Monday, February 1, 2010

Canada's Freedom To Read Week 2010

Canada's Freedom to Read Week 2010 starts this month, running from Feb. 21st through 27th. Freedom to Read week is "an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom." It is similar to Banned Books Week in the U.S.

There are important differences in the law between the two countries, so the legalities of responding to censorship can't be applied from one to the other. Nonetheless, the patterns of censorship in both countries are similar, and it is illuminating to compare and contrast them. In particular, take note of the Canadian list of Challenged Books and Magazines.

Just to demonstrate how similar censorship efforts are in both countries, check out How To Spot a Would-Be Censor on the Freedom To Read website. It says:
The type of person who challenges books
  • Invariably denies being in favour of censorship;
  • Has rarely read the work in whole or often even in part;
  • Quotes excerpts out of context;
  • Demonizes the author and his/her other works.
Sound Familiar?

[With thanks to the Fahrenheit 451 Blog, for bringing attention to this event.]