Shocking photos of librarian who rejected Melania’s Dr. Seuss books surface


Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at a Cambridge, Mass., elementary school, is taking a huge backlash over her public rejection of a set of 10 Dr. Seuss books sent to the library as a gift from First Lady Melania Trump.

Now, many photos are surfacing that show the very same librarian embracing Dr. Seuss books just two years ago, as well as selling “Resist” T-shirts and reading a book to children that promotes radical leaders.

On Tuesday, Phipps Soeiro posted a public rejection letter to the first lady, in a blog post on The Horn Book website.

In her letter, she first explained that her school’s student body is “made up of children from all over the world; from different socioeconomic statuses; with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities; with a range of abilities; and of varied racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.”

Among the many excuses she gave for rejecting the gift was a claim that Dr. Seuss’s books are “racist propaganda.”

“So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. 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,” Phipps Soeiro stated.

“Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes,” the librarian wrote. She lamented about the “racist mockery” in the art of the books, and referenced a new book calling out Dr. Seuss for racism, titled, “Was the Cat in the Hat Black?”

Following the backlash that erupted, the school has tried to distance itself from the librarian’s opinions, releasing a statement that said, “The employee was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district. We have counseled the employee on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes.”

Suddenly, photos are showing up all over Twitter of the very same librarian exhorting all things Dr. Seuss in the past.

Her Twitter account has mysteriously disappeared, but not before many screenshots were captured of Phipps Soeiro decked out in full Dr. Seuss costume while she hosted a Dr. Seuss birthday party, along with a green egg breakfast, in her library on March 3, 2015.

One Twitter user posted information about a T-shirt campaign Phipps Soeiro had started earlier, selling T-shirts that said, “Read-Write-RESIST,” and had a picture of the raised “Black Lives Matter” fist over an open book.

The campaign description stated:

“100% of proceeds from this shirt will go directly to Libraries Without Borders/ Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (BSF) to support their global programming to bring information justice to people world wide.

“My name is Liz Phipps Soeiro, I am a school librarian in Cambridge, MA, founder of the Cambridge Book Bike and on the inaugural advisory committee of BSF. I designed this shirt in response to our current political climate as a reminder of the power of information and the power of the people. I thought it only fitting to use this shirt to raise money for BSF to aid in their integral work around the globe. We’d love to see you in your shirt! We are on twitter: @BSF_Intl and I am: @ReflectLibrary.”

Below is a photo of Phipps Soeiro reading the children’s book, “RAD American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!” which is described on Amazon as “what it means to be radical,” telling the stories of “26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.”

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