Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Public Library to remove Dr. Seuss titles with racist imagery

The Thunder Bay Public Library will remove six Dr. Seuss books from its collections after it was announced that the books will no longer be published due to racist content.
The Thunder Bay Public Library will be removing six Dr. Seuss books from its collections after it was announced that the titles will no longer be published due to racist imagery. (Erin McCracken/Evansville Courier & Press/The Associated Press)

The Thunder Bay Public Library will be taking six Dr. Seuss books off its shelves after it was announced that the books will no longer be published due to racist content.

The library announced the decision on Friday, saying while it is committed to both freedom of expression and anti-racism, it had to prioritize one value over the other.

"With regards to the Dr. Seuss titles that have racist content, we have decided to privilege our commitment to anti racism," a library statement reads. 

"These books have therefore been removed from our collections. The myriad of other titles by Dr. Seuss will remain on our shelves as they are popular with generations of young users and the content does not portray people in ways that can be harmful and hurtful."

Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced earlier this week that the six books — 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 — would no longer be published.

The company acknowledged the books portrayed people in ways that are hurtful and wrong and said the decision to cease publications and sales was made last year.

Thunder Bay library officials said the decision to remove the titles was consistent with their strategic plan.

"The fact that these titles were in the collection of Thunder Bay Public Library indicates that we need to do more work on our Collections Policy," a library statement reads. 

"We will, therefore, be reaching out to various diverse groups and organizations in the city to work with us on making appropriate and informed changes to our policy to ensure that it is in alignment with our anti racist aspirations."

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