Librarian explains why she rejected books donated by Melania Trump – CBS News
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementary School in Massachusetts is declining a shipment of books from first lady Melania Trump.
One school from each state was chosen by the White House to receive 10 Dr. Seuss books as part of National Read a Book Day, CBS Boston reports.
“Getting an education is perhaps the most important and wondrous opportunity of your young lives,” Trump said in a letter to the children who will be receiving books.
The school’s librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, wrote a lengthy editorial for the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog explaining why her school does not need the books.
“My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance,” wrote Phipps Soeiro.
Phipps Soeiro also criticized Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration’s education policy.
“Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?” she wrote.
The librarian’s editorial also criticizes the first lady’s book selections, which include “The Cat in the Hat,” “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” “The Foot Book,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
“You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips,” she wrote.
Parents picking their children up outside the elementary school on Wednesday were quick to support the librarian.
“That’s the librarian’s prerogative and I support her decision,” parent Eric Munson said.
“I think the letter is really articulate, constructive in its suggestions,” said parent Alex Vanpraagh.
The Cambridge school system says the opinions in the editorial do not represent the district and released a statement, saying “the employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.”
“We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes,” the district said.