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Join us for Freedom to Read Week 

freedom to read week webcard

Feb 12, 2024

Freedom to Read Week, February 18 to 24, 2024, is an important occasion for all of us at Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and we think it might be for you too.  

OPL protects and promotes your right to read, think, and access a diverse range of ideas and information, all year round, encouraging curiosity and learning. Freedom to Read Week is a chance for Canadians to reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom and the free and open exchange of lawful information and ideas in a democratic society.  

Come to the Library, in person or online, to exercise your freedom to read, to explore the roles of the Library and the literary community in free expression, and to discuss access to information, challenges, censorship, and intellectual freedom. Freedom to Read Week programming at OPL highlights our strong commitment to intellectual freedom and celebrates the diversity of views and voices in literature and all public library services.  

Do not miss these two stand-out events during Freedom to Read Week at OPL. Admission is free; registration is recommended.   

Award-winning author and veteran journalist, John Ibbitson, will reflect on approaches to exploring historical published works in context in order to enrich our understanding of society, and will talk about the “war on words.”  

Celebrated novelist and award-winner Lawrence Hill will discuss his lifelong passion for bringing under-represented aspects of Black history in Canada to life. He will talk about his literary journey and the challenges of censorship he and other writers have faced , particularly the title change for the American edition of The Book of Negroes. 

Keep visiting the OPL website for more about Freedom to Read Week, including short video clips featuring a wide range of perspectives on free expression, as well as featured book lists and the information about our “Free People Read Freely – Lire Librement” t-shirt giveaway! 

OPL as a Book Sanctuary

In response to recent challenges to materials in libraries across North America, some public libraries have been declaring themselves "Book Sanctuaries".

Find out more on OPL's Book Sanctuary webpage: Book Sanctuary | Ottawa Public Library (