Clay Higgins’ ‘Library’ Tweet


In March 2023, Rep. Clay Higgins tweeted: " ... We will change the whole public library paradigm. The libraries regular Americans recall are gone. They’ve become liberal grooming centers."


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On April 13 2023, an Imgur account shared a screenshot of a March 2023 tweet about libraries attributed to Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Louisiana):

It was dated March 23 2023, and it pledged to “change the whole public library paradigm”:

Over time, American communities will build beautiful, church owned public-access libraries. I’m going to help these churches get funding. We will change the whole public library paradigm.

The libraries regular Americans recall are gone. They’ve become liberal grooming centers.

Book Bans and Libraries in 2023: A Brief Recap

Although the purported tweet was a few weeks old, library-related controversy remained in the news as of mid-April 2023. On April 11 2023, the Idaho-based Lewiston Tribune printed an editorial lamenting the state’s “attack on libraries.”

On April 12 2023, published “A Texas county that was ordered to return banned books to its shelves is set to consider shutting down its library system,” reporting that a “rural Texas county that was ordered by a federal judge to return banned books to its public library shelves is now considering shutting down its libraries entirely.”

On the same day, British outlet The Independent reported that “Republican state lawmakers in Missouri have threatened to defund all of the state’s public libraries in a drastic budget proposal that has magnified the accelerating state-level campaigns against libraries over books and materials with LGBT+ people and themes.”

Idaho, Texas, and Missouri were not the only states in which libraries were targeted. An April 12 2023 article from Louisiana’s WWL-TV reported that library-related debates kicked off the state’s 2023 legislative session:

Attorney General Jeff Landry authored the “Protecting innocence report,” which inspired one of the book bills [“targeting access to certain library books.”] In the past AG Landry has said “Nowhere in this report do we call for the censoring or banning of books.”

But, opponents of the bill like State Representative Mandie Landry disagree, adding it’s going to add to even more censorship.

“This is clearly a censorship issue and that’s where it’s headed if they, they bring certain culture warriors, if they can succeed in censoring and removing very wholesome educational books then what’s next? Are they starting to go down a path of censoring speech? I think so,” Mandie Landry said.


Even if it doesn’t make it out of committee, some Louisianans may still not be able to check out certain books as the issue is also being taken up in parishes. Most recently it’s landed in Jefferson Parish, where at least 9 titles are being challenged. A similar argument has been made in St. Tammany Parish.

On March 28 2023, we published a fact-check about a Florida district’s decision to restrict the Disney film Ruby Bridges. In part, the page examined the false assertion of Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) that the state had been targeted by a “book ban hoax,” or what he claimed were fabrications about the state’s restriction of learning materials.

In the first few months of 2023, several state lawmakers set their sights on public libraries.

Rep. Clay Higgins’ Library Tweet

Higgins’ tweet was shared to Imgur in screenshot form (without a link), and its content was difficult to discern from that of a fake tweet, satirizing a politician’s viewpoint.

However, the tweet was real, and it remained live as of April 13 2023:


On April 13 2023, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of a tweet attributed to Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Louisiana). In it, Higgins vowed to “change the whole public library paradigm,” to help “churches get funding,” and claimed, falsely, that the libraries that “regular Americans” remembered had become “liberal grooming centers.” The tweet was real, and Higgins’ state of Louisiana was one of several in which libraries and other places used to disseminate information to the public were under legislative attack.