 2023, by the Cullman Tribune. While the article brought to light some challenges facing the library, it also highlighted that the root issue for the challengers and county commissioners was any book with LGBTQIA+ themes. The Cullman Times published an article on September 16, 2023, titled "Librarian: Efforts to ban books from Cullman library on the rise," which provides extensive background information on book challenges in Alabama.
We stand against book censorship because it infringes upon our constitutional rights established in the first amendment. In these specific instances, the books being challenged are regular, normal books, but feature characters who are LGBTQIA+. For example, Prince & Knight is a children's picture book featuring a knight who battles a dragon and the prince who falls in love with the knight. This book challenge is only focused on suppressing LGBTQIA+ representation in books and nothing else.
Many individuals showed up to the library board meeting on September 19, 2023, to make their voices heard in opposition to the book challenges. Both the Cullman Times and Cullman Tribune covered the meeting, and a video is also available. The decision to review the books was tabled until the next meeting.
A local chapter of Read Freely Alabama (a non-partisan advocacy group) started in Cullman, AL. Please Contact Us for more details on how to get involved with the Read Freely Cullman group to stay informed about this issue and stand against book censorship and banning.
The next library board meeting was held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 4:30 PM, in the library. The fire marshall was present to ensure the room's capacity was maintained and at least one other uniformed individual was present. Three members of the public spoke regarding the decision to be made - one was the book challenger, and the other two represented Read Freely Cullman. Ultimately, the library board voted unanimously to make no changes to how the books are currently shelved.
Library board members during the vote were Tanya Allcorn, Drew Green, Brenda Scott, and Rusty Turner. Jill Meggs was recently appointed to the library board and abstained from the vote having not reviewed the materials.