Large numbers of library books removed and destroyed in the name of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusion’

Large numbers of library books removed and destroyed in the name of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusion’

Progressive Canadian school systems are now culling large numbers of books from their libraries in the name of “equity.” One student “estimates more than 50 per cent of her school’s library books are gone.” But progressive blowhards who wail about “book-banning” every time a sexually explicit book is moved from one section of a library to another section aimed at older readers are deafeningly silent about this.

The National Review reports:

A public school in Ontario has culled nearly half its books, one student estimates, following “a new equity-based book weeding process,” leaving students and community members deeply concerned as the new school year starts.

Among the classics removed from Erindale Secondary School in Peel District School Board include the Harry Potter series, The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank, A Hungry Caterpillar, and The Hunger Games in a bid to make the library more inclusive.

Reina Takata, a Grade 10 student at Erindale, reflected upon returning to school: “This year, I came into my school library and there are rows and rows of empty shelves with absolutely no books.” She was reportedly prepared for the barren library beforehand. Near the end of the previous school year, administrators forewarned her, “If the shelves look emptier right now it’s because we have to remove all books [published] prior to 2008.”

Takata, a Canadian of Japanese descent, fears that such culling of books will lead to the removal of important historical stories, such as those about the Japanese internment during World War II. “I think that authors who wrote about Japanese internment camps are going to be erased and the entire events that went on historically for Japanese Canadians are going to be removed,” the student told CBC.

“That worries me a lot.”

Documents obtained by a local group, Libraries not Landfills, reveal that the mass removal of books was partly influenced by the “equitable curation cycle” created by [education bureaucrats]…“The Board shall evaluate books, media and all other resources currently in use for teaching and learning English, History and Social Sciences for the purpose of utilizing resources that are inclusive and culturally responsive, relevant and reflective of students, and the Board’s broader school communities,” one directive created following the district investigation commanded the school board.

Other files shared with the CBC reveal that the “equitable curation cycle” is composed of “a three-step process that holds Peel staff accountable for being critically conscious of how systems operate, so that we can dismantle inequities and foster practices that are culturally responsive and relevant.” One part of this process includes auditing existing books to ensure they “promote anti-racism, cultural responsiveness, and inclusivity.”

Some local officials insist that the majority of books excised, including Anne Frank’s memoir, were removed simply for being old prints. “When you talk to the librarian in the library, the books are being weeded by the date, no other criteria,” a school board trustee said during a committee meeting in May.

The school board defended its decision in an official statement to National Review on Wednesday. “The Peel District School Board follows the library weeding guidelines set by the Canadian School Libraries Association. These guidelines direct the teacher librarians at our 259 schools to keep books with any publishing date that are accurate, relevant to the student population, inclusive, not harmful, and support the current curriculum from the Ministry of Education. Regardless of publication date, older or damaged books that are accurate, relevant to the student population, inclusive, not harmful, and support the current curriculum may stay within the school or schools have the opportunity to repurchase newer copies of the same title to replace the damaged ones.”

Books deemed not “inclusive” and thus “harmful” have been recycled (destroyed) rather than being sold or given away to members of the community who might like them. This seems little different from book-burning. The CBC reports:

Step two of curation is an anti-racist and inclusive audit, where quality is defined by “resources that promote anti-racism, cultural responsiveness and inclusivity.” And step three is a representation audit of how books and other resources reflect student diversity.

When it comes to disposing of the books that are weeded, the board documents say the resources are “causing harm,” either as a health hazard because of the condition of the book or because “they are not inclusive, culturally responsive, relevant or accurate.”

For those reasons, the documents say the books cannot be donated, as “they are not suitable for any learners.”

A PDSB spokesperson said the board supports its schools “in the disposal of books in a responsible manner by following Peel Region’s recycling guidelines.” Peel Region allows for the recycling of book paper, as long as hard covers and any other plastics are removed first and put in the garbage.

The requirement to promote “anti-racism” could lead to books being discarded simply because they do not peddle left-wing ideology. In practice, “Anti-racism” means left-wing ideology, including opposition to capitalism and support for racial preferences. “To love capitalism is to end up loving racism. To love racism is to end up loving capitalism…Capitalism is essentially racist; racism is essentially capitalist,” says the best-selling “anti-racist” book How to Be An Antiracist. That book is a “comprehensive introduction to critical race theory,” gushes the leading progressive media organ Slate.

The “key concept” in the book How to Be an Antiracist is that discrimination against whites is the only way to achieve equality: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination,” wrote Ibram Kendi in that book. Kendi is a leading “critical race theorist,” according to the leading progressive publication Slate.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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