LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Residents at the library board of control meeting say there’s disagreement amongst board members over the library’s membership with the American Library Association, and it all centers around what some are calling hidden agendas.

The American Library Association, founded in 1874 is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The nonprofit’s purpose is to promote library service an librarianship. The ALA and its members also honor people and institutions through an awards program that recognizes distinguished service to librarians and librarianship.

With a resolution to cut ties with the ALA, board member Robert Judge argued the association has a worrisome ideology.

“This is an actual ideology with an agenda to move that ideology using taxpayer funds through the public library system,” said Judge. “I think it’s egregious, and it’s sad, and it’s one of those difficult positions. But I’m open to discouragement language. But I think we need to cut ties with this Marxist organization.”

Sarah Monroe, Interim library director, said cutting ties with the association would cause a hiring problem.

“How do I explain that I can only hire librarians with an ALA-accredited degree,” said Monroe.

Another resident explained to the board that it would be unreasonable to disassociate with the ALA due to it’s prestige as an organization.

“The ALA is the officially recognized accrediting agency for graduate programs, offering the master’s degree in library science,” the resident explained. It is the equivalent of the American Bar Association. How ludicrous would it be to say we’re going to disassociate Ms. Banks here from the American Bar Association? That’s laughable.”

The board decided a to not vote on the resolution tonight and have postponed a decision until further notice.

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