A school librarian in Massachusetts rejected a donation of Dr. Seuss books that were part of a White House initiative headed by Melania Trump, dubbed National Read a Book a Day.
Liz Phipps Soeiro, the head librarian at Cambridgeport Elementary School, called the Dr. Seuss books “cliché” and “tired”. She said the book donations were not needed in her award-winning library.
“My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science,” Phipps Soeiro wrote in an open letter on the Horn Book blog website.
She also criticized Mrs. Trump’s choice in books and took a jab at Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
“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,” Phipps Soeiro wrote.
Social media users responded with outrage.
Some Twitter users retweeted old photos of Phipps Soeiro wearing a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat costume. Others tweeted images of former first lady Michelle Obama reading a “tired” and “cliché” Dr. Seuss book to school children.
The school district quickly distanced itself from the librarian, saying she was not authorized to accept or reject book donations.
“We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes,” the district wrote in a statement.
The school district added that Phipps Soeiro’s “opinions do not reflect that of the school system.”