Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to reflect and examine their commitment to intellectual freedom. Although it is under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Not only are schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves, even free expression on the Internet is under attack. While only some stories make it to the headlines, all decisions about what can or cannot read affect the right of Canadians.
A book with a controversial reputation tends to be quietly dropped from reading lists and curricula. This interference can be most insidious—quiet acquiescence to the kind of scare tactics that would-be censors know how to employ. Because organizations and community groups that ask for book and magazine bans generally want to avoid public controversies, it is often difficult to discover why challenges are launched or what becomes of them. If you know of book challenges or, better still, satisfactory resolutions anywhere in Canada, please use the accompanying case study form to give us details.
Links to more Resources
List of Challenged Books in UBC Library collections - The following is a list of books held at UBC Library that have been challenged by educational institutions, libraries, and schools. Far from exhaustive, we invite you to add to this list of books your knowledge of titles that have been challenged.
The Canadian Library Association’s Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom, in partnership with the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee, has developed an annual survey to investigate challenges to books, magazines and DVDs in Canadian libraries. The results of the second survey is called Tracking Challenges in Canadian Libraries: 2007 Results.
For more information, please contact Allan Cho