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Freedom to Read Week Guide

A guide for Freedom to Read Week for those interested in intellectual freedom.

Freedom to Read

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Clip Art from Freedom To Read web page "Spread the Word"

Freedom to Read

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed to them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Book and Periodical Council (BPC), the umbrella organization for Canadian associations that are or whose members are primarily involved with the writing, editing, translating, publishing, producing, distributing, lending, marketing, reading, and selling of written word.

What is the difference between a Challenged or Banned book?

According to the American Library Association website, "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students, and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection."

Learning Together

We would like to encourage everyone to commit time this week to explore the Freedom to Read website, What are Challenges to Books and Magazines? page, and Resources page for information and activities examining perspectives on censorship, freedom of expression, book and magazine challenges, and language revitalization. You might even find a puzzle or two. It is also worthwhile to explore the Challenged Works List to see what has been challenged and the reasons behind the challenges to gain a better understanding of how this topic affects everyone.

Freedom to Read Week Guide

This Resource Guide will include lists of some of the resources available in physical or virtual (e-Book) formats at your library and includes pages dedicated to Intellectual Freedom and Freedom to Read articles in the news from this past year and a half. Sometimes we fall into the belief that book or other information source challenges only happened in the past or in other places around the world, but, as these articles will show, it happens much more frequently and closer to home than we think. Whenever possible, challenges will be listed for Canada or elsewhere and the reason that was given for the objection will be given. It is important to note that challenges listed for Canada could also have occurred elsewhere.

American Library Association (ALA) - Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists