Media reports on ‘book ban’ are not correct | Goldfields Library Corporation

Media reports on ‘book ban’ are not correct

Friday 25 May 2018

Recent reports in the media suggest that Victorian Councils are urging libraries, schools and kindergartens to audit, and potentially ban, books that encourage gender stereotypes. This report has been revealed to be not true.

The front page of the Herald Sun provided the headline “Ban the books – Council’s gender war to hit kinders, libraries” on Monday May 21.

The report then states that a number of councils were considering policies that could result in books such as Thomas the Tank Engine or Winnie the Pooh being banned, with opposition politicians weighing into the debate indicating that councils “should butt out of this nonsense of banning books”.

Goldfields Libraries, along with the Municipal Association of Victoria would like to state that no such bans or audits are in place.

Cr. Mary Lalios, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria, confirmed that “there will be no book or toy bans. Kids will continue to read childhood classics like Thomas the Tank Engine at their local library, kinder and childcare centre.

“We want to expand – not ban – the types of stories accessed by our kids to show experiences beyond gender stereotypes.”

“Access to a wider range of books is one small step to help our current generation of children to challenge gender stereotypes, and to grow up believing that men and women are equal,” she said.

Goldfields Library Corporation CEO Mark Hands said he is disappointed that a socially important cause such as gender equality can be misused by the media for such an inflammatory headline grab.

“Gender equality is a positive social change aimed at allowing our children to understand they can choose to undertake many roles, feel safe and be treated fairly within our society.  It’s disappointing to see that efforts to encourage our children to grow up believing they have a choice to do what they love and are good at would be misrepresented in this divisive way, when the opportunity exists to have such positive outcomes.” Mr Hands said.