Queen's University

Celebrate the Freedom to Read at Queen's, February 16-19

 
2010-02-12

Queen’s faculty, students, staff and local authors will come together February 16-19 in Speaker’s Corner, Stauffer Library, to celebrate the freedom to read.

“Our ability to access a diversity of perspectives through written works is something that cannot be taken for granted, even in modern Canadian society,” says Paul Wiens, University Librarian. “Libraries and schools are often challenged in the selection of works they make available to the public.”

Scheduled readers include Principal Daniel Woolf, local authors Wayne Grady, Larry Scanlan and Diane Schoemperlen, as well as faculty, students, librarians and staff from several departments and offices across campus.

Organized by Canada’s Book and Periodical Council, Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To mark the week, which formally takes place this year during the Reading Week break, Queen’s Library is hosting an advance series of public readings to raise awareness of censorship issues and challenges to the freedom to read. Readings will be drawn from a variety of works, reflecting material that is entertaining, inspiring, provocative, and sometimes challenging.

Recognizing that information and creative expression can be conveyed in many ways, readings in various formats and from a range of media are represented in the series, including novels, plays, speeches, blogs, and Twitter. “Twitter is banned in some countries,” says Film and Media Professor Sidney Eve Matrix, who will be reading an aggregated collection entitled ‘*tweets from the statusphere’. “Even closer to home, tweeting is banned from many meetings and conferences,” she adds.

“It’s important to understand that not all of the readers agree with the passages they have selected” notes Associate University Librarian Barbara Teatero. “Some selections are creative and enjoyable, but in an academic environment it is also important to be able to study different viewpoints and historical perspectives, even if we disagree with them or find them disturbing.”

Readings will take place from noon to 1 pm each day and are open to the public. The schedule of readers is posted at http://library.queensu.ca/news/archives/1160.

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