Archive for February, 2017

Freedom to Read Week February 26 – March 27

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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February 26 – March 4 2017 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada. You might be wondering why we need a week for something that is our right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but intellectual freedom is not something to take for granted.

Even here in Canada some books and magazines are stopped at the border. Libraries and schools have their collections challenged and these stories are rarely published by the news media. Here is a list of over 100 items that have been challenged – including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Maclean’s magazine – and the nature of the complaints:
http://www.freedomtoread.ca/challenged-works/

Across the country and online there are events and ways to participate and learn more about our Freedom to Read:
http://www.freedomtoread.ca/freedom-to-read-week/

So how do we make sure we are free to read without censorship? By insisting that the reading material we want is present and available in our libraries and schools. By understanding and affirming that every one of us has the right and the freedom to read even if they choose to read something we find controversial or we disagree with. And by reading!

Fake News/Post-Truth

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hahow-to-spot-fake-news-1-1ve you heard the news? It might be fake! Reading between the headlines has never been more important, or more difficult. But how can we figure out what’s true and what’s not? On a recent blog post, the International Federation of Library Associations [IFLA] shared this infographic, which IFLA based on an article from FactCheck.org, “How to Spot Fake News“.

Another infographic making the rounds attempts to chart the quality of news organizations across the political spectrum. Created by a blogger called Votero, the image has generated a tsunami of online conversation, and encourages us to question our news sources and consider their biases. It also requires us to think about the questions in the first infographic: who is Votero? what are his/her biases?

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The most important tool available to all of us is free, simple, and easy to use: the question. Ask plenty of them. Ask them repeatedly. Ask them of everything. Ask them of yourself, ask them of other people. A curious, inquisitive mind is the antithesis of fake news and post-truth. Use liberally.


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