New York Public Library won’t 'cancel' Dr Seuss books after publisher pulls six titles over 'racist' imagery

'As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books,' library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said, referring to the decision to keep the controversial books on the shelf


                            New York Public Library won’t 'cancel' Dr Seuss books after publisher pulls six titles over 'racist' imagery
(Getty Images)

The New York Public Library won’t pull Dr Seuss books off shelves despite the publisher 'canceling' six of the classic children’s books over racist imagery. A spokeswoman of the library, which serves Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, said, “As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books. In this case, the six titles in question are being pulled out of print by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, so the very few copies we have of these titles will continue to circulate until they are no longer in acceptable condition.”

“In the meantime, librarians, who care deeply about serving their communities and ensuring accurate and diverse representation in our collections — especially children’s books — will certainly strongly consider this information when planning storytimes, displays, and recommendations,” Angela Montefinise added.

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The books which have created controversy are ‘If I Ran the Zoo,’ ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ ‘McElligot’s Pool,’ ‘On Beyond Zebra!,’ ‘Scrambled Eggs Super!,’ and ‘The Cat’s Quizzer’. Responding to the “racist” and “insensitive” imagery contents of the books, Dr Seuss Enterprises, the company that owns the rights to publish Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel’s works told The Associated Press, “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”

Dr Seuss on a postal stamp with his created characters (Britannica)

It added: “Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics, and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles.”

However, the New York Public Library is not the only library to keep the books despite the ceasing of publication. The Denver Public Library has also decided to keep them in circulation. In a statement, the library said, “Libraries across the country are having conversations around how to balance our core values of intellectual freedom with the harmful stereotypes depicted in many children’s classics. The freedom of choice in what a person decides to read is here to stay and the value of reading for any child is critical in their development."

Books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, including "On Beyond Zebra!" and "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street," are offered for loan at the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library on March 02, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois (Getty Images)

People on Twitter have a lot to say about the libraries’ decision as a user tweeted, “Name one ideology group or political system in history which censored books and were the good guys.” The second user commented, “Wow so brave of them to not throw away a book that was literally just taken out of print because nobody was buying it.” Another user noted: “The books are not being printed anymore as a result of a decision by the owning estate. They have not been banned, cancelled, censored or restricted in any other way. Organizations that still have copies are free to do with them as they choose. As always, and as it should be.”



 

 



 

 



 

A person stated, “Wait until Antifa shows up with fire bombs. That will change. How dare you go against the collective!” The second one added, “Who told them to pull them? Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided not to publish 6 books of their series. Don't they have the right in a Democratic country to make their own business decisions? Why is the alt right promoting Communism forcing them to do what they don't want to?”



 

 



 

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