McKee Library celebrates 50th Anniversary, prepares for new renovations.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the McKee Library. To commemorate the library’s grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 24, 1970, McKee Library Director Deyse Bravo said McKee Library has something special planned for students on Thursday, the library’s anniversary.

Bravo said there are eight banners being displayed on the main floor of the library exploring its rich history of growth and innovation on Southern’s campus. 

“We encourage everyone to visit the library [and] view these banners, which will be up all year long,” Bravo said.

Additionally, she said there will be large celebratory banners hanging from above the library entrance. 

 Due to the effects of COVID-19, the library will not be able to hold a convocation as it had originally planned. Instead, it will have individually wrapped treats for all students who visit the library on that day. Students can also participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the week leading up to the celebration. Anyone who completes the hunt will be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

 The celebration will continue into October, with the library hosting an event during this year’s virtual Homecoming Weekend. 

“This event, co-hosted by the Southern Scholars, will take place Friday, Oct. 30, and will feature [alumnus and Southern Scholar] Zane Yi,  who will present a talk titled Empowered by Knowledge,” Bravo said. 

In addition to celebrating its 50th anniversary, the library replaced its original windows. This past summer, the 50-year-old windows were replaced with modern, energy efficient upgrades. According to Bravo, along with these changes, the library is scheduled to undergo an exterior facelift that will modernize the aesthetics of the building. This process is scheduled to begin May 2021. 

While COVID-19 has greatly changed accessibility to the library, Bravo wants students to know the library is ready to help them no matter what the circumstance.

“We can help you with your research through one-on-one research coaching appointments, our ‘Ask a Librarian’ system and even chat,” Bravo said.“Please take advantage of our plethora of resources.”

Construction for Mckee Library begins. Photo courtesy of Marketing and University Relations.
Mckee Library today. Photo by Xander Ordinola.

Click here to read the Souther Accent’s 1969 and 1970 coverage of Mckee Library’s construction and grand opening.

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