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Appreciating the Freedom to Read

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FTR 2016

“Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Free expression on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.”

~ Freedom to Read 2016

February 21 – 27 is Freedom to Read Week, and we’ve got a few things to share with you to mark the occasion.


As they do every year, students at Forest Heights Collegiate have created thought-provoking Altered Books: sculptures of discarded or second-hand books integrate artistic and thematic concepts with literacy and freedom from censorship. We’re honoured to have their work displayed at Forest Heights Community Library. Be sure to stop by and check them out, or see them here (scroll down).

altered books.jpgThis Saturday at Central Library, meet artist Angela Grasse and see her at work, creating Altered Books. Just drop in, be inspired, and feel free to ask questions!

Artist-at-Work Angela Grasse
Saturday, Feb. 27
1 – 3 pm
Central Library


At Country Hills Community Library and Central Library, we’ve got displays of books that have been banned or challenged. Some of your favourite titles are probably on these shelve, and you might find them surprising – or you can choose one that’s so incendiary, we’re keeping it under wraps!

We’d also like to thank CBC-KW and CBC Ontario Morning for inviting Sharron Smith on their shows this week to talk about Freedom to Read Week. Sharron is our Manager of Bibliographic Services, with a lot of historic knowledge of what types of books have been challenged in public libraries and why. Did you know that Alice Munro’s short story Lives of Girls and Women has been challenged? Find out why.

What’s your favourite book that has been banned or challenged? Tell us in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.


Author: Charlotte Prong

I'm the Social Media Editor at Kitchener Public Library. Follow us on Twitter @KitchLibrary, on Instagram @kitchenerlibrary, or like our page on Facebook.

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