(Ottawa, September 15, 2014) – The Canadian Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Advisory Committee has released the results of its eighth annual survey of challenges to library resources and policies in Canada for 2013.
Most Canadians don’t give censorship in libraries a second thought, however a small strata of society would like to dictate which reading, viewing, and listening materials fellow citizens should be allowed to access through their publicly-funded libraries. The 2013 Annual Challenges Survey conducted by the Canadian Library Association (CLA) sheds light on these challenges to materials, services, and policies and how Canadian libraries respond to them.
The 85 challenges reported in the 2013 survey occurred in 21 publicly-funded libraries, almost all public libraries, across six provinces. Some 67 challenges targeted individual library materials and 18 were to library policies related to collections and services that impacted intellectual freedom and collection management principles. Only one series was reported, six television episodes of “Eastbound and Down.” Complainants typically demanded that titles be removed or access to them be restricted.
Survey results are widely shared with the Canadian public, library associations at home and abroad, and other groups interested in freedom of expression issues. The database of challenged titles and policies can be accessed on the CLA website (www.cla.ca) together with annual reports summarizing the results of the surveys.