New President-Elect of American Library Association Is Also a Lesbian Mom


The American Library Association (ALA) has elected a 20-yr library veteran and self-explained Marxist—who is also a lesbian mom—as its president-elect.

Emily Drabinski

Emily Drabinski, interim chief librarian at The Graduate Centre, Metropolis University of New York, was elected to the position Wednesday by customers of the ALA, the oldest and largest library affiliation in the world. As president-elect of the 57,000-member business, she will serve as vice-president this yr and action into the president part from 2023 to 2024.

Drabinski ran what Jacobin magazine known as an “openly socialist” campaign, with a platform of “collective electricity for community very good.” Her system identified as for “reinvestment in schools, libraries, and communities, economic and racial justice for library personnel and the communities in which we stay and work, environmental sustainability, and collaboration and cooperation past our borders.”

“I will direct sources and chances to a varied cross portion of the association and advance a public agenda that puts arranging for justice at the heart of library perform.”

—Emily Drabinski

Drabinski’s system expanded on the need to have for “Social and economic justice and racial fairness,” explaining that this “requires that we make a materials change in the lives of library staff and patrons who have for much too extensive been denied electrical power and possibility on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, nationwide origin, spoken language, and disability.” As president of the firm, she mentioned, “I will direct assets and alternatives to a diverse cross section of the association and progress a general public agenda that puts organizing for justice at the centre of library get the job done.”

Other foundations of her system ended up “A Inexperienced New Offer for libraries” to “preserve libraries and communities” in the deal with of local weather adjust “International connections” with “a world wide eyesight of librarianship in which intercontinental cooperation and trade are central to equity and justice” “Public infrastructure for general public products,” indicating “a community conversation about the implications of corporate regulate of main library functions” and “strategies for pushing back” and “Collective organizing for collective ability,” the place Drabinski will “bring an organizing technique to association management, having us chatting with each and every other as we collectively develop a nationwide marketing campaign for libraries.”

After her election, Drabinski tweeted:

I just can not imagine that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective electric power is doable to construct and can be wielded for a superior entire world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary. I am so thrilled for what we will do with each other. Solidarity!

And my mother is SO Proud I like you mother.

Her scholarship has integrated get the job done on implementing queer theory to library cataloging and library areas, together with a 2014 paper in which she critiqued how gender is determined in library cataloging principles, and a 2008 paper in which she explored some implications of a Florida county’s negative response to a library Satisfaction exhibit. Although her said plans for the ALA go beyond just censorship and queer problems, evidently she has believed deeply about these issues and will convey that encounter to bear.

The ALA has extended championed liberty of expression, served increase recognition of censorship, and elevated LGBTQ-inclusive guides. Drabinski’s election looks not to signify a sea alter in that regard. However her socialist/Marxist tactic evidently resonated with many, suggesting that they sense she can be even a lot more helpful in addressing the complications libraries confront today, including the document number of problems to books with LGBTQ and other marginalised people across the U.S.

Drabinski has labored in libraries for far more than 20 several years, “in positions ranging from looseleaf authorized filer to library director,” she suggests on her internet site. She has served as chair of the Worldwide Relations Committee (2020-21), ALA councilor-at-substantial (2018-20) and chair of the Affiliation of College or university and Research Libraries (ACRL) Info Literacy Frameworks and Specifications Committee (2019-20). Moreover, she is a member of Main (Main: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures), co-chair of the ACRL President’s System Preparing Committee (2020-21), and opinions editor for Faculty & Exploration Libraries. She is also a member of quite a few ALA Round Tables: International Relations Library Help Workers Interest Social Tasks Sustainability and Ethnic and Multicultural Information Trade and a member of numerous ALA affiliates: the Black Caucus of ALA, REFORMA: The National Association to Advertise Library and Info Solutions to Latinos and the Spanish-talking, the American Indian Library Affiliation, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Affiliation, and the Chinese American Librarians Affiliation.

Drabinski holds an MLIS from Syracuse College, a BA in political science from Columbia College, and an MA in composition and rhetoric from Extended Island University, Brooklyn. She life in Brooklyn, New York with her spouse, their teenage son, and a few cats.


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