‘They aren’t going to be removed’: Local librarians say Dr. Seuss books won’t come off the shelves

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to accusations of racist and insensitive images, but local librarians say the titles will stay on the shelves.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement Tuesday on Read Across America Day, also Dr. Seuss’s birthday, that the company is ceasing publication and licensing of some Dr. Seuss titles.

“They aren’t going to be taken out, they aren’t going to be removed,” Cor Morgan, Children’s Programmer at Washington County Tennessee Library said. “There is the issue of how do we present these books to children if we use them in programming.”

Morgan tries to avoid using Dr. Seuss in programming.

“I try to avoid any racist imagery in programming,” Morgan said. “Imagery has a huge impact on children, especially Dr. Seuss’s target age, which is very young.”

Johnson City Public Library Director Julia Turpin said in a statement that the library does not support the restriction of access to the works of Dr. Seuss.

Johnson City Public Library is committed to fostering a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming experience for everyone.  The library’s staff and Board of Directors ensure that our organization will reflect these ideals in all we do.  This includes a commitment to our citizen’s rights to free and equal access to information. While or organization may choose to focus on contemporary children’s authors, we do not support the restriction of access to the works of Dr. Seuss. His early works include offensive and racist imagery, however his later work demonstrates an evolution of his beliefs.  We believe that this as an opportunity to demonstrate that when we know better, we do better. We all can learn and grow just as he did. 

Julia Turpin, Johnson City Public Library

The titles on the list to cease publication include: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetIf I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

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