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FREEDOM TO READ WEEK  @your Library

FREEDOM TO READ WEEK, February 25 to March 3, promotes the freedom to read as part of our fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Over the course of time, this freedom has frequently been challenged and even denied around the world. Important works of fiction and non-fiction have been banned outright by governments or challenged by individuals and groups.

The Canadian Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom states that “libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom”. In fact, historically the public library has been a vital instrument of democracy and unfettered access to information necessary to the growth of ideas. Libraries provide many viewpoints, debates about controversial issues and the latest ideas in the realms of science, politics and culture.

What would happen to our society and our democratic way of life if we were denied the chance to read fiction and non-fiction that challenged our view of the world around us? While it is true that not every book is for every reader, it is also true that there is danger not in allowing differing views but rather in disallowing views objectionable to a few. It is our right to read all views and decide for ourselves. Case in point might be President Trump’s attempt to stop publication of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury.

Many of the books challenged in recent years have been fiction titles that dealt with difficult subjects, sometimes in strong language. The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill come to mind. Sue Carter, editor-in-chief of Quill & Quire (Canada’s literary magazine) writes “The idea that fiction and storytelling are powerful ways of illuminating societal flaws is nothing new, but all the more acute right now.” Well-written fiction can often become the best way to reach people and change attitudes.

Be sure to come to the Bracebridge Public Library to discover for yourself the wide variety of opinions, controversial topics and new insights available in books - books that are free to borrow - books that you are encouraged to read.

February 21, 2018

By Ruth Holtz

Digital and Information Services Librarian

Bracebridge Public Library

 

 

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 Books on order

You may view what the library has ordered however please note, this is not a list of new acquisitions. Please do not contact the library to place a request on any of these items until they are available in the catalogue. Some items are ordered "pre-publication", so it could be several months before they arrive. THANK YOU.