“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. Books are removed from the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day. Free speech 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.”
Each year, people are invited to participate in Freedom to Read Week (February 22 – 28 2004), which is an annual event encouraging Canadians to think about and reaffirm commitments to intellectual freedom – something guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. One of the many resources available is the Freedom to Read kit produced by the Freedom of Expression Committee; which includes a poster, articles on current censorship issues in Canada, suggested classroom exercises, clip art, and other resources. It is suitable for librarians, educators, and anyone with an interest in preserving free expression. Other events planned for this year’s Freedom to Read Week are a readathon, library hosted displays, roundtables on banned books, discussions on censorship, language, culture, politics, and more.
For more information on Freedom to Read Week, a complete calendar of events, as well as information on how you can obtain your own Freedom to Read kit, please see the Freedom to Read website: http://www.freedomtoread.ca/default.asp