February 20th to 26th is Freedom to Read Week here in Canada, a time to celebrate the freedom of reading material here in our public libraries.

Branch Manager with the Weyburn Public Library, Katherine Wagner, said it's happening in libraries across Canada.

"It's celebrating that we have the freedom to read anything that we want to read, and to work against censorship, which is still fairly rare in Canada, but we're hearing more and more coming from the US recently like the banning of from a school library of the graphic novel Maus (which is about the Holocaust)."

"It's happening more and more in the US, these days, but not too much in Canada yet, so we're just celebrating and bringing awareness to this issue."

The freedom to choose one's own reading material, noted Wagner, is fundamental to freedom.

"It's up to everyone to make their own choices and for parents to make choices for their children, but it's not for one person to make the choice for everyone in a community."

While this week is a celebration, the true joy is being able to go borrow a book at any time of the year from the library, from libraries anywhere in the province, thanks to the inter-library loan system. Browsing can even be done from the comfort of one's home.

Nonetheless, the library has plenty of resources, likes games, movies, and even a 3D printer. They've always been known for books, and even in these trying times, there's no shortage of those.

"So right now we have a display on in the library of books that have been challenged in the past," she shared. "Challenge means that someone has asked to have them removed from a library or from a school curriculum, not necessarily that they actually were banned."

"So people can come to the library and take a look at some of those books and check them out if they like," she offered. "When you look at lists of books that have been challenged, sometimes it's really surprising."

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which has since been made into a wildly popular tv show, and even an Oprah's Book Club pick, The Book of Negroes, are among the books previously challenged for censorship.