Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 11, 2004

U of G library celebrates intellectual freedom

The University of Guelph is raising awareness on intellectual freedom by celebrating Freedom to Read Week Feb. 22 to 28.

Sponsored by Canada's book and magazine producers, Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"Historically, the freedom of thought and expression is one of the main principles upon which all university activity is based, and libraries support this principle by ensuring that a wide range of opinion is made freely available," said Helen Salmon, associate chief librarian. "This event is an expression of our support of this essential right."

On Feb. 24 from noon to 1:30 p.m., McLaughlin Library is holding "Short Excerpts from Your Favourite Banned Book" in the Williams Café area. Following opening remarks by Salmon, U of G members will spend two minutes reading a passage from their favourite banned book, playing a piece of banned music or presenting a piece of censored art. Participants will include president Alastair Summerlee, philosophy professor Jay Newman, English professor Stephen Powell, political science professor William Christian, microbiology professor Janet Woodand and The Ontarion editor-in-chief, Erinn White.

During the month of February, display cases and a banned book shelf on the first floor of McLaughlin will show why freedom of read is crucial to academic libraries.

"We believe it is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable," said Salmon.

For more information about Freedom to Read Week and full list of events, visit

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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