September 29, 2017 @ 9:00 AM
“Thanks but no thanks,” isn’t the response Melania Trump was expecting from one of the elementary schools she gifted with a shipment of children’s books, but that’s what she got in return.
The librarian at Cambridgeport Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts wasn’t impressed by the First Lady’s choice of literature for her students, and turned down the Dr. Seuss books the White House sent to mark National Read a Book Day earlier this month. According to CBS Boston, one school from each state was chosen to receive ten Dr. Seuss books—The Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Green Eggs and Ham among them—along with a letter from Trump. “Getting an education is perhaps the most important and wondrous opportunity of your young lives,” she reportedly wrote.
Disappointed, librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro responded by schooling FLOTUS with a letter of her own, which was published on The Horn Book’s reading blog. “My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance,” she wrote.
“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,” she continued. “As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips.”
The Cambridge school district reportedly responded by throwing the book at the rogue librarian, and released a statement saying that Phipps Soeiro was “not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.” The statement added that she has been counseled “on all relevant policies, including the policy against public resources being used for political purposes.”