BPC Bulletin: Authors Protest Upcoming Speaking Event at Toronto Public Library - Part 1

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee

 

The Toronto Public Library has allowed Meghan Murphy, a controversial feminist, to book space for a public speaking event on October 29, 2019. However, a group of authors has launched a petition to protest the event. They accuse the library of providing a forum for “hate speech” and urge the library to cancel the event. They threaten to demonstrate outside the library if Ms. Murphy speaks and to boycott the library as well. The Toronto Public Library has refused to cancel the event.

For full reportage and comments please see Part 1Part 2, and Part 3

Read the petition of Alicia Elliott, Catherine Hernandez and Carrianne Leung:

https://www.change.org/p/toronto-public-library-request-for-tpl-to-cancel-rental-booking-for-transphobic-event-at-palmerston-library?recruiter=958259070&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

Read the Toronto Public Library’s statement:

https://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/news_releases/2019/10/city-librarian-statement-on-upcoming-third-party-room-rental-event-.html?utm_source=id&utm_medium=IDTW&utm_campaign=articles

REPORTAGE

Paola Loriggio of the Canadian Press reports:
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto-public-library-under-fire-over-event-by-controversial-speaker

Katherine DeClerq of CTV News reports:
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/tory-disappointed-in-toronto-public-library-s-decision-to-allow-event-by-controversial-speaker-1.4642626

Julia Knope of CBC News reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-public-library-tory-speaker-transphobia-1.5324218

In NOW, Samantha Edwards reports:
https://nowtoronto.com/culture/books/authors-boycott-toronto-public-library-meghan-murphy/

COMMENTARY

In The Post Millennial, Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson comment:
https://www.thepostmillennial.com/writers-protest-free-speech-at-toronto-library/

At Ryerson University, James L. Turk comments:
https://cfe.ryerson.ca/blog/2019/10/social-justice-requires-intellectual-freedom-why-toronto-public-library-should-refuse?fbclid=IwAR07_x0tZ-CQrgvJtT-_eyDtwZKoRzOAK2P2ZGRiR7TB1ofO87beySp4Fzc

Jill Andrew, an NDP member of Ontario’s legislature, comments:
https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/ndp-culture-critic-responds-toronto-public-library-s-refusal-cancel-event-featuring-meghan

At the University of Alberta, Alvin M. Schrader comments:
https://cfe.ryerson.ca/blog/2019/08/can-public-libraries-maintain-their-commitment-intellectual-freedom-face-outrage-over

Bonus Comment

In The Post Millennial, Jakob Glogauer writes about the revision of the Vancouver Public Library’s booking policy. Last January, the VPL also hosted an event that featured Meghan Murphy:
https://www.thepostmillennial.com/vancouver-library-updates-its-regulations-claims-it-will-not-restrict-freedom-of-expression/

 

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

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