Libraries battle censorship in Canada

North Island libraries will be informing the public about censorship in Canada and celebrate Freedom to Read Week Feb. 20 to 26.

North Island libraries will celebrate Freedom to Read Week Feb. 20 to 26.

“Freedom to read can never be taken for granted,” Cheryl Reaume community support technician at Vancouver Island Regional Library. “Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are frequently banned at the border, and now on the Internet free speech is under attack.”

The pressure to limit public access to books is an issue education boards and library trustees encounter regularly, said a press release from VIRL.

During Freedom to Read Week library visitors will see a display of recently challenged books such as And Tango Makes Three, a picture book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell; Negima!, a manga series from Japan by Ken Akamatsu; and the movie “Borat” by Sacha Baron Cohen.

In the past decade more than 100 books and some magazines have been challenged through objections to language, philosophy and other issues about such novels as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women, and a long list of others.

Three of J.K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban have been targets of censorship attempts.

For more information, please contact your community library as follows:

Port Alice: 250-284-3554, Port McNeill: 250-956-3669, Sointula: 250-973-6493, Woss: 250-281-2263 or check out www.freedomtoread.ca