The New York Public Library is sticking by the First Amendment’s protection of free speech, even if institutions are falling in line behind the censorship of some of Theodor Geisel’s, or Dr. Seuss’s, books because they contain depictions of people that are “hurtful” and “wrong.”
“As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books,” library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said in a New York Post report.
“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,” Montefinise said.
“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,” she said.
The spokesperson said the books are also a part of the library’s historical research collection.
The Post reported on the iconic library and others who are not pulling books from shelves:
A spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library said Wednesday that the books also remain in circulation there. Officials at the Queens Public Library said they are weighing whether to move the books to its reference section but noted, “we stand firmly against censorship.”
The half dozen books by Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, made news this week when the company that publishes the titles for Penguin Random House, said it would no longer publish them.
The six books — “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” — have come under fire in recent years due to its stereotypical portrayal of different ethnic and racial groups.
The Post reported that the Denver Public Library is also keeping the six books in its collection.
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