Freedom to Read Week

A white banner with a whimsical sunflower on the left with an older woman in a green/yellow dress reading to three children.  Words from right to left: "Freedom to Read Week,” "censorship," "freedom of expression," and "access of information."

Freedom to Read Week  

February 19 - 25, 2023 

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Trivia Quiz

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week by taking our trivia quiz! Open February 6 to 28, 2023.

Answer the trivia questions and learn about books and authors that have been subject to censorship in Canada and worldwide. Once completed, you can enter the draw to win a prize. But don't stop there! We encourage you to support Freedom to Read by reading one of the challenged books or authors. You can find in our catalogue.

Get Started

Online Trivia Quiz

Starting February 6th, you can take the online trivia quiz here: Freedom to Read Trivia. If you wish to enter the prize draw, be sure to follow the link at the end of the form to fill in your contact information. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, February 28, 2023. One entry per person.

Paper Trivia Quiz

Pick up a paper copy of the trivia quiz at your local branch

To be entered into the prize draw, there are two ways you can submit your trivia quiz:

  1. Email a photo of your completed trivia quiz to contest@orl.bc.ca. Include your name and phone number.
  2. Bring your completed trivia quiz to your local library.

The trivia quiz must be submitted by February 28, 2023 to be entered into the prize draw. One entry per person.

Prizes

A literary prize pack for five lucky winners!  

Winners will be notified Friday, March 10, 2023.

Library Resources  

Try these subject headings, electronic resources, or check with reference staff for more materials: 

Booklists 

Our librarians have created some booklists to help you explore Freedom to Read Week:

Online Resources

Digital Books

Documentaries 

From Kanopy Streaming Films

  • Tania Libre (2017): Cuban artist, Tania Bruguera visits Dr. Ochberg a New York-based psychiatrist, after spending eight months in prison accused of treason after announcing her intention to provide an uncensored platform for citizens in Havana to freely express their views in public for one minute. The film touches upon broader issues related to the revolutionary potential of art, censorship, and the loss of civil liberties.
  • Project Censored (2013): The documentary looks at what is wrong with the news media in the U.S. today and highlights the work of 40-year veteran media democracy organization Project Censored and their commitment to media literacy education as an antidote to top-down, managed news propaganda and censorship. The film was created by former Project Censored Sonoma State University student Doug Hecker and longtime project supporter Christopher Oscar and it features original interviews about media censorship.
  • The Cleaners (2018): The documentary follows the people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content of the net. In a parallel struggle, the film introduces people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lies profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship?
  • Forbidden Voices (2012): World-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes, though their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk. Content warning: Includes footage of Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym.

In the News 

Stories found in the media on intellectual freedom, book banning, and censorship.

Magazines and Academic Journals (MasterFile Premier)

Canadian Newspapers (Canadian Newsstream)

Media Literacy

A part of intellectual freedom is the right to seek out information without restriction. Developing strong critical thinking skills will help you assess for yourself what you read. Here are some tools to help:

  • Kermode Education: This web app can be used to check an online story for accuracy, bias, and timeliness of its content. It provides graphics, questions, and explanations that will help you decide whether the page is a good source of information or not. When logging in, enter the first 5 digits of your library card barcode number as the license key.
  • Fighting Misinformation (2020): An 8-episode series from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and The Great Courses, available through Kanopy Streaming Films. The videos will show what misinformation is and how it impacts you. You will also learn skills to become a savvier media consumer.

Additional Resources

Previous Notable Days 

  • Black History Month 2022 (pdf)
  • International Women's Day 2022 (pdf)
  • Earth Day 2022 (pdf)
  • Pride Month 2022 (pdf)
  • Books