In McNeese’s early days, the “library” was a cramped classroom in Kaufman Hall, with room for only a few shelves of books and a handful of study tables. In 1960-1961, McNeese built the original two-story Library and named it after Lether E. Frazar, McNeese’s first President and a Lt. Governor of Louisiana. At the time, the McNeese community joked that the new building’s location on the banks of Contraband Bayou would make it the only library in the world with its own pirogue dock. The firm of Dunn and Quinn, prominent local architects, designed the building which cost $534,260 to build.
By 1974, McNeese had become a full-fledged university and the research needs of the students and faculty expanded. The Library again suffered growing pains and McNeese added four stories to the original structure to house the growing collection of books and other resources. That renovation featured many new-fangled technologies, such as a typewriter room and listening booths to play phonograph records.
In 1986 the Library underwent a small-scale renovation led by Library Director Richard Reid. The biggest change to the building was the installation of a walkway on the second floor to connect the 1974 addition to the original building. Additionally, the Library staff had increased through the years and new offices were needed. The latest innovation in 1986 was a meeting room with a built-in projection screen for instructors to use with an overhead projector.
In 2013 McNeese began a total renovation of the Library. The project included foundation work, new flooring, new ceilings, new air conditioning and heating, a fire alarm/sprinkler system, energy efficient lighting, and ADA-compliant fixtures. These items fixed many of the functional problems with the building. During the renovation, Library staff and service desks moved to a temporary space in Parra Ballroom in the New Ranch. The newly renovated Frazar Memorial Library re-opened in November, 2016.
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