Freedom to Read 2021: Part 1

Did you know that February 21–27, 2021 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada?

Celebrated annually by Canadian libraries, schools, authors & publishers, Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Why read banned / challenged books?

Books, movies, and music are most often challenged because someone disagrees with their content. This may be because it deals with sensitive subject matter (like sexuality), has swear words, describes things that are against someone’s beliefs, or maybe has pictures or illustrations that someone feels are inappropriate. It may even be challenged for reasons that we as library staff agree with!

Read about the TNRL's commitment to Intellectual Freedom

But just because someone disagrees with something, that does not mean that the book, movie, or music should be made inaccessible. Choosing what people should and shouldn’t have access to is censorship, and public libraries, including ours, want to provide individuals with the ability to make their own decisions and form their own opinions.

That is after all, what democracy is about, right?

So for the month of February I would like to challenge you to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music that has been challenged or banned in Canada. And to entice you to do so, we’re hosting a contest!

For every banned or challenged title that you read, watch, or listen to in February, you will receive one entry into our prize draw.

You can submit your titles through our website or by speaking to a staff member in branch, over the phone, or by email.

Need Suggestions?

Get ideas from our staff-created banned books list at

This post is part 1 in a series about intellectual freedom in public libraries.
To read the rest of the series check out our Intellectual Freedom tag.