Libraries oppose censorship. So they're getting creative when it comes to offensive kids' books

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Rather than remove Dr. Seuss or Peter Pan from their collections, librarians have come up with creative solutions to educate young readers.
(CNN) It's a wondrous thing to introduce a child to a beloved book, to read with them as they enter a literary world generations before them have enjoyed.

But the nostalgia and thrill of bonding over a book makes it all the more crushing when an offensive paragraph stops the young reader in their tracks.

It's an ugly surprise present in classics like "Little House on the Prairie," "Peter Pan" and several Dr. Seuss picture books -- racist depictions of indigenous, Black and Asian characters that mar some of the best-loved works in children's literature.

It's hard to imagine a children's library collection without those titles. It's up to librarians, then, to determine whether those books and others with racist content still deserve a spot on their shelves, said Deborah Caldwell Stone, director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

"We may make a reevaluation of those books and their place in the canon," she told CNN. "It doesn't mean that people should stop reading the books or not have them in their collection, but they should be thinking critically about the books and how they are shared with young people."

The American Library Association vehemently opposes literary censorship . Rather than remove the offending books from their collections, librarians have come up with creative solutions to educate young readers, so while they may still delve into Laura Ingalls Wilder's pioneer adventures or Seuss' zany world of anthropomorphic animals, they'll come away knowing what's wrong with those stories -- and which books get diverse stories right.

The books may still stay on shelves

Parents, critics and readers of all ages reignited arguments over offensive children's books this week when Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would cease publication of six of the famed author and illustrator's books that contain harmful portrayals of minority groups.

Librarians have been paying close attention to the debate for years. Staff members…
Scottie Andrew, CNN
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