Unlocking Ideas: Celebrating Freedom to Read Week

an image of books under lock and key

In a small town named Vaughan, the public library has always been a beacon of knowledge, a sanctuary for readers of all ages.

However, a recent controversy has changed its atmosphere entirely. Due to a series of complaints from a vocal minority, the library administration decided to place certain books under lock and key, making them accessible only upon special request.

As you enter the library, you notice a prominent sign at the entrance: “Restricted Section – Please Inquire at the Front Desk.” Curiosity piqued, you approach the front desk where a librarian greets you with a forced smile, her eyes betraying a hint of unease.

“Welcome to Vaughan Public Libraries. How may I assist you today?” she asks, trying to maintain a semblance of normality amidst the palpable tension.

“I heard about the restricted section. Can you tell me more about it?” you inquire, intrigued yet apprehensive about what you might discover.

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Valentine’s Day on Kanopy!

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! For those who observe, this awkward placement of a holiday right smack in the middle of the week might mean low-key plans. Take-out, sweatpants, maybe bingeing Netflix’s new adaptation of David Nicholl’s One Day (and sobbing into your tea, if you’re me). If you’re planning on a cozy night in, movie streaming platform Kanopy has got you covered with some prime Valentines films in their new Reel Romance in February collection. They’re got tons of classics like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Moonstruck, and Shakespeare in Love, but you can also find some more obscure gems. Below are some lesser-known films to check out with your VPL card on this day celebrating all things romance.  

Mr. Malcolm’s List 

For the Bridgerton fans looking longingly towards the new season in May! Mr. Malcolm’s List is a tasty little cake pop of a movie: short, sugary, covered in pink frosting. The plot is basically a series of Shakespearean-style hijinks, set in Regency England (aka Jane Austen time). Julia Thistlethwait is a vivacious young woman out on the Regency dating scene, but finds her charms thwarted by one Mr. Malcolm when she fails to meet his wifely criteria—his titular “list.” Determined to get revenge for this public embarrassment, Julia enlists her more docile friend Selina to ensnare Mr. Malcolm and then reject him. Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and soon enough real feelings are involved. Not a serious movie by any means, but perfect for those looking for an easy, breezy watch while munching on heart-shaped chocolates.  

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The Dorian Awards

Credit: galeca.com

Now that we have well and truly been submersed in the lukewarm media bath that is awards season, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight an award show that often goes unnoticed in all the excitement this time of year. We’re probably all aware of The Oscars and The Golden Globes, but there are many other awards that commemorate the artists, craftspeople, skilled technicians, composers, and other workers who collaborate to do this impossible thing of creating short-form or full-length screen content. I’m focusing on The Dorians this time around, but I will include links to other lesser-known award shows at the end of this post. As always, items that are available in our catalogue are linked throughout, so feel free to “check out” what these more obscure but just as valid awards have highlighted as the best of the best from 2023.

Dorian Awards

The Dorian Awards are nominated and selected by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. The name was coined as an homage to poet, playwright, and author Oscar Wilde, the famed writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray and now something of a queer icon. Dorian Award categories include standards like Film of the Year, Director of the Year, and Film Performance of the Year, but they also spotlight LGBTQ storylines, characters, and creators.

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