The Chicago Public Library system is taking six controversial Dr. Seuss book out of circulation at least temporarily while they assess what to do with them.
Officials are “deeply committed” to promoting reading material that “[provides] accurate and current information,” according to Chicago Public Library spokesperson Patrick Molloy, who spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“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,” Molloy said. “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.”
Molloy added that the library’s collection is reviewed often “to ensure that the materials we circulate are responsive to the communities we serve.”
“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,” Molloy added.
Molloy also explained that all six Seuss titles are currently checked out and that the library will honor all the holds on them presently.
The New York Public Library, by contrast, decided to keep all of Seuss’ books in circulation.
“As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books,” library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said in part. “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 the are no longer in acceptable condition,” Montefinise said.
Seuss, who died in 1991, made headlines earlier this week when his company announced on his birthday that they would no longer be publishing six titles that they claimed had racist and insensitive imagery.
As The Daily Wire reported:
The company that publishes Dr. Seuss books will stop selling six titles, citing racist and insensitive imagery.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement.
“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,” the company told the outlet in a statement Tuesday, which just happens to be the birthday of Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The company that seeks to preserve and protect the author’s works said they will no longer publish “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.”
While millions of American children have been raised with the books, which include positive messages about tolerance and protecting the environment, some have drawn criticism over the way blacks, Asians and others are drawn. The author has also been ripped for his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.