Students and staff celebrate the freedom to read

Trinity College School’s Senior School library was a busy spot the week of February 25th, as students and staff took part in Freedom to Read Week. Between Monday and Friday, more than 30 people signed up for a 30-minute timeslot during which they read from a selection of banned or challenged books.

Visitors to the library were welcomed by an amazing window painting designed by Grade 12 student Hope Tidman. The painting created a portal through which guests could see readers seated at a comfy chair, reading one of the challenged books. The display was inspired by one at a public library in Virginia, but Hope designed and painted a version that was completely creative and unique to TCS. The display generated some really interesting conversations with students and staff about what they read, and why certain books were challenged or banned at some point in history.

The library provided a range of titles from which readers could choose, from more recent works such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or The Hate U Give, to literary classics like To Kill and Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men, each including a slip of paper indicating some of the reasons the book was challenged.

Freedom to Read Week is a project of the Book and Periodical Council of Canada, and this year marked the program’s 35th anniversary. It is a wonderful opportunity not only to celebrate the relative freedom we enjoy in Canada to produce and consume the written word, but also to raise awareness of issues around freedom of expression and censorship. To learn more, visit