- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Chicago Public Library system will yank from its shelves six Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be printed over allegations of perpetuating racist stereotypes.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced last week that it would cease printing six books by the iconic children’s author — “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” — explaining that the titles “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Chicago Public Library spokesman Patrick Molloy said Monday the books would be removed from library shelves and temporarily kept as reference copies while long-term options are being weighed.

”It is important to recognize that what society understands to be relevant and/or common knowledge changes over time, and so too does the Library and the needs of the communities it serves,” Mr. Molloy said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “Library staff encourage patrons of all ages to engage critically with our materials, but materials that become dated or that foster inaccurate, culturally harmful stereotypes are removed to make space for more current, comprehensive materials.”

All six books are currently checked out and any holds on the copies will still be honored, Mr. Molloy said.

“CPL is constantly reviewing our collections to ensure that the materials we circulate are responsive to the communities we serve,” he added. “Staff will continue to evaluate all Library resources and consider bias, prejudice, and racism when making decisions about our programming, services and recommendations, in addition to our collections.

The decision breaks with the New York Public Library (NYPL) system, which said Friday it has a duty to “ensure accurate and diverse” collections. 

“As public libraries do not censor material, the very few copies we have of the 6 Dr. Seuss titles in question will remain in circulation until they are no longer in acceptable condition,” an NYPL spokesperson told Fox News. “At that point, we will not be able to replace them, as the books are out of print.”

“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,” the spokesperson added. 

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