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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Freedom to Read Week, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Freedom to Read Week

Freedom to Read Week 2012

According to the Freedom to Read website: Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.

Freedom to Read Week is February 26 - March 3, 2012.

Each year a Canadian author is awarded the Writers' Union of Canada's 2012 Freedom to Read Award. This year's recipient is Lawrence Hill who was honoured because of "his reasoned and eloquent response to the threat to burn his novel The Book of Negroes," according to Greg Hollingshead, chair of the Writers Union.

The full story was covered in a past entry about Lawrence Hill. A Dutch group called Foundation Honor and Restore Victims of Slavery in Suriname had planned to burn Hill's book to protest the use of the word "negro" in the title. Ironically, the Book of Negroes' title comes from an actual historical document which recorded the names of 3,000 African slaves who were moved from New York to Nova Scotia, then to Africa.

It is not the first time the title has stirred controversy. The Book of Negroes was called Someone Knows My Name in the US and Australia, while in Quebec, it was given the name of the main character and titled Aminata.

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2. Freedom to Read Week

Freedom to Read Week is nearly upon us. The annual event that “encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom” kicks off on Sunday, February 20, 2011.

The importance of Freedom to Read Week is explained with a statement by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.

“Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms . . . thought, belief, opinion, and expression.”
— Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right of all Canadians, and freedom to read is part of that precious heritage. Our Committee, representing member organizations and associations of the Book and Periodical Council, reaffirms its support of this vital principle and opposes all efforts to suppress writing and silence writers. Words and images in their myriad configurations are the substance of free expression.

The freedom to choose what we read does not, however, include the freedom to choose for others. We accept that courts alone have the authority to restrict reading material, a prerogative that cannot be delegated or appropriated. Prior restraint demeans individual responsibility; it is anathema to freedom and democracy.

As writers, editors, publishers, book manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and librarians, we abhor arbitrary interpretations of the law and other attempts to limit freedom of expression. We recognize court judgments; otherwise, we oppose the detention, seizure, destruction, or banning of books and periodicals – indeed, any effort to deny, repress, or sanitize. Censorship does not protect society; it smothers creativity and precludes open debate of controversial issues.

Freedom to Read Week is about giving a voice to the silenced. The Freedom of Expression Committee does just this with a week of activities and discussions geared towards greater communication and understanding of the issues at play.

Individuals interested in taking part can consult the calendar for events in their neighbourhood. I don’t think children will dismiss the opportunity to add their voice to the cause when they learn that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is just one of many banned in Canada.

In the end, it’s all about choice. So, I pose this question: Do you want to be able to choose for yourself?

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3. Banned Book Challenge Closes

Thank you to everyone who registered for the "Banned Book Challenge" in 2010. A total of 31 people pledged to read 354 books between February and June 2010. Registration is now closed but watch for the Banned Book Challenge to return in February 2011 (Freedom to Read Week in Canada). Feel free to submit book reviews or links in the comments below or email them and I will post them.

Watch for Banned Books Week in the US from September 25 − October 2, 2010. If you need a challenge to help focus your reading, Bibliobabe has a comprehensive list of other book challenges.

Enjoy your summer reading.

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4. Freedom to Read Week

In Canada, we are in the middle of Freedom to Read Week. Find out more on the Freedom to Read website. Let us know what you have been doing to recognize this week in the comments. The Freedom to Read kit is available for free download. It features an in-depth history of the censorship of comic books and many other interesting articles.

Don't forget to sign up for the Banned Book Challenge, running from now until June 30.

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5. Banned Book Challenge 2010

Freedom to Read Week 2010

It is time once more for our Banned Book Challenge. Choose a goal for the number of challenged or banned books you can read between Feb. and June. Let us know about your goal on our form, so we can keep track. Not sure what to read? Check out our suggested reading and the many links on the right side bar.

The Freedom to Read organization has put together a list of challenged or banned books and magazines for Canada.

Robert P Doyle has put together a list of books that have been banned or challenged in 2008-2009 in the US.

