Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
February 23, 2005
U of G Library Celebrates Intellectual Freedom
The University of Guelph is raising awareness of intellectual freedom by celebrating Freedom to Read Week throughout the month of February.
Sponsored by the Book and Periodical Council of Canada, 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.
“Our campus is a place of learning and exploration and a safe environment in which to challenge those who stifle freedom of expression,” said Michael Ridley U of G’s chief information officer. “Participating in Freedom to Read Week acknowledges the library's commitment to the unfettered expression of all ideas.”
On March 1 from noon to 1:30 p.m., McLaughlin Library will host “Banned Out Loud” in the Williams Café area. Following opening remarks by Ridley, U of G members will read a short passage from their favourite banned book. Participants will include plant agriculture professor Ann Clark, College of Arts dean Jacqueline Murray, drama professor Sky Gilbert and U of G graduate Dave Hudson.
Throughout February, display cases and a banned-book shelf on the first floor of McLaughlin will show why the freedom to read is crucial to academic libraries, said Ridley.
“There are schools in North America where students are forbidden to read Huckleberry Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird or The Handmaid’s Tale because some members of society have determined their content is inappropriate. Libraries need to be places where all forms of intellectual expression can be explored, even those that are deemed unpopular or unconventional.”
For more information about Freedom to Read Week and a list of events, visit www.freedomtoread.ca.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.