Li­braries slam tabloid talk of book ban

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

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.”

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