Surrey, BC – If you thought banned books were a thing of the past, you’d be mistaken. Just this year, several books in Surrey Libraries’ collection have been challenged. For example, Thrown Off the Ice by notable Canadian author, Taylor Fitzpatrick, was challenged for its LGBTQ2+ content. When a book is challenged, the Library takes steps to review the concerns raised about its content but only books with illegal content are ever removed.
The reason Surrey Libraries has all manner of books in its collection is that the Library values intellectual freedom and champions the right for different voices and ideas to be heard, as well as the right for questions to be asked without censorship. Surrey Libraries respects and defends individual rights to privacy and choice.
That’s why Surrey Libraries participates in and promotes Freedom to Read Week from February 23 – 29, an annual event encouraging Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter or Rights and Freedoms.
“I’m proud to live in a country and work for an organization that values the freedom to read,” said Surinder Bhogal, Chief Librarian at Surrey Libraries. “I can choose for myself what I read. I may not agree with a perspective but at least I have access to resources to inform my opinion. And I love that our libraries are champions for others to have the freedom to read!”
Join Surrey Libraries in celebrating your freedom to read what you want, when you want. Visit your local Surrey Libraries branch, check out the displays of challenged materials, and find the top 20 in 2020 book list of challenged materials at https://www.surreylibraries.ca/news/freedom-read-week-2020.
About Surrey Libraries
Surrey Libraries is a valued community institution and one of the most-used community services in Surrey. The library welcomes around 2.7 million visits to our 9 branches each year, with an additional 2 million plus visits to our online resources. Surrey Libraries runs hundreds of programs and services for children, youth, and adults to support their diverse learning needs. Serving the community since 1983, Surrey Libraries strives to be a leader in supporting creativity, connectivity, literacy, and lifelong learning. Find out more about Surrey Libraries and our diverse programming at surreylibraries.ca.