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Page September 28, 2023

Intellectual Freedom Course for Public Library Staff

The Centre for Free Expression, in collaboration with the Edmonton Public Library, has developed an intellectual freedom learning and development course for public library staff and is making it available to all public libraries across Canada. If your library wishes, CFE will provide training for a staff member chosen by the library to facilitate the course for its staff.

The objectives of this course are to explore:

  • What intellectual freedom is and why it is important
  • Intellectual freedom’s basis in international human rights and Canadian law
  • The history and importance of public library policy on intellectual freedom
  • The limits to intellectual and expressive freedom
  • The harms of censorship
  • How public libraries should respond to challenges to collections, programs, displays and exhibits, and community use of space. 

Part I (3 ½ hours) includes an examination of what intellectual freedom is; its history, role, and relationship with public libraries; the limits to intellectual freedom; and the harms of censorship.

Part 2 (3 ½ hours) provides library staff the opportunity to engage the Part I issues through small group and plenary discussions of case studies. 

For more information about this course and how your public library can have access to it, please contact:

James L. Turk
Centre for Free Expression