According to the LSU Libraries’ website, more than 4 million volumes line the shelves of the Middleton Library. Of those, 247 — less than one percent — are classified as “restricted.”
The restricted material’s section secluded behind Middleton’s circulation desk houses a variety of books, CDs and cassettes ranging in title and subject matter. Elissa Plank, head of Circulation Services, said the majority of items are labeled as restricted for one of two reasons.
“Based on a couple titles I’ve seen, it has to do with the images in the book. The content raises some flags about just sticking them out on the shelves,” Plank said. “Others are back here for security reasons and risk of vandalism.”
However, Plank added some materials are listed as restricted because they do not fall under any specific library genre.
Still, some books hardly seem to fit their restricted label. Dust collects on many of these materials, which have laid untouched for years.
For instance, “Baby Oil and Ice: Striptease in East London” by Laura Clifton features erotic themes, more easily understood as to be restricted. Purchased in 2003, the book has only been checked out once.
Another title, “Andy Warhol Giant Size,” hasn’t been checked out since 2007. The oversized book contains an array of photographs – many of which can be easily vandalized.
But titles like Celine Dion’s “Miracle: A Celebration of New Life” contradict the restricted designation. With page after page of Dion and her newborn baby, there isn’t much objectionable about this book. The book has been checked out once since 2007.
Though held from public view, restricted materials can be checked out at the circulation desk. A full list of these restricted materials are listed on the LSU Libraries’ website.