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Rubio Demands First Amendment Investigation of American Library Association

Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Republican colleagues sent a letter to Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Crosby Kemper demanding an investigation into the American Library Association’s potential use of taxpayer dollars to silence Brave Books, a potential violation of the First Amendment, while also promoting “Drag Queen Story Hours” at public libraries.

“As a recipient of federal funds, the ALA is prohibited from using taxpayer dollars to violate the First Amendment,” the letter from Senators Rubio, Kevin Cramer and Mike Braun stated. “However, it appears the ALA is ignoring this prohibition for the sole purpose of silencing Brave Books while simultaneously also advocating for ‘Drag Queen Story Hour.’”

The American Library Association (ALA) has received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, including for the promotion of community engagement activities around libraries. However, in June 2023, the ALA provided guidance on how to prevent story hours held by Brave Books, a Christian children’s book publisher, from happening at libraries.

Republicans are focusing on the point that the ALA has continued to promote inappropriate “Drag Queen Story Hours” that expose minors to sexual topics at the same time.

“While disagreements pertaining to ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ in public libraries will assuredly continue, Brave Books deserves the same opportunity to host and organize events in public libraries as other groups, including those that the ALA has taken an aggressive role promoting,” the Rubio letter stated.

The full text of the letter is below:


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