Not the most well-known celebration to take place in February, but still no less important, the past few days have marked Freedom to Read Week both here in Guelph and across Canada. Walk into the main branch of the Guelph Public Library today, and you'll see a Freedom to Read Week display, or you might, assuming that they've been able to keep the banned books on the shelves...
According to their own website, 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. That covers areas including freedom of expression, censorship, and access to information, all hot topics in the current political ether. Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.
I reached out to the staff of the Guelph Public Library to see if someone might be available this week to talk about Freedom to Read Week and GPL, and I got Politicast regular James Gordon. Of course, Ward 2 City Councillor Gordon is a renowned Guelph singer/songwriter who's noted on the GPL website as one of Guelph's Most Famous. Gordon also serves on the Guelph Public Library Board as council's representative, and is an enthusiastic promoter of Guelph arts and culture.
What follows is a laid back discussion about the right to read what we want, the dangers of self-censoring and political correctness, and why the Guelph Public Library is thriving despite the our being told that libraries are past their expiration date. (Don't tell anyone at the library Wednesday, it was pretty busy despite their being a winter storm and everything.)
Here's this week's Guelph Politicast!
You can learn more about Freedom to Read Week by clicking here. And, of, course, learn more about Guelph Public Libraries by clicking here.
*Special thanks to the main branch of the library at 100 Norfolk Street for hosting this week's podcast, and to communications co-ordinator Lisa Cunningham for making the arrangements.
The theme music for Guelph Politicast is provided by Crazy Pills and their song "Break It Down" courtesy of Free Music Archive.
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Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.
Stay tuned for future editions of the Guelph Politicast.