This statement is from the Freedom of Expression Committee website: “Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves Free expression on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.”
Liaison librarian Camille Callison notes that the reading event to celebrate Freedom to Read Week started on campus last year. She encourages all campus community members to take part.
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“Freedom to read is essential to our democracy. Since 1984, Freedom to Read week has become an annual event that encourages us to acknowledge our intellectual freedom and practice our freedom to read, write and think. I encourage people to “celebrate your freedom to read” by reading a challenged or banned book. Another excellent way to practice this freedom is by visiting your library,” she adds.
According to Callison, libraries attempt to acquire and organize a well-balanced and broad collection, in various formats, which represent a variety of viewpoints. “We believe in equal access to information for all persons and recognize the ongoing need to increase awareness of and responsiveness to the diversity of the communities we serve,” she says.
“We also believe in open inquiry, free expression and non-restricted access to educational materials related to ethnic and cultural studies. That is why the library and librarians will continue to defend the freedom of information and protection against censorship and celebrate the Freedom to Read with event like this.”
Freedom to Read Event
Fireside Lounge, Main Floor University Centre
Tuesday February 24
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Along with the Student Life Office and UMSU, U of M Students Union, U of M Libraries has organized a public reading event as part of Freedom to Read Week. Students, faculty and member of the public can get up and read an excerpt from a book or poem that is now banned or has been banned in Canada (or another country if they wish).
Canada – http://www.freedomtoread.ca/challenged-works/
United States – http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics
Sitting on a beach, in a comfy chair or relaxing in bed while reading an actual book is one of life’s pure comforts. I toil away at a computer all day in my job and the last thing I want to do is turn on another version of one to read a good book. The issue of limiting what people read is tough. It can’t be censored because it is a right and who knows, some may experience positive education through reading what others may think should be banned. There’s always going to be bad apples in the world’s big bunch.