Why does the St. Tammany Library Alliance Exist?

NOTE: As the library censorship issue has continued to evolve in our parish, this background page is no longer being updated. It does give great information on the issue through early 2023.

In July of 2022, concerns over LGBTQ Pride displays at some of St. Tammany Parish's branches were discussed during public comment at a library board meeting. Around 40 people spoke in favor of the displays with only one voice of dissension. This person alleged the pride display supporters were bussed in by the library from outside of St. Tammany because she couldn't imagine so many LGTBQ people and allies living in our community. She spread this misinformation to local religious organizations, and what started as complaints about pride displays  morphed into attempts to ban books (including  LGBTQ works, classic literature and romance novels ) and fire the Director of St Tammany Parish Libraries as well as the library board. Some of the pro-censorship group have even called for the director’s arrest.

This group is well organized but ill-informed. They believe there is a nation-wide conspiracy of "pedophilic Marxist librarians" hell-bent on grooming unsuspecting children and possibly turning them queer through children's books. At first, this appeared to be the unhinged fantasies of a few far-right conservatives, but this movement in our Parish has recently gone more mainstream. 

On November 28, RPEC (Republican Parish Executive Committee) met to discuss book banning and offered those calling for censorship a platform, helping to legitimize these outrageous claims. This movement is dangerous. They march under the banner of protecting children, but it's clear that their true motivation is attempting to silence the voices of the LGBTQ community and anyone else who doesn't share their personal convictions. The pro-censorship crowd is currently working to replace the Parish Council and President with their supporters and ultimately fire the library director and any board member who won't be their puppet. Most recently, an attorney with the pro-censorship group presented the Parish Council with a proposed ordinance calling for the formation of a Library Accountability Board (LAB) which would have oversight on the books available and policies made within our libraries. This is already the job of our council-appointed Library Board. Make no mistake, they will not stop at banning books. They will use their power to influence as many aspects of Louisiana politics as they can. They are organized, well funded and have the support of powerful politicians and organizations such as Michael Lunsford’s Citizens for a New Louisiana, a dark money 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which hopes to defund libraries, create puppet boards and ban books his organization deems inappropriate in all 64 parishes.


2023 UPDATE: Two new Louisiana bills that codify the ability to ban or censor books have been passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.  Follow this link to the analysis of each bill


Official St Tammany Library Items:

Media Coverage (**NOTE: This list of media is no longer being updated, but provides good background on the issue**)

 *We do not view The Slidell Independent as a reputable news publication but we've included their articles here as they speak to the propaganda being used by the pro-censorship group to achieve their goals. 

 St Tammany Parish Library Accountability Project (the St Tammany pro-censorship group) Info and Materials:

Citizens for a New Louisiana (the special interest group fueling the pro-censorship movement across the state)


AG Jeff Landry's Tip Line for "Protecting Minors"