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SUNO to hold ceremony to mark the start of library restoration project - Thursday, June 14, 2012
Southern University, New Orleans will be holding a Restoration Ceremony June 21, 2012 for the Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library that was devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The 10 a.m. ceremony, to be held in front of the library building, will mark the beginning of work to restore the facility and will feature a number of guest speakers including representatives from the student body and the restoration's project manager.

Nearly 100 percent of the library's physical collection was lost to the storms, though its electronic materials were largely spared. Now, nearly seven years later SUNO prepares to move forward into a brighter future
 
The library was opened in 1963 and named for its first director, Leonard S. Washington. Today, students access materials from a temporary location, housed inside the University's Multipurpose Building. The library's staff has remained dedicated to servicing the campus even under less than ideal conditions. 

"We are still able to provide our students with a high level of service even without the use of a traditional library," said Shatiqua Mosby-Wilson, the library's current director. "Besides our physical inventory, SUNO students do have access to a virtual library, and in most cases we have been able to provide anything that our students have requested. That being said, we are certainly looking forward to moving back home."

SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo added, "Our students can expect a facility capable of providing them with the types of services and environment that they need to be successful. This project is the culmination of the work of so many people--students, faculty, alumni, and a number of professional librarians from throughout the nation. It is important that we recognize their efforts in returning our library to the SUNO family."

The library expects to reopen its doors by the summer of 2013.