February 2014

Freedom to Read Week

February 25, 2014 • Written by


Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This year it is from February 23-March 1, 2014.

Reference: http://www.freedomtoread.ca/

Censorship in Canada

Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Free expression on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.

Would you like to see a list of the works that have been challenged in Canada

Freedom to Read Week Video

This inspiring Freedom to Read Week video was made by Julia and Danika from the Calgary Science School, who won the Calgary Public Library Teen Freedom to Read Week Video contest.

Items in our Collection

You too can learn more about censorship by searching our library catalogue.  Here are a few items that the Red River College Library currently has in it’s collection:

120 banned books : censorship histories of world literature
Throughout history, nations, peoples, and governments have censored writers and their works on political, religious, sexual, and social grounds. Although the literary merit of the majority of these books has been proven time and time again, efforts are still in place today to suppress some of them. From Animal Farm to Ulysses, this book examines the struggle 120 of these works faced to be read.
Link: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=95189

Dear sir, I intend to burn your book : an anatomy of a book burning
In 2011, Canadian writer Lawrence Hill received an email from a man in the Netherlands stating that he intended to burn The Book of Negroes, Hill’s internationally acclaimed novel. Soon, the threat was international news, affecting Hill’s publishers and readers. In this provocative essay, Hill shares his private response to that moment and the controversy that followed, examing his reaction to the threat, while attempting to come to terms with the book burner’s motives and complaints.
Link: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=121454

forbiddenfruitForbidden fruit : banned, censored, and challenged books from Dante to Harry Potter
From the New Testament to The Diary of Anne Frank to current objections to the Harry Potter series–dubbed the most frequently challenged books of the 21st century by the American Library Association–the tradition of banning, censoring, and challenging books has been remarkably enduring.
Link: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=112230

Literature suppressed on political grounds
Throughout history, tyrants, totalitarian states, religious institutions, and democratic governments alike have banned books thought to challenge their beliefs or question their activities. This book profiles the censorship of works banned because they were perceived as threats to governmental security or challenges to widely held political values, or simply because they presented truths embarassing to authorities.
Link: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=99785

Freedom To Read Week Display

At our downtown campus, at the John and Bonnie Buhler Library in the Roblin Centre, there is a Freedom to Read Week display, which includes many more related items from our collection.

Video Feature: National Film Board

February 21, 2014 • Written by

National Film Board of CanadaAs Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board (NFB) is considered an essential part of Canada’s cultural heritage. Founded in 1939, they produce world-renowned films that are recognized for their distinctive, relevant and innovative qualities.

The NFB film collection comprises documentaries, animations, experimental films and fiction. They showcase films that take a stand on global issues of concern to Canadians—environmental issues, human rights issues, international conflict, the arts, etc. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and have won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars, and over 90 Genies. (Sources: National Film Board of CanadaWelcome to NFB.ca)

For more info on the NFB, check them out at the National Film Board website.

NFB Films at RRC Library

RRC Library holds nearly 225 films by the NFB. These are valued for their enduring educational value and Canadian focus. Here is a taste of some streamed titles that we offer (click the images to log in and view).



Illustrates the orderly processing of a grievance through several stages of negotiation between union and management, showing how the rights of a worker with a genuine grievance are protected under the union’s contract. (1954, 29 min.)

Out: stories of lesbian and gay youth


An intimate exploration of the struggles and victories of gay and lesbian youth in Canada. Delving into the emotional, societal and familial conflicts lesbian and gay youth often face, this film breaks the damaging silence surrounding sexual orientation and sexual differences. (1994, 40 min.)

Justice denied

Justice denied

Donald Marshall, a Micmac Indian, was only 17 when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder he did not commit. He spent 11 years in a maximum security prison until the real murderer was discovered. Based on the true story of this tragic and controversial case as recorded in the best-selling book by Michael. (1989, 98 min.)

 A house divided: caregiver stress and elder abuse

House dividedThrough four moving portraits, A House Divided sheds light on the tragedy of caregiver stress and elder abuse. With great sensitivity, this film portrays the emotional complexity of family relationships that can lead to abuse of the elderly, the anguish and isolation of its victims, and the tremendous need for community understanding and support.
(1988, 35 min.)


If you have any questions, please contact Media Services at Red River College Library:

  • Notre Dame Campus Library: media@rrc.ca or 204-632-2231
  • Exchange District Campus Library: pscmedia@rrc.ca or 204-949-8370

Louis Riel Day – February 17th

February 11, 2014 • Written by


Since this Monday is Louis Riel Day, this week’s Library Blog post is all about one of the most controversial historical Manitobans.

Who was Louis Riel?

Louis Riel, a leader of his people in their resistance against the Canadian government in the Canadian Northwest, is perhaps the most controversial figure in Canadian historiography. His life and deeds have spawned a massive and diverse literature.

He was born in the Red River Settlement (in what is now Manitoba) in 1844. A promising student, he was sent to Montreal to train for the priesthood, but he never graduated. An attempt at training as a lawyer ended similarly, and by 1868 Riel was back in the Red River area. Ambitious, well educated and bilingual, Riel quickly emerged as a leader among the Métis of the Red River.

Read More: http://library.usask.ca/northwest/background/riel.htm

Why Commemorate Louis Riel?

