Freedom to Read Week Event at FIMS – Monday February 19, 2007

See below for a call for readers and audience members for a Freedom to Read Week event forwarded by the esteemed Michelle Lake.

I organized the event last year and on a personal note, I think it's a great experience to participate in something like this – to learn more about freedom of expression issues, to see how an event similar to what happens in libraries all the time is run, and just to have a social evening out with your classmates.  (They may surprise you – one of my quieter classmates got up and read the “Fuck” section of a dictionary of slang, getting a great response from the assembled crowd.)

Moments like that made last year's event a blast but my one disappointment was that only one professor read at our event (and I think maybe only one other one was in the audience.)  As someone said afterwards, “Professors should set an example for students by attending events like this.  If they don't, it's no wonder that students are apathetic.”  So if I can make a personal challenge to any professors reading this, I'd encourage you to contact Michelle and get involved!

Hi Everyone,

On Monday, February 19th, at 5pm,
myself, several other MLIS students (and hopefully you!) will be
participating, cheering on and taking in a Freedom to Read Event at the
Grad Club!

What we want to do:
Read from Banned Books and other materials! Share Ideas about Censorship!
Have Ourselves a Good Controversial Time!

What I need from you:

Volunteers to Read…it’s not an ‘Event’ if it’s just me & the
microphone (actually that’s pretty terrifying, please come and

I have a list of banned books or you can be a bit
creative and choose your own material (psst…Whatever you want to read,
that is your Right folks).

Spread the word!
Get other students out; this event is open to Everyone! If you have a Monday night class, come before, get something to eat, listen to some readings.

How to get involved:

If you want to read, email me back ( and/or come to our
little meeting Monday, February 12 @ 10am in the Grad Lounge (4th
floor, NCB). Let me know if you want to read ahead of time, so we can
avoid overlap and make an preliminary schedule.

Why we are doing this (aka why should you care?):
Here is a brief list of books that have been banned or challenged in Canada:

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Greasy, Grimy, Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Children by Josepha Sherman and T.K.F. Weisskopf
Asha’s Mums by Rosamund Elwin and Michele Paulse
•  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
• Goosebumps and Fearstreet by R.L. Stine
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

For more information, please visit the Freedom to Read website.

I hope to hear from you soon! (I think I've hit my exclamation mark limit) : )

~ Michelle Lake

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