Your Child's School Library is at Risk Your Child's School Library is at Risk
Your Child's School Library is at Risk
Your Child's School Library is at Risk

What's Happening?

Last spring, Peel District School Board issued a directive entitled “Weeding and Audit of Resources in the Library Learning Commons Collection” causing the purging of nearly all the books in the school libraries published before 2008*. This process impacts the quality of the education system and freedom of ideas. Furthermore, this weeding initiative has the appearance of a book burning campaign.

The PDSB outlines the process for librarians to execute the destruction of taxpayer funded materials in order to weed out fiction and non-fiction books written before 2008. What is happening to these books? They cannot be given away, donated, sold, or otherwise repurposed due to the perceived ideological harm these books could cause.

So where are they going? Taxpayer funded books and other materials being destroyed must be sent to landfills. How does landfilling books help our students or the environment?

As parents we demand accountability. Our elected officials and publicly funded board must answer some questions:

1. What standard is this initiative being implemented and measured against?
2. When were community, parent and stakeholder communities consulted in relation to this process?
3. Where is the accountability for the implementation of this standard?
4. When did our elected board members approve this process?
5. What money is being used to fund this initiative?
6. How will our libraries be reconstituted with potentially limited funds?
7. What is your oversight and responsibility vis-à-vis this initiative?
8. Why is the library weeding a priority now relative to all other learning priorities for students in Peel?

School libraries are foundational knowledge repositories for our society’s learning process. We fully support adding new materials to school libraries. Any curation of our libraries must be managed with the utmost care and transparency. The elements around consultation, the guiding policy and the standards for this current process appear to be problematic and less than transparent. This entire initiative is very concerning and must be stopped until we have accountability and transparency for this

No society that destroys books has ever ended up on the right side of history!

*“Library retention period is based on publication date for a maximum of 10-15 years.” Page 20 MUSTIE Guidelines for weeding. Books to be purged are from before 2008. Next year, the purge starts at 2009!