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AT THE LIBRARY: Kindness is one size fits all

This week at the library, is a big, busy week. We wrap up our African Heritage Month festivities with a great NFB documentary film in River John on Thursday, and we have two African Storytelling, Drumming and Dance workshops on Saturday, in New Glasgow and Westville.

We are celebrating the Freedom to Read all week long. To start next week, on Sunday evening is our library fundraiser, Dining in the Stacks held at the New Glasgow library on March 3. Tickets are available for purchase, at any of our libraries, until 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28!

Continuing to celebrate with the AHM 2019 theme, Our History is Your History, the NFB Film Club at the River John Library will be showing, Black Soul, Christopher Changes his Name and Journey to Justice on Thursday, Feb. 28, starting at 6:15 p.m. Journey to Justice, is the main feature film, and pays tribute to a group of Canadians who took racism to court. They are Canada's unsung heroes in the fight for Black rights. Focusing on the 1930s to the 1950s, this film documents the struggle of six people who refused to accept inequality: Viola Desmond, Fred Christie, Hugh Burnette, Bromley Armstrong, Donald Willard Moore and Stanley G. Grizzle. And to warm up our wintry weather of late, we are very fortunate to host two wonderful African Storytelling, Dance and Drumming workshops with the amazing instructors from Maritime Centre for African Dance on Saturday, March 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the New Glasgow Library, and later that day at 1:30 p.m. at the Westville Library. All are welcome to drop in.

Freedom to read

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week. FtRW, and libraries across Canada, encourage Canadians to think about, and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. So very often, we take for granted our ability to be able to learn, explore, discover anything that we wish or need to, to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, censorship (whether due to social, political, economic, religious or other pressures) can greatly influence what we are able to create, express, share and access.

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental right of all Canadians, and freedom to read is a part of that precious heritage,” according to the Canadian Book and Periodical Council. Why does freedom of expression matter? “Freedom of expression, which includes freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, is part of intellectual freedom. Intellectual freedom is necessary if we want to receive ideas and information and think intelligently about them. Freedom of expression is necessary if we want to share ideas and information and participate in debates. Good debates help us identify and discard wrong or bad ideas. Good debates also foster better ideas which help us improve society...” Mark Leiren-Young, Freedom to Read, v35 (p10). For more information, visit their website www.freedomtore​ad.ca .

Pink Shirt Days

Wednesday, everyone was encouraged to practise kindness and wear pink to symbolize that you do not tolerate bullying.

Over the month of February, and throughout the year, #PinkShirtDay aims to raise awareness about identifying bullying behavior in our communities, supporting the choice to stop accepting bullying, and preventing bullying from happening in our homes, schools, workplaces, online and in public spaces. Now a movement celebrated across the globe, Pink Shirt Day has humble beginnings, inspired by an act of kindness in small-town Nova Scotia. For more information, visit: https://www.pin​kshirtday.ca/ab​out/.

For more information on upcoming library programs, special events and services, drop by your local library branch, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit us online at www.parl.ns.ca .

Trecia Schell is Community Services Librarian, and Branch Librarian - Books-by-Mail, River John, Stellarton and Trenton Public libraries.

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