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Intellectual freedom is the right of all people to hold and express opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Intellectual freedom is recognized by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, as a basic human right.

Blog January 11, 2018

“No-Platforming” should have No Place in a Public Library

The Toronto Public Library (TPL) Board kicked-off 2018 by bringing in a new policy on community and event space rental.  While the new policy is meant to address discrimination and promote inclusion, it is infinitely more likely to quash debates on controversial topics, exclude minority voices and in doing so, distort the mission of the library to promote the free exchange of ideas. 
Blog July 19, 2017

Public Libraries and Freedom of Expression

Should we expect our public institutions to protect our freedom of expression?  The Toronto Public Library made a controversial decision in July 2017 to permit a memorial to the late Barbara Kulaszka to be held in a rental space in one of the library’s branches. Ms Kulaszka, a former librarian, was a lawyer best known for her legal defence of Holocaust deniers and white supremacists. Many people registered their objection to the event, both before and after it took place. These people include the President of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union and the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory.