FTRW 2016 – Day Seven – Saturday Snap – Freedom to Read in Cuba?

Below are a couple photos I took in Havana during our 2011 trip to Cuba.

This was a street vendor stall selling books (which is good!) but most here (and in our hotel’s gift shop or anywhere else we found books) were heavily propagandistic (bad!).

Outdoor Book Vendor in Havana Cuba

Cuba isn’t commercialized with billboards selling blue jeans and soda but in its place, there are numerous propaganda posters everywhere you look…

Cuban Propaganda Poster

It’s an interesting dilemma – in Canada, we have a much freer, open society and working in a library, I see firsthand how we celebrate our willingness to provide access to any and all ideas (in fact, I tried to showcase this in my FTRW display this year by setting two non-fiction books with competing, potentially controversial ideas side-by-side.)

Regina Public Library Freedom to Read Week Book Display


But at the same time, I sometimes wonder if that makes us more susceptible to being manipulated – by advertising and media outlets and biased educators and religious leaders and politicians and Internet memes and who knows what else?

Until next year…


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