What is Intellectual Freedom and Freedom to Read?
Intellectual freedom is the right to access information and ideas from all points of view without restrictions. At the core of intellectual freedom is the belief and trust that people have the ability to assess and analyze information and ideas in order to make informed decisions. In Canada, our intellectual freedom rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (opens a new window).
To help Canadians recognize and reflect on the importance of intellectual freedom, and to bring awareness to censorship, Freedom to Read Week was developed. Freedom to Read Week (Sunday, Feb. 19 to Saturday, Feb. 25) is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom.
But don’t let the one-week celebration fool you—we should be committed to intellectual freedom year-round.
Books, magazines, newspapers, and other materials are challenged in Canada and around the world all the time. Each challenge seeks to limit public access to materials in schools, libraries, or bookstores.
For every book published, there are countless opinions about its content. This is why it is the Canadian Court of Law that determines which books are restricted, and not your local library. Libraries are not here to tell you what you can and cannot read. We are here to uphold intellectual freedom and to support people’s curiosity at every stage of life.
Access to Knowledge, Thought, Creativity (and Joy!)
As a vital community connection to the world of information and ideas, Colchester-East Hants Public Library is committed to providing access to knowledge, thought, and creativity for the purposes of learning, inspiration, and enjoyment.