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Freedom to read week – Graphic Novels and Comic Books

books with black background

Feb 25, 2022

Freedom To Read week is taking place this year from February 20 to 26. 

 Presented by The Book and Periodical Council (BPC), this annual event aims to inspire all Canadians to reflect on Intellectual Freedom, protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and one of the core value of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA). 

The idea of walking into our favorite neighbourhood library and leaving with any book or magazine of our choice sounds ordinary for us. Yet, every year, a significant amount of written works is being challenged for several reasons and requested to be removed from school or public library collections.  

Your Ottawa Public Library has clear policies about Intellectual Freedom, as stated on our website: “The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) supports intellectual curiosity and enquiry and supports intellectual freedom as the prerequisite for an informed, democratic society as part of its core values…” 

“Words and images in their myriad configurations are the substance of free expression. “_ Statement on Freedom of Expression, 

Ever growing in popularity, graphic novels have always been on challenged booklists. The genre, by its format, enables narrative possibilities, allows graphic depictions and often addresses polarizing subjects. Still, it was a surprise when recently, the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman was banned from its curriculum by a Tennessee school board in the United States. This precedent is a reminder that intellectual freedom can’t be taken for granted, even in North America.  

Celebrate your right to read what you wish, when you want, by borrowing other graphic novels and comic books that were at some point in a Canadian dispute regarding censorship. Check out our list for inspiration. 

For further information about Freedom To Read week and to access a more extensive banned or challenged booklist from all genres, visit : 

Semaine de la liberté d'expression- Bande dessinée Adulte
by Emilie_BPO_OPL

Bandes dessinées adultes en francais

Freedom to read week / Semaine de liberté d'expression - Teen Graphic Novels - Bande dessinée Ados
by Emilie_BPO_OPL


Freedom to read week-Adult graphic novel
by Emilie_BPO_OPL

GN Adult