City of Melbourne has confirmed there’s no basis to claims books are being banned from the cities libraries on the basis of gender diversity.
Explosive reports in the Herald Sun this morning suggest councils are “auditing libraries”. But the city's libraries say they aren't.
“Under the new guidelines, children’s favourites including Thomas the Tank Engine, Noddy and Winnie the Pooh could be banned for not meeting gender tests,” the newspaper reports.
A spokesperson for the City of Melbourne says this simply isn’t true – and all those titles mentioned are still, and will remain in the city’s libraries.
“Our libraries aim to promote diversity, not censor books. None of the books mentioned in media reports have been banned. The books mentioned are in stock at City Library,” a City of Melbourne spokesperson said.
They explained in 2016 the council commissioned Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research to undertake a study into the development of gender bias, roles and stereotypes in pre-school children.
Instead of banning books, the council said they will be working with a community agency to develop tools and resources for parents and early childhood educators to improve the understanding of the importance of respect and equity between genders.