Libraries slam tabloid talk of book ban
GOLDFIELDS Libraries have said you’ll still be seeing your old favourites on the shelves.
The organisation said recent reports which suggest that Victorian Councils are urging libraries to audit and ban certain books are not true. This comes after the front page of the Herald
Sun provided the headline “Ban the books — Council’s gender war to hit kinders, libraries” on May 21.
The report then states that a number of councils were considering policies that could result in books such as Thomas the Tank Engine or Winnie the Pooh being banned, with opposition politicians weighing in to the debate indicating that councils “should butt out of this nonsense of banning books”.
Goldfields Libraries, along with the Municipal Association of Victoria, said they would like to state that no such bans or audits are in place.
“There will be no book or toy bans. Kids will continue to read childhood classics like Thomas
the Tank Engine at their local library, kinder and childcare centre,” Mary Lalios, president of the Municipal Association of Victoria said.
“We want to expand — not ban — the types of stories accessed by our kids to show experiences beyond gender stereotypes.
“Access to a wider range of books is one small step to help our current generation of children to challenge gender stereotypes, and to grow up believing that men and women are equal.”
Goldfields Library Corporation chief executive Mark Hands said he is disappointed that a socially important cause such as gender equality can be misused for such an inflammatory headline grab.
“Gender equality is a positive social change aimed at allowing our children to understand they can choose to undertake many roles, feel safe and be treated fairly within our society,” he said.
“It’s disappointing to see that efforts to encourage our children to grow up believing they have a choice to do what they love and are good at would be misrepresented in this divisive way, when the opportunity exists to have such positive outcomes.”