LSU celebrates banned books week

LSU celebrates banned books week
Food and Fun
Friday, September 23, 2011 - 11:34am

LSU is set to commemorate the national Banned Books Week with an exhibit in its Education Resources division in Middleton Library.

Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be observed Sept. 24 – Oct. 1 by libraries, bookstores, schools and others concerned with freedom of speech. However, the LSU Libraries exhibit will be available for viewing through Oct. 31.

Banned Books Week commemorates one of the most basic freedoms in a democratic society – freedom from censorship. Since its inception in 1982, it has reminded people that while not every book is intended for every reader, each person has the right to decide for themselves.

The theme of this year’s Banned Books Week is “Free Your Mind – Read a Banned Book.”“Banned Books Week is firmly rooted in the First Amendment, and draws attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed upon the availability of information,” said Peggy Chalaron, head of education resources for LSU Libraries. “The essential message is the importance of access to all viewpoints, even those that are considered unorthodox or unpopular,” she said.

The books in the display in the exhibit are all books that have been banned or challenged, and all are copies from the LSU Libraries’ collection. Some titles are award winners. Some are childhood favorites and required school readings. Some are written by popular authors. And though they have not been censored at our library, all have been challenged elsewhere - in libraries, in bookstores or in schools. Each book in the display contains a bookmark that explains where and why the book was challenged.

“The ongoing theme of Banned Books Week is ‘Celebrate your Freedom to Read,’ which goes hand-in-hand with academic freedom,” Chalaron said. “Colleges provide many opportunities for students, including opportunities to explore new ideas and viewpoints. Professors from several disciplines use the exhibit as a vehicle for discussion and writing assignments. Students are often surprised by the titles that have been challenged or banned and the reasons given.”

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

For more information about Banned Books Week, you can visit the Banned Books website here.

 Hours of operation for the LSU Libraries Education Resources division and exhibit are Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon - 10 p.m. Please note that library hours are subject to change due to events and resources. To confirm hours, call 225-578-2349 or 225-578-5652, or visit the LSU Library website here.

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