Thursday, February 24, 2011

free as in reading

Last night, the Book and Periodical Council held a Freedom to Read Week event at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Who Decides What Our Children Will Read featured the thoughts and reminiscences of a panel of Canadian freedom of expression fighters.

Patsy Aldana, publisher of Groundwood Books and recent Member of the Order of Canada, Peggy Thomas, Librarian and Library Service Manager at the Toronto Public Library, David Booth, Professor Emeritus in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department in the OISE at the University of Toronto, and 14-year old Eve Freedman, an Ontario student and past winner of The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC)’s Freedom to Read Award each presented their experiences fighting book bans and censorship. Ken Setterington, an author and the former Children and Youth Advocate at the Toronto Public Library moderated the discussion expertly.

An extra treat on the evening was watching John Ralston Saul receive this year's TWUC Freedom to Read Award. Mr. Ralston Saul attended with his partner, former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, and his acceptance speech was filled with anecdotes from his experiences as the current President of International PEN.


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