The New York Public Library (NYPL) will continue to lend out six specific Dr. Seuss titles, even as the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy has decided to cease publication of said titles.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced Tuesday, on National Read Across America Day, that publication of such titles as “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” will cease following controversy that these specific books include racist imagery.
The decision followed discussions held last year, with the company citing concerns that the books — published in the 1940s and ’50s — “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
The NYPL will not remove these books from its shelves, it said this week, citing its duty to “ensure accurate and diverse” collections.
“As public libraries do not censor material, the very few copies we have of the 6 Dr. Seuss titles in question will remain in circulation until they are no longer in acceptable condition,” a spokesperson for the NYPL told Fox News. “At that point, we will not be able to replace them, as the books are out of print.”
“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,” the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson also specified that the books in question only comprise 30 copies in total across the entire library system, which indicates a low demand for these books to begin with. For one of the books, the library has zero copies in circulation, it said.
Copies of the books will remain in the library’s research collection, ensuring that students and researchers will have on-site access to the books after the circulated copies leave the shelves.
The decision to cease publication provoked a strong reaction from readers and commentators alike.
One of Dr. Seuss’ stepdaughters told The New York Post that the famous author didn’t have “a racist bone” in his body, and she hopes the books will return to print because Seuss’ body of work is “unique.”
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel joked that caving to cancel culture pressure could pave the way for former President Trump to return to office in 2024.
“This is how Trump gets reelected, by the way,” Kimmel told his audience. “Cancel Dr. Seuss, cancel Abe Lincoln, melt down Mr. Potato Head’s private parts and throw them at the Muppets. That is his path to victory the next time around.”