Louis Riel is recognized as an advocate of justice for the Métis people, but he represents much more. He helped lay the framework for minority rights and cultural co-operation, and is regarded as a founder of Manitoba. It is very important to remember Louis Riel’s contribution to Canada and specifically to recall that he was executed for being a persistent advocate for the rights of his people. (Reference: http://louisrielday.com/)

In 2008, Manitoba schools were invited to name our province’s newest holiday and 114 responded with suggestions that reflected Manitoba’s citizenship, history, culture, arts, sports and significant individuals from our past. Eleven schools submitted the winning entry and received $1,000 grants to purchase materials for their school library. (Reference: http://louisrielday.com/louis-riel-day-origins/)

Louis Riel Books and Videos

The Red River College Library has dozens of “Louis Riel” related items in our collection.  Here is a sample:

Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont
Louis Riel, a controversial Metis mystic and visionary, fought for his people’s rights against an encroaching tide of white settlers. Hunter and Metis leader Gabriel Dumont, a man tested by warfare, was, in contrast, a pragmatic realist of the land. Celebrated novelist Joseph Boyden explores the tumultuous year when Riel and Dumont united the Me´tis while dividing a nation. Could Dumont have forseen the impact on the Me´tis cause when he brought Riel home? While making rational demands of Sir John A. Macdonald, Riel seemed increasingly overtaken by a messianic mission. His controversial execution by the Canadian government in 1885 still reverberates today.
Catalog Record: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=112056

booklouisrielfirebrandLouis Riel : firebrand
Louis Riel devoted his life to the Metis cause. A fiery activist, he struggled against injustice as he saw it. He was a pioneer in the field of Aboriginal rights and land claims but was branded an outlaw in his own time. In 1885, he was executed for treason. In 1992, the House of Commons declared Riel a founder of Manitoba. November 16 is now designated Louis Riel Day in Canada.
Catalog Record: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=100518

Louis Riel : a comic-strip biography
Told with dispassionate precision by the legendary cartoonist Chester Brown, this is the story of the charismatic, and perhaps mad, nineteenth century Metis leader, whose struggle to win rights for his people led to violent rebellion on the Canadian frontier.
Catalog Record: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=87977

Louis Riel
Champion of a people or traitorous rabble-rouser? Political visionary or religious lunatic? Louis Riel is one of the most ambiguous figures in Canadian history, a man who stood and fell for the Métis nation. Read about the fascinating western icon in this well-paced biography. The doomed struggle of Louis Riel and his Métis people against the new Canadian government is a story rich in drama and cultural change.
Catalog Record: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=86278


1979 Dramatization of the Riel Rebellion of 1885. Under their leader, Louis Riel, the Metis rise up against the government of Sir John A. MacDonald. Stars Raymond Cloutier as Louis Riel.  Also includes Roger Blay, Maury Chaykin, Arthur Hill, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher Plummer and William Shatner in supporting roles.
Streaming Video, converted from VHS videocassette.
Available to current Red River College staff and students only.
Catalog Record: http://icarus.rrc.mb.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=32674

Louis Riel Quotes

“We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on.” – Louis Riel

“I am more convinced everyday that without a single exception I did right. And I have always believed that, as I have acted honestly, the time will come when the people of Canada will see and acknowledge it.” – Louis Riel, 1885

“Yes, I have done my duty. During my life I have aimed at practical results. I hope that after my death my spirit will bring practical results. All that I have done and risked… Rested certainly on the conviction that I was called upon to do something for my country I know that through the grace of God I am the founder of Manitoba.” – Louis Riel, May 6, 1885, Batoche, N.W.T.

Reference: http://www.mmf.mb.ca/louis_riel_quotes.php

Louis Riel Tour

Are you looking for a long-weekend activity?  Here is a wonderful web page that lists the Louis Riel commemorative locations in and around Winnipeg: http://louisrielday.com/louis-riel-tour/

8 Simple Solutions to Ease Your Stress

February 5, 2014 • Written by

Stressed studentThe assignments are piling high, money is tight, and the deadlines just keep coming. When things get overwhelming, there are small things you can do to counteract the stress in your life. Below are eight simple suggestions taken from Deborah Davis’s book, Adult learner’s companion (pages 28, 29), which can be borrowed from Red River College Library by presenting a valid RRC ID card.



1. Take deep breaths

Deep breathing calms you and helps you think more clearly.

Look further:

6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less

2. Think before you speak

Listening and thinking before speaking allows you to respond to others calmly and appropriately, which results in better feelings all around.

3. Find some physical activity

Any form of exercise is a stress-reliever. Even a ten-minute walk during break is beneficial. Exercise also tires you and helps you sleep better.

Look further:

Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress

4. Make a date

Connect with others, get out of yourself and have a few laughs.

5. Eat slowly

It is better for digestion, you will enjoy your food more, and it may help you lose weight.

Look further:

Eating slower may help trim your waistline, study suggests

6. Turn off the TV

Some people use TV to zone out, as a way to avoid dealing with their stress. This may make you feel better temporarily, but in the long run it actually adds to your stress.

7. Eat stress-reducing foods

The right foods have the power to calm you, lower stress hormones, build up the immune system, and lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds and oatmeal are among foods that can help fight stress.

Look further:

Foods That Help Relieve Stress

8. Change your perception

Changing how you look at something can completely change your experience of it. Taking control of your thoughts is a powerful stress reliever.

Look further:

Reframing and Stress Management

For more information…

For more information on stress management and other resources at RRC Library, stop by the Library desk or contact our reference staff at:

Also check out Red River College’s Student Success Website for various student supports and additional info on managing stress.