Friday, March 5, 2021

Proud to be "Harry the Librarian"

 When the rubber meets the road: Many claim to "believe in" intellectual freedom - easy when no one is calling you a perpetrator of evil thoughts and words. Librarians take their lumps in order to live up to the ideal of letting each person get ALL the facts and perspectives and decide for themselves.

In the current Dr. Seuss controversy, today's Worcester Telegram tells us that "Worcester Public Library Executive Director Jason Homer acknowledged that 'we must challenge our collective history and make sure we address when deeply loved literature proves hurtful and problematic WITH THE LENS OF HISTORY, [caps added by me] diversity and equality'

"Betsy Perry, director of Sutton Public Library added that the situation is viewed as A TEACHING MOMENT, saying 'The imagery depicted in these books provides caregivers opportunities for discussion with their children about the historical context of the time when these books were created.'”                                                                                                                                                          Caption: Librarians Iris Delgado, left, and Rezarta Reso hold some of the controversial Dr. Seuss books at the Worcester Public Library Thursday.

My concern is that if we "erase" reminders of how our thinking and understanding EVOLVE, we overlook that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!" (George Santayana-1905)