What happens when Freedom to Read meets a refusal to publish? Michigan libraries are navigating that right now, after it’s been announced that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to racist images.
Many libraries have the books in their collections, and some are saying they will still make them available to the public.
Charlevoix Library Director Ryan Deery said he takes the philosophy of ‘Freedom to Read’ seriously, believing that even troubling or unpopular books should be accessible to the public. He said he has not run into something quite like this before.
"This does seem to be a unique moment where a highly public author, whose books are still hugely read, to have some of their in-demand titles no longer be published due to content. "
Deery said the Charlevoix Library own all six titles, and will continue to make them available to the public.
"We think it’s important that items, books, whatever it may be that even if they have antiquated or offensive content, they still give a great opportunity to discuss, to grow, and to transcend those ideas."
Deery said although the books will remain available to the public, they will likely be pulled off the shelves. Now that the books are no longer being published, he said prices for them have shot up, and he doesn’t want to risk having the library copies stolen