18 November 2014

The Wizard of Oz teapot tempest”

In 1957 Ralph Ulveling, director of the Detroit Public Library, received nationwide criticism for remarks he was reported as having made about the Oz books.

I’ve been looking into that story, and this is part of one of the documents from it: Ulveling’s counterattack in the October 1957 American Library Association Bulletin.

Ulveling insisted that his library system hadn’t gotten rid of The Wizard of Oz—it simply wasn’t in the children’s rooms. To be fair to him, that decision had been made “More than thirty years ago,” or shortly after L. Frank Baum’s death. On the other hand, his endorsement of that policy acknowledged rather than refuted the anti-Oz-book sentiments attributed to him.

Ulveling went on to accuse the Michigan State University Press, of all people, of ginning up the controversy to sell books.

And you know, he might have been right.

1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

The library didn't ban the Oz books, they just placed the one Oz book they had out of the sight of children. Where do these reporters get their crazy notions? Banning! Indeed!