The New York Public Library has stated that it will not be pulling six “Controversial” Dr. Seuss books from its shelves and, instead, will keep them in circulation until they are too worn to be lent out.
“The New York Public Library will keep six controversial Dr. Seuss books on the shelves despite this week’s decision to cease their publication due to racist imagery,” the New York Post stated on Thursday. “The library, which serves Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, said it does not censor books and will keep the controversial titles in circulation until they are no longer in suitable shape to lend out, a spokeswoman said.”
“As with all public libraries the New York Public Library does not censor books,” library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said when questioned by the Post.
“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,” she added.
The library will not promote the six canceled titles, but neither will they remove them.
“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,” Mintefinise said.
The books in question — “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” — were pulled from publication earlier in the week due to allegations that the books contain “racist” and “insensitive” visuals and themes.
“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 Enterprises, the company that owns the rights to publish Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel’s works said while speaking to The Associated Press.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics, and specialists in the field as part of our review process,” the company stated to the AP. “We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles.”
The decision doesn’t affect the majority of Dr. Seuss’s books in publication and wasn’t, initially, seen as an effort to “cancel” the children’s books. However, decisions from the White House to remove Dr. Seuss from its “Read Across America Day” events (Despite the fact the entire event was timed to coincide with Dr. Seuss’s birthday) and from Universal Studios, which stated it was “reevaluating” its Suess-themed park, seem to point to the implication that Dr. Seuss may be about to face a more significant cultural shock.