December 2023

When I was eight, I joined the Deer Park Library and read my way through some of my early influences. Every writer begins as a reader, and I was no exception. I know first-hand how access to TPL’s collections can unlock endless possibilities for learning, especially for those without much money.

But now, intellectual freedom challenges at libraries are increasing!

So we need to be aware of what is happening in communities all across this country. I’m not referring just to book bans, but also to restricting access to programs, exhibits, e-content and more. Limiting our access to information can suppress civic engagement and silence voices. In other words, some people don’t want you to vote, speak out, and write.

Libraries matter, and donations to Toronto Public Library help support the work it does to ensure that all Torontonians, especially young people with not a lot of money, have access to the vital resources and information they need to succeed.

Toronto is a city of readers.

Did you know that Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest public library system? And that nearly 70% of Torontonians use the library? Our thanks are owed to the TPL staff, who are doing exceptional work to protect intellectual freedom. All 100 branches have been declared Book Sanctuaries, and if you have not come across the Book Sanctuary Collection, please seek it out. It features 50 adult, teen and children’s books that have been challenged, censored, or removed from a public library or school in North America. A book list I am most delighted to be on!

Public libraries are essential to our democratic civil society, so wherever home is for you in Canada, please consider a donation to your local library.

Margaret Atwood

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Donate to Toronto Public Library by July 15, 2024 and your gift will be doubled thanks to a generous matching gift from Fidelity Canada. Should you have any questions, please contact the TPL Foundation or call 416-393-7123.

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“At Toronto Public Library, intellectual freedom means supporting and facilitating the free exchange of information and ideas in a democratic society and respecting each individual’s right to privacy and choice.”

TPL Intellectual Freedom Statement, published December 2022

Read full statement