Library News

We Are a Book Sanctuary

Calgary Public Library Opens Book Sanctuary in time for Freedom to Read Week

Calgary Public Library is creating a Book Sanctuary to raise awareness around the freedom to read and promote the right to access books that have been challenged or banned. The travelling exhibit will challenge visitors to consider the risks of censorship and highlight books that have been banned. The exhibit will open at Central Library for Freedom to Read Week, February 19 – 25. It will travel to Library locations across the city starting in March. 

The Book Sanctuary is an initiative started by the Chicago Public Library to raise awareness around ongoing challenges to freedom of information. Participants sign on to provide designated physical or digital spaces that actively protect the freedom to read. There are over 1,500 Book Sanctuaries across North America. 

“All libraries act as protected spaces for information and knowledge. By creating a Book Sanctuary, we hope to demonstrate support for libraries across North America and let our community know that challenges to intellectual freedom are ongoing,” says Sarah Meilleur, CEO at Calgary Public Library.  

The Library will also be recognizing Freedom to Read Week through a special virtual event.  Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Art Spiegelman will reflect on his career and the history of challenges and recent banning of Maus. This event is presented in partnership with Edmonton Public Library and Edify Magazine. 

The Library also selected Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi as its annual Freedom to Read Week selection. The book was presented to Calgary’s City Council on February 14 to demonstrate support for challenged titles.  

“By offering the community diverse reading materials — even items that might seem controversial or challenging — the Library continues to encourage engagement and dialogue on current issues and champion the principles of Intellectual Freedom,” continued Meilleur. 

Find out more about the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom.

Recent stories

see all