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Airdrie Public Library celebrates Freedom to Read Week

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By: Anne Beaty

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 06:00 am

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“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail.”

– Alfred Whitney Griswold

For Canadians, freedom – of expression, of belief, of opinion, of speech – is a way of life, with intellectual freedom being guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Yet even today, in the 21st century, challenges to those rights are not out of the ordinary. Attempts are made to muffle speech and suppress opinion; books are removed from library and school shelves; censorship rears its ugly head.

To reaffirm our rights and promote literacy, tolerance, knowledge and a love of reading, Freedom to Read Week is an annual event recognized across the country, a time when everyone can celebrate their right to choose what to read.

Here at Airdrie Public Library (APL), Freedom to Read Week will be celebrated Feb. 24 to March 1, and the public is invited to drop by to see our collection of banned/challenged books and learn what made these publications so offensive to some. Check out such titles as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; Catch That Cat: A Picture Book of Rhymes and Puzzles by Monika Beisner; Dance Me Outside by W.P. Kinsella; Dolls and Bears to Make and Dress by Australian Woman’s Weekly Craft Library Service; The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl … and the list goes on.

The week also marks an important fundraiser for the library.

The Free a Reader, Free a Book campaign – in which participants spend time in our ‘Cage of Oppression,’ raising $100 in order to get out and free their book of choice – raises money for our collection budget.

Last year’s inaugural campaign was a great success, and we hope the momentum will carry on this year.

Everyone is invited to participate and show support for APL. It’s simple – ask 10 people to give $10. All support is much appreciated.

Also during the week, another important day is being celebrated. Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 26, is a day to address the issue of bullying and to promote the anti-bullying message by wearing a pink shirt. APL will be marking the day – and living the anti-bullying commitment all year long – and we are pleased to be able to provide resources for all ages.

For more information on APL’s programs and services, drop by, visit or call 403-948-0600.


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