A high school in Ontario has removed all books published before the year 2008 in an effort to make the school’s library more “inclusive” for students returning from their summer holidays, including Anne Frank’s Diary, the Harry Potter series, and even “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
Erindale Secondary School in Mississauga removed roughly 50 percent the library’s collection under an “equity-based book weeding” policy implemented by the local school board earlier this year.
“This year, I came into my school library and there are rows and rows of empty shelves with absolutely no books,” said one student.
The “weeding” process is merely the first step in the new policy, with the second comprising an audit of books based on whether they “promote anti-racism, cultural responsiveness, and inclusivity,” and thirdly ensuring the books reflect the “diversity” of the pupils attending the school.
The decision was criticized by the Ontario government, with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce stating: “It is offensive, illogical and counterintuitive to remove books from years past that educate students on Canada’s history, antisemitism or celebrated literary classics.”
The local school board announced following the backlash that it “works to ensure that the books available in our school libraries are culturally responsive, relevant, inclusive, and reflective of the diversity of our school communities and the broader society.”