The mission of the Okanagan Institute
is to contribute to
the quality of creative engagement in the Okanagan through publications, events and collaborations.
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Kelowna BC Canada
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THE CAUSE AND CURE OF CENSORSHIP
» Thursday 14 October 2010, 5 pm
» Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna
» $2 at the door. Refreshments are available.
» Seating is limited, please reserve yours HERE
Librarians Celebrate Intellectual Freedom in Changing Times
"Think for yourself, and let others do the same." Censorship has been an issue in libraries from the beginning with the great libraries of Alexandria in ancient Egypt. But intellectual freedom is about more than being against book banning or burning, or heavy-handed demands to remove an item from a library collection. One of the core values for both public libraries as institutions and for library staff is intellectual freedom. Good libraries strive to live up to an old saying - "there is something in my library to offend everyone". They want to make available the widest possible range of viewpoints and sources, in order to ensure that everyone has opportunity to participate in today's information society. This includes resources which might be unpopular or controversial - and can lead to the question: "what is *that* doing in my library!?"
Intellectual freedom challenges can be from a variety of perspectives - politics, religion, sexual matters and language. Sometimes there are concerns that materials are too easily accessible for children or young adults that are inappropriate for them. Other times the materials are aimed at adults, but the viewpoints or values reflected in them are in conflict with the user's own ideas. Challenges can come from individuals or organizations.
New formats and ways of accessing information often raise different issues. For example, in the early twentieth century adding novels and paperbacks to libraries was controversial. More recently, Internet access in libraries has been a locus of issues relating to freedom to read and freedom to view.
On Thursday, October 14th at 5 pm the ongoing Okanagan Institute Express series at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna presents Free To Read. Librarians Barbara Jo May and Tara Thompson from the Okanagan Regional Library present an overview on how and why libraries advocate for intellectual freedom.
Learn how the Library choose materials, respond to challenges, and have day-to-day discussions about intellectual freedom with library users. Also, learn about some more difficult challenges which have made headlines. Come prepared to discuss your own ideas about libraries, and what "thinking for one's self, and letting others do the same" means in this digital age.
Barbara Jo May works as the Adult Collections Librarian for Okanagan Regional Library. She has been a public librarian for over 25 years in many different communities, beginning as a children's librarian in Kelowna. She helped develop libraries in Dene and Inuit communities in northern Canada, before working as a branch manager, deputy director and manager of collections in libraries in Edmonton and the Lower Mainland. During the course of her career, she has dealt with a wide range of challenges to materials, Internet access, use of meeting rooms and the distribution of free papers and brochures. She is an active member of the BC Library Association's Intellectual Freedom and Information Policy committees. Interested in media reform issues and alternative media, Barbara Jo helped organize annual Media Democracy Day events, including independent media fairs, in Vancouver. She is the originator of a popular B.C. library conference session "Ain't on the Globe and Mail Bestseller List", which promotes diverse collections. She believes that public libraries help celebrate and preserve democratic society by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints and sources.
Tara Thompson earned her Master of Library of Information Science in 2009, and has worked for the Okanagan Regional Library since 1994. She is currently the Community Librarian at the Peachland Branch, and is also a member of the American Library Association and volunteer moderator of the online Teen Reading Club (www.teenrc.ca). As a new professional librarian she is interested in how libraries interact with their communities and how they can best serve their various stakeholders.
TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT CLICK HERE
Free To Read takes place at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna. This marks the 177th event the Okanagan Institute has held since the Express series got underway in 2007.
Express is presented in association with the Okanagan Regional Library. Libraries are an entry into the world of knowledge: they are centres for life-long learning and directly impact the lives of Canadians each and every day. They are information and community centres where people learn, engage, discover and connect. Established in 1936, the ORL serves over 360,000 people across an area covering 59,600 square kilometres through 29 branches. Services are also offered online through the website at http://www.orl.bc.ca. Membership is free to people within the library regions, giving access to the 16th largest library in Canada.
Express is directed, convened and hosted by Robert MacDonald, Karen Close, Edward McLean and Neil McKay. It has played host to many Okanagan luminaries, including former deputy secretary general of Amnesty International Derek Evans, artists Lee Claremont and Gary Pearson, BC Book Award nominee Don Gayton, CBC Literary prize winner poet Harold Rhenisch, distinguished editor and author Jim Taylor, poet laureate and professor John Lent, creative entrepreneur Nikos Theodosakis, animator and filmmaker Jim Cliffe, community activist Don Elzer, dancer David LaHay, architect Jim Meiklejohn, culinary artist and writer Heidi Noble, broadcaster Marion Barschel and many others from a wide range of creative fields.
Our mission is to ignite cultural transformation, catalyze collaborative action, build networks and foster sustainable creative enterprises. We invite the participation by all members of the creative community.