Exercise Your Freedom to Read!
Posted on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
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.
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:
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
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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