The Nelson Library is more than just books.

Filling heads and cupboards in Nelson

There are few places in the world as egalitarian as a library.

There are few places in the world as egalitarian as a library.

Here is where you will find books and information on all sorts of topics and with all kinds of viewpoints, the better to educate yourself and make up your own mind. We believe everyone has the right to access information which, in turn, has the right to be on our shelves or in our databases.

In this way, we have something in common with Amnesty International, whose annual Write for Rights day takes place in the Library on Saturday, December 8  from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Saturday, Amnesty volunteers will be on hand with information about this year’s campaign targets, groups and individuals who themselves have become targets for speaking out. One such entity is the Girifina Sudanese Youth Group, student activists calling for non-violent resistance to their government.

Girifina means “we’re fed up!” Their attempts to speak out, educate, and organize have been met with intimidation, arrests, and torture. Some have had to flee Sudan, and those who are incarcerated have had no access to their families or lawyers. But members of Girifna refuse to be silenced in their call for the respect and protection of human rights in Sudan.

Each year that I’ve participated in Write for Rights I’ve wondered how my letters could possibly make a difference. The good news is, they do add up. Youth activist and political blogger Jabbar Savalan, for example, sentenced to two years in prison for his Facebook campaign for a day of peaceful protest, was pardoned after more than 130,000 actions reached Azerbaijani authorities as part of Write for Rights.

There is power in numbers, the voices of many having the effect of wave after wave on rock. Like Water on Stone: The Story of Amnesty International (323.0601 POW) tells the full story. Author Jonathan Power, a longtime foreign affairs columnist for the International Herald Tribune, offers an objective view of the good works and the controversies in the organization’s history since 1961.

Other compelling reading can be found in Aryeh Neier’s 2012 book: The International Human Rights Movement: A History (323 NEI) and Michael Ignatieff’s The Rights Revolution (323.0971 IGN) among more on display this week in the library.

Write for Rights and Amnesty volunteers are also at Oso Negro Café on Sunday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As well as a universal right to access information, the library believes that everyone has the right to access healthy food. Monday, December 10 is Fines for Food day at the library. On Monday — the Library’s busiest day of the week — all late fines collected will be turned over to the Nelson Food Cupboard to help stock shelves. We’ll also be accepting additional cash donations for the Food Cupboard.  Want to pay your fine? Care to Supersize that?

The Nelson Food Cupboard is a barrier-free organization that recognizes that due to various social and economic factors, many people in our community don’t have sufficient resources to provide food for themselves and their families. The Food Cupboard serves more than 1,000 people every month from Nelson and surrounding areas—one quarter of which are children — offering healthy food year-round as well as a Christmas hamper program.

Knowledge is power, but it’s hard to think with an empty belly. This month, the Nelson Library is hoping to fill heads, cupboards — and hearts.

 

Anne DeGrace’s column is featured every second week in the Nelson Star

 

Just Posted

Campbell scores in OT as Leafs outlast Nitehawks 7-6

Nelson gave up three leads against rival Beaver Valley

COLUMN: Celebrate the season at Nelson’s Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre presents a program of Halloween delights

Applications sought for annual Nelson heritage award

Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Trafalgar Thunder take gold in Oliver

The Thunder knocked out the top seed in the semis en route to gold

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read