Freedom to Read Week is nearly upon us.
I think it's safe to say that most people here in Canada feel pretty confident that no one is trying to control the information they can access. I mean, we have Libraries, we have the Internet, we have Google, we have bookstores...if anything, we have too much information to deal with.
However! An abundance of information is not equivalent to equal access to information, or access to correct information, and it certainly dosn't stop people from trying to limit our access to information. There is no doubt that Canadians are among the information priviledged, so we should not stand idly by while other nations and people (sometimes in our backyard), cannot read or access the information they need.
This, our need to assert the right of all people to access information freely, is why we celebrate Freedom to Read Week! Everyone: Pick up a banned book and read it! Three cheers for the FREEDOM TO READ! Hip hip hooray!
If you can't imagine a world where the freedom to read is limited, I recommend you read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or for something a little more fanciful try Matched by Ally Condie. The freedom to read what you want to and when you need to is incredibly important to our society's heath and well-being. If you disagree, consider recent events in Libya where the country was taken off the internet in the middle of a civil war. Or for something closer to home, look at this long list of books and magazines that were challenged here in Canada in 2011.
So, like I said, it is time to celebrate the freedom to read!!!
Announcing our annual Freedom to Read Contest: Who chooses what you read?
Here are the rules:
Express your thoughts on the freedom to read with words, film or graphic arts.
Choose one of the following methods:
Make a poster: draw, paint, or use photography and other graphic arts (8 ½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)
Write: a poem, short story, or essay (max. 300 words)
Create a film: (3 min. or less)
All content must be original, except for short, cited quotations.
1. Persuade an audience and support your point of view.
2. Use techniques of form effectively to engage an audience.
Contest is open to Calgary students in Grades 7 – 9. Include your name, school, grade, and telephone number with your entry. Enter by email: firstname.lastname@example.org AND upload to Teens Create; OR submit your hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location. One entry per person. Entries must be received no later than midnight Wednesday February 15th 2011.
And of course...there will be prizes!