We’re presently in the middle of Freedom to Read Week, a national celebration of free expression that takes place in libraries, schools and arts venues across Canada. It’s a powerful reminder that issues of free expression and censorship are still prevalent here in Canada, and in other places around the world, so we’re going to remind you of that with a couple of previous Politicast interviews.
Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council, and it’s sponsors include the Canadian Council for the Arts, the Ontario Library Association, and several of Canada’s publishers. The goal is to use public readings, panel discussions, and challenged book and magazine displays as a way to launch community conversations about issues of censorship and Free Expression.
When you think of Freedom to Read, you think of banned books, and their website has a Challenged Works list that covers a variety of different books, magazines, and graphic novels, but issues with Freedom of Expression go beyond what’s banned. Consider the loss of community newspapers, which deprive people of need to know information about what’s happening in their town. Or the proliferation of disinformation and fake news, which actively strives to give people incorrect and misleading information.
So to cover all this, and more, we’ll hear from Ward 2 Councillor and Guelph Public Library Board member James Gordon, and distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University and the Director of Ryerson’s Centre for Free Expression James Turk. Gordon will discuss access to information in this digital age, and the important role that local libraries play in all these debates. Turk will then offer a primer on the Freedom of Expression in Canada, and what your rights and responsibilities are when it comes to that freedom.
So let’s talk about the issues around Freedom to Read Week on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.