Exercise Your Freedom to Read!

February 26 – March 4, 2017 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada. For those of you not familiar with the event, it is a week-long celebration that encourages Canadians to appreciate and take advantage of the intellectual freedoms we have.

A display of banned books in a fake bonfire. For decades, the written word has been scrutinized. Some people have even gone so far as to burn or ban books completely. Even in 2017, books are continuously being challenged, especially in schools and libraries, based on content that some people deem inappropriate. Fortunately, we as individuals have the right to read whatever we want to read and form our own opinions – which is a beautiful thing. Now that’s what #FTRWeek is all about!

We actually carry many books in our collection that have been commonly banned or challenged throughout the years. These are just a few of the books that have been both disputed and praised in libraries across North America for reasons such as depicting themes or scenes of violence, sexuality, language, race, gender or religion:

A Harry Potter book with a black bar accross it that say "Censored".

This popular children’s book was challenged because it promotes the occult/Satanism.

Although it is not our mandate to purchase “controversial” material, we do not remove items based on censorship either. We believe that everyone should have the freedom to read a book and then

judge what is suitable for themselves or for their children. Libraries exist to provide an environment that nurtures expression, knowledge, and free speech, which is why we support this annual initiative.

For more information on Freedom to Read Week in Canada, you can visit the official website http://www.freedomtoread.ca/ or drop by the Ottawa campus library to borrow some “banned” books!


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