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This librarian rejected a book donation from Melania Trump, and people are upset

POSTED: September 30, 2017 9:39 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

A wagon full of free books sits in the corner during the Dr. Seuss Literacy Festival at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School in Riverton on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The festival was arranged by the Childhood Development Center and features a series Dr. Seuss themed activities for children.

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A Massachusetts librarian is facing backlash after she denied book donations from first lady Melania Trump.

According to CBS News, librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro of Cambridgeport Elementary School denied Melania Trump’s books because she didn’t think her school needed them.

In an opinion piece written on The Horn Book’s Family Reading blog, Soeiro said her school has “plenty of resources,” among other things.

“So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books,” she wrote. “And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. 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.”

Soeiro took matters a step further and recommended 10 books to the first lady — “it’s the librarian in me,” she wrote — that she said hoped would offer her “a window into the lives of the many children affected by the policies of your husband’s administration.”

She added, “You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them. I hope you share these books with your family and with kids around the country. And I encourage you to reach out to your local librarian for more recommendations.”

Not far away, the mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts, where Dr. Seuss was born and raised, didn't find the librarian's decision, or views, helpful.

"'One fish — two fish — red fish — blue fish' — I think her comments 'stink' and are ridiculous towards our beloved Dr. Seuss," Mayor Domenic Sarno said, according to MassLive.com. "Her comments that this is 'racist propaganda and that Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliche and a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature' is 'political correctness' at its worst."

Melania Trump’s book donations coincided with her effort to reach out to children affected by the opioid epidemic, according to The Washington Post. She also recently spoke about how she wants to end bullying among children, too.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told The Washington Post that the first lady will continue her mission to help children, despite the librarian’s dismissal of her books.

“Turning the gesture of sending young schoolchildren books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the first lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere,” she said.
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