“I love my freedom to read whatever I want.” That joyous phrase has been doing its sassy dance in my head since I first saw Franke James’s vibrant illustration for Freedom to Read Week 2015. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your freedom to read than to dive into the bounty of articles served up in this year’s Freedom to Read review.
Our writers have tackled some of today’s most challenging free expression issues. You can read about our featured champion of free expression, media lawyer Brian Rogers, the staggering failure of our access-to-information system, secret trade deals, controversy over library collections, imprisoned journalists, book challenges and much more.
You will also learn about an issue that is playing an increasingly significant role in Canadians’ lives: electronic surveillance. Read Bill Kowalski’s sobering account of the extent to which our online activities are being watched. Enjoy Mark Leiren-Young’s mischievous take on the impact of surveillance on writers. Find out what Hilary McLaughlin learned in her review of Julia Angwin’s book Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance. And check out talented high school student Leslie Riahñezas’s helpful guide to protecting your online privacy in the “Get Involved” section.
In addition, journalist Mark Bourrie takes a hard look at the obstacles confronting anyone who attempts to gain access to government information. Groundwood publisher Sheila Barry shares her philosophy and passion for children’s books. And science librarian John Dupuis takes us behind the scenes in Canada’s federal library system.
After you’ve feasted on these stories, we challenge you to take the quiz in the “Get Involved” section to find out how you rate as a free expression expert. Whatever your score, we’ve got lots of resources so you can learn more, get involved and thoroughly celebrate your freedom to read!
— Julie Payne, Editor
By Franklin Carter and Julie Payne
Brian MacLeod Rogers: Just Cause
By Julie Payne
System Failure: Rejections, Restrictions and Runarounds Obstruct Our Access to Information
By Mark Bourrie
Who’s Really Reading This?
By Mark Leiren-Young
Confessions of a Children’s Book Publisher
By Sheila Barry
By Nicole Brewer
What’s in a Challenge?
By Reva Pomer and Becky Toyne
The Campaign Against Evidence
By John Dupuis
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Trade Secrets
By A.T. Kingsmith
Our Right to Online Privacy
By William Kowalski
Censorship and the Academic Library: Sex, Violence & Video Games
By Martha Attridge Bufton and Wayne Jones
The Writers’ Union Makes It Official: Reading Is a Right
By John Degen
Journalism Is Not a Crime
By Alexandra Zakreski
Fine Balances and Persistent Tensions: 2013 Survey of Challenges to Resources and Policies in Canadian Libraries
By Alvin M. Schrader and Donna Bowman
Book Profiles: Persona Non Grata; Extreme Mean; Dragnet Nation
By Hilary McLaughlin
By Nicole Brewer
Celebrate Free Expression
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO Shares a Toolkit
Calgary Public Library’s Freedom to Read Contest Winners
Test Your Free Expression Knowledge
Protect Your Online Privacy
Top 10 Things Teachers Should Tell Students About Social Media Privacy
By Leslie Riahñezas
Editor: Julie Payne
Consulting Editor: Franklin Carter
Creative Director: Reva Pomer
Poster Illustration: Franke James
Contributors: Martha Attridge Bufton, Sheila Barry, Mark Bourrie, Donna Bowman, Nicole Brewer, Franklin Carter, John Degen, John Dupuis, Wayne Jones, A.T. Kingsmith, William Kowalski, Mark Leiren-Young, Hilary McLaughlin, Julie Payne, Reva Pomer, Leslie Riahñezas, Alvin M. Schrader, Becky Toyne, Alexandra Zakreski