News Release

Sims Library marks 'Banned Books Week' with displays Sept. 29-Oct.6

Contact: Christina Chapple


     HAMMOND – In recognition of “Banned Book Week,” Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library has created displays featuring selections from the American Library Association’s “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” list.

     The displays will be located in the lobby and reference area on the library’s first floor Sept. 29-Oct. 6.

     “ALA has designated the last week in September as Banned Book Week with the theme ‘Free People Read Freely’ to remind Americans to treasure their freedom to read,” said library Director Eric Johnson.

     According to ALA, its Office for Intellectual Freedom in 2006 received 546 challenges -- formal, written complaints, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. More than 9, 200 challenges have been attempted since ALA began to electronically compile and publish information on book challenges in 1990.

     “Although the ALA receives many entries for the Challenged Book List, very few books are actually banned at present, at least in the United States,” Johnson said. “Many of the books on the list were challenged because of sexually explicit or offensive language, violence, or unsuitability for the age group, but others have been banned because of political or philosophical views.”

     Popular authors such as Judy Blume and Maya Angelou have titles on the list, but in years past classics such as J.D. Salinger’s "Catcher in the Rye," John Steinbeck’s "Of Mice and Men" and Mark Twain’s "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" have been included. J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular Harry Potter series ranks as the number one most challenged book series of the 21st century (2000-2006).

     The displays will be open to the public during library hours. For hours and information, call (985) 549-3962 or visit

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