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Local public libraries to review classification of six Dr. Seuss books with racist imagery

The books, which were found to have racist depictions, will likely no longer be placed in the children's section
Dr. Seuss books two
These six Dr. Seuss books were found to have racist images in them. File photo.

Our local public libraries are reacting after six Dr. Seuss books were discontinued from print after it was determined that they contain racist images.

CEO of the Kitchener Public Library, Mary Chevreau, said they will be reviewing the books in question to determine next steps.

"We don't take this lightly. This is a serious process because we want to make sure we aren't blocking freedom of speech and that there isn't a racist element within the content. There are a lot of reasons why we would want to review our collection."

She added that they have already pulled the books from shelves.

"Once the review is completed, we will take appropriate action. It could be whether we keep the title in the collection, whether we change the classification, or we remove it from the stack."

Chevreau noted as a part of the review, the books may become reclassified.

"For instance, they could be moved as a part of the children's reference collection, or to the adult's reference collection. We don't want to block people if they are doing research."

Waterloo Public Library has also indicated that they plan to conduct a similar review.

Here is the full statement they sent to 570 NEWS:

"We learned this week of the six Dr. Seuss titles that will be discontinued by the publisher due to racial and cultural representation concerns. The library is launching a review of these titles. This review process is part of an established process that we undertake to evaluate materials in our collection. A group of librarians will evaluate the titles and make a recommendation to keep them, withdraw them, or move them into another section such as a reference collection for use by researchers or students of children's literature."

Meanwhile, other Canadian librarians and educators are reassessing several Doctor Seuss titles that are being pulled from publication due to imagery some consider racist and insensitive.

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