The Harvey Olnick Rare Book Room at the University of Toronto Music Library contains over 2,600 volumes that exemplify the history of music, music editing, performing and printing—from liturgical manuscripts and early printed treatises to first editions of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Gershwin. Its namesake, Harvey Olnick was formative to its collection's development.
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In this limited series, Dr. Shoshana Magnet shares some of the picturebooks that she believes are powerful agents of social transformation and positive change. This month, as the country slowly begins to open and we see changes all around us, she reviews two books that are about the challenge of transitions, including how simultaneously scary and wonderful they can be.
Collection management is an important component of library work in part because the materials on our shelves reflect our deepest cultural beliefs and experiences. I am learning from my colleague, Dr. Monica Eileen Patterson, withdrawing some of Dr. Seuss' books from publication is the right thing to do because children should not be exposed to racist imagery and stereotypes. And yet, there may be times when we might still need access to some of these texts in order to understand how racism operates in our communities.