Librarian insults Melania Trump as she rejects ‘cliche’ books donated by first lady

A librarian at an award-winning Massachusetts school declined books donated by the first lady, suggesting she instead send them to students who are truly in need.

The White House selected a school from every state to receive ten Dr. Seuss books in recognition of “National Read a Book” Day — among them, a Cambridge public school where Liz Phipps Soeiro works as a librarian.

In an open letter to Melania Trump on Horn Book’s Family reading blog, Soeiro thanks the first lady for recognizing her school but then explains why her students do not need the donation.

“My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science,” she wrote. “Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance.”

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WASHINGTON, DC - In the White House Kitchen Garden, First Lady Melania Trump plants and harvests vegetables with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on the White House grounds in Washington DC Friday September 22, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Queen Fabiola Children's University hospital in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
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U.S. First Lady Melania Trump reads a book to children during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, April 17, 2017. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania presided over their first Easter Egg Roll, a 139-year-old White House tradition. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
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Soeiro continues on to point out how libraries across the country are being shuttered while schools in “cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion privatization, and school ‘choice’ with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers and their schools.

“Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control?”

She urged Trump instead to send books to “underfunded and underprivileged communities that may continue to be marginalized and maligned by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.”

The librarian also criticized the book selection in general, which boasted titles including “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” and “Cat in the Hat.”

 

“You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliche, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature,” Soeiro said. “As first Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips.”

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