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Freedom to Read Week

A guide to Freedom to Read Week for teachers, students, and those interested in intellectual freedom.

What is Freedom to Read Week?

According to the Book and Periodical Council's (BPC) website (2021):

Despite having strong traditions of free expression and free inquiry, Canada also has a long-standing tradition of censorship. Historically, books and magazines have often been quietly removed from libraries and classrooms. Freedom to Read Week was founded in 1984 to challenge the covert nature of censorship, creating a broader awareness of these ongoing challenges to Canadian writing, and to allow Canadians to actively defend their right to publish, read and write freely and to widen their understanding of the negative effects of censorship, not just on readers but on writers and publishers as well.

Over the years, Freedom to Read Week has become a regular feature of the annual programming of schools, libraries and literary groups across Canada. From student video contests to large public readings of challenged materials, participants have found creative and inspiring ways to show how important freedom of expression is to them.

Links about Intellectual Freedom

Listed below are links concerning intellectual freedom, both in Canada and internationally.


Declaration of Basic Rights:

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Canadian Organizations for Free Expression:

Ad IDEM/Canadian Media Lawyers Association

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

British Columbia Library Association
Intellectual Freedom Committee

Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

NewsWatch Canada

PEN Canada

Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression

Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois


U.S./International Organization for Free Expression:

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

American Civil Liberties Union

American Library Association
Banned Books Week

Amnesty International

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Feminists for Free Expression

Free Expression Network

Index on Censorship

International Freedom of Expression Exchange

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Council of Teachers of English
Standing Committee Against Censorship

Reporters Without Borders