Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, raising awareness, celebrating freedom of expression and encouraging participation.
Canadians have long tried to remove books and magazines they deem offensive or inappropriate for certain audiences, from public libraries, schools, and even bookstores.
Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail.
The Freedom to Read Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council provides information on more than 100 books, magazines, graphic novels, and other written works that have been challenged in peat decades. Each challenge sought to limit public access.
You can access the list through freedomtoread.ca
Every year libraries, schools, and community groups across Canada celebrate freedom of expression by organizing and participating in Freedom to Read Week by displaying challenged books, creating uncensored writing workshops, pop-up exhibits, even hosting reading marathons and hidden poetry events.
We at the Nakusp Public Library have created a display of challenged books that we have on our shelves.
Some may surprise you and some may not, but as a Canadian, it should be your right to decide for yourself what you choose to read.