Report: “LSU to Rename Library Named For Controversial Past President”
UPDATE June 19 LSU Board of Supervisors Unanimously Pass Resolution to Remove Troy H. Middleton’s Name From Library (via The Daily Reveille) & Video Report: Workers Remove Middleton Name From Lsu Library After Board of Supervisors Vote (via WBRZ)
From the AP:
A library at Louisiana State University named after a former school president who advocated for segregation will be renamed, school administrators and black student leaders said.
The decision to change the name of Middleton Library at the university in Baton Rouge was announced Wednesday evening, news outlets reported. The change is pending the approval of the LSU Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to meet June 19.
The library was named after Troy H. Middleton, who served as president at the school from 1951 until 1962. He’s known for writing a letter in 1961 to former University of Texas Chancellor Harry Ransom in which he explains efforts to keep white and black students apart at the school, news outlets reported.
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From The Advocate
“Our goal is to erase symbols of things that exemplify a racist past,” LSU interim President Tom Galligan said. “Any student, or particularly a student of color, that has to go into any building which bears the name of someone not identified with progress and with racist traditions is to inhibit their education. They won’t feel safe in that building.”
LSU opened the library on Oct. 23, 1959, and it named the building after Middleton in 1979.
Black student leaders expressed their desire for LSU to change the name of the library, and LSU Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Werner said a school committee is already in place to evaluate every building’s name at LSU.
Devin Woodson, a 20-year-old junior and co-chair of the LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative, said David Boyd Hall and Kirby Hall are other buildings suggested for name changes.
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.