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6. Freedom to Read Week Activities at Brock University

Check out the James A. Gibson's Library celebration of Freedom to Read Week at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario for ideas on what you can do to recognize the week. And be on the lookout for banned and challenged books set free through Bookcrossing or free a book yourself.

Below is a listing of Special Events @ the Brock Library:

Special Lecture
Forbidden Knowledge: Censorship and the Arts
Thursday, February 26
1-2pm Classroom B, Matheson Learning Commons

Join Dr. Linda Steer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, for a discussion on works of art and literature that have been banned for religious, moral, or political reasons. This lecture will explore questions and issues around censorship. Why are creative works banned? Is censorship ever of value? Do morals change over time?

Free a Challenged Book!

During Freedom to Read week, banned books (e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye) will be released across campus... If you discover a book with the “Free a Challenged Book” label, be sure to visit www.bookcrossing.com and add your thoughts and comments. To see a list of over 100 books and magazines that have been challenged in Canada, please visit: http://www.freedomtoread.ca/censorship_in_canada/challenged_books.asp

Special Display
Challenged Books
February 23-March 2

Visit the display cases across from the Library Help Desk and discover books that have been challenged or banned in Canadian schools and libraries.

A Week of Prizes!
February 23-27

Sign up to follow the Brock Library on Twitter before the end of Reading Week. During Freedom to Read week, we will be announcing a secret word each afternoon through our Twitter account. The first person to reach the Library Help Desk and say the secret word will receive a prize! Sign up for Twitter. Be sure to visit the Brock Library Twitter account and “Follow” our updates.

At the Pelham Public Library, we challenge you to take the Banned Book Challenge.

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7. Freedom to Read Week Has Begun

Freedom to Read Week 2008

Yesterday marked the beginning of Freedom to Read Week. Today the Pelham Public Library welcomes author Pearce Carefoote who will speak on censorship issues. Carefoote is the author of Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books from Dante to Harry Potter.

Don't forget to check out the "Banned Book Challenge."

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The Record in Kitchener
, Ontario recently featured story about a student art project which had students creating sculptures from discarded books in honour of Freedom to Read Week. The display will be displayed at the Forest Heights Community Library until the end of March.

Libary Manager had seen a similar project in a Toronto library. She approached Wendy Bonza, visual arts teacher with the idea. The Kitchener Public Library provided students with discarded books to be made into sculptures that express what reading means to them.

Pictured is Kale Hofstetter with his work "For Reference." Kale was thinking about what it would be like to have reference questions answered by a book.

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9. Freedom to Read Week and the Return of the Banned Book Challenge

Freedom to Read Week 2008
Freedom to Read Week is February 24 to March 1, 2008. The Pelham Public Library in Fonthill, Ontario, Canada welcomes Pearce Carefoote, archivist at the University of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and author of Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books from Dante to Harry Potter. Carefoote appears at the Fonthill Branch, 43 Pelham Town Square, Fonthill on Monday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Due to the overwhelming response of readers around the world, the Banned Book Challenge will be issued once again. Watch for the sign-up form soon. Readers are encouraged to set a goal for themselves for the number of challenged or banned books they would like to read between February 24 and June 30. Let us know on the soon-to-be-posted form, then let us know how you did. If you are not sure what to choose from, visit our LibraryThing by clicking on the logo or check out any number of sites listed on the sidebar.

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10. Ten-year-old Awarded for Defense of Freedom to Read

Freedom to Read Poster 1994

A Toronto Star article entitled "Plucky Reader Honoured for Book's Defence" reports that ten-year-old Evie Freedman is being awarded with the Writers' Union Freedom to Read Award. Evie is a grade 5 student in the Halton Public School Board. When a number of school boards decided to pull Deborah Ellis' Three Wishes: Palestinia and Israel Children Speak, Evie was very vocal about the importance of this book and was widely quoted.

According to Evie, adults were always underestimating what kids can understand and she was adamant she didn't need anyone to tell her what she could read.

She went on to say that one particular line from Three Wishes stood out for her. "If children are tough enough to be bombed and starved, they're tough enough to read about it."

