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Smithers Library celebrates Freedom to Read Week

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The Smithers Public Library is promoting intellectual freedom as this week marks Freedom to Read Week.

According to Library Director, Wendy Wright, this is an annual event that is put on by the Canadian Book and Periodical Council of Canada.

She added that this leads to people seeking different ideas, reading them and deciding what is thought about them.

According to Wright censorship or attempts of censorship are always happening and people actually don’t know that that’s happening in this day and age unless they are being told.

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She said there is a difference between not liking a book’s message for yourself and not liking a book for a public library.

“They’re making that decision for all of the other adults and their children and so you’re taking away someone’s right to actually make up their own mind and that’s why we call it intellectual freedom,” Wright said.

She added that there have been attempts at censorship within the Smithers Public Library.

To celebrate Freedom to Read the library has a display of a number of books that have been banned or challenged over the years.

Wright added that she has a connection with intellectual freedom.

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When she was a child she tried to take an adult book out of the library but the Librarian told her she couldn’t take the book out because she was too young.

She added her dad then went to the library, spoke to the librarian and then finally took the book out on his library card.

Wright also said she spoke to him years later about the incident.

“I said when you did that the message it sent to me was that you trusted me to be intelligent enough to figure out right from wrong on my own and he said that’s exactly what I meant by doing that,” she said.

Freedom to Read Week runs from Feb 20 until Feb 26.

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