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11. Celebrate Freedom to Read

Today marks the beginning of Freedom to Read Week in Canada. The Pelham Public Library challenges the world to read a banned or challenged book...or two...or three between February and June 2007. Register for the "Banned Book Challenge" and join challenged authors Meg Cabot, Deborah Ellis and Maryrose Wood as we celebrate our freedom to read.

Now where are all of the other challenged and banned authors -- Lois Lowry, Chris Crutcher, Madeleine L'Engle, Katherine Paterson? Who else is up for the challenge? Just drop me a line!

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12. Camel Bookmobile Camel and Curling Up with a Good Computer

Freedom to Read Poster 1993

Take the "Banned Book Challenge." Freedom to Read Week begins tomorrow.

While most of us in Canada can celebrate our freedom to read, I am reminded that freedom to read can also have a lot to do with having access to books and other materials.

Sheyfali Saujani talks about the challenge of curling up with a good computer as he informs Toronto Star readers of both the resources available to people who are "print challenged" and the challenges that remain in trying to find Canadian talking books. Contact information is available for readers with disabilities who wish to contact the CNIB and for volunteers who may wish to record books to make them accessible to others.

Check out the Camel Book Drive for Keyna. Pictures and video of this unique way of making books accessible through the Camel Mobile Library show how the library comes to the people (Library 2.0 at work for all you librarians.)

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13. Canadian "Literary Hit List"

Freedom to Read Week in Canada begins three weeks from now on February 25th. Watch for upcoming details of the Pelham Public Library's Banned Book Challenge and start to choose the banned and challenged books you will read from February to June. Find a banned book list at many links on the right side or download the Pelham Public Library's list. You can also search Library Thing or the Pelham Public Library's collection of challenged books and information on where and why they were banned by clicking on the LibraryThing button.

The Toronto Star offers the following information on the Canadian "Literary Hit List."

Among books that have come under fire in Canadian schools:

Lynne Reid Banks, The Indian in the Cupboard. Removed temporarily from Kamloops, B.C., school board libraries in 1992 over treatment of native people.

Francesco Lia Block, Baby Be-Bop. Removed from Calgary high school library in 1998 after parents complained about books with gay/lesbian content.

Deborah Ellis, Three Wishes. Public boards in Toronto, York Region, Greater Essex and Ottawa limit access in elementary schools in 2006 after complaints from Canadian Jewish Congress about portrayal of Mideast conflict.

Timothy Findley, The Wars. Lambton County student in 1991 objected to passage describing rape of Canadian officer by fellow soldiers. Board upheld use for senior secondary students.

W.P. Kinsella, Dance Me Outside. Removed from Catholic high school in Barrie after complaints by anti-racism alliance; board, local libraries later decided to keep on shelves.

Margaret Laurence, The Diviners. Challenged repeatedly from 1976-94 over language, sexual content. Removed from curriculum in two provinces.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series. Durham public board in 2000 stopped classroom use but kept them in libraries after complaints about witchcraft. Decision later rescinded.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye. Under constant challenge for foul language.

R.L. Stine, Goosebumps, Fear Street series. Halifax board pulled Fear Street series from elementary schools in 1995 after complaints they contain violence and lack of respect for parental authority.

Source: www.freedomtoread.ca and Star archives

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14. Gearing Up For Freedom to Read Week

At the Pelham Public Library, we are getting geared up for Freedom to Read Week. We are sending out the invitation for readers around the world to take the Banned Book Challenge.

Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries, among other books for both youth and young adults is up for the challenge.

Meg says,

What a great idea! I would love to post a link to your site on my blog the week of your event. Would that be okay?
Stay tuned to see which other authors have agreed to take the "Banned Book Challenge."

"If the censors had their way...these would be your choices."

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15. Celebrate Freedom of Expression in Canada

Freedom to Read Poster 1992

Freedom to Read invites you to:

Celebrate freedom of expression by participating in one of the many events taking place across Canada during Freedom to Read Week.

You will find the Pelham Public Library's "Banned Book Challenge" there along with many other events across Canada.

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