Carnegie Memorial Library

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Address: 411 Pujo Street, Lake Charles LA. 70601.

Telephone: (337) 721-7084

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.---Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

History: Originally the Lake Charles Public Library, the Carnegie Memorial Library was founded in 1901, when W.S.B. McLaren, President of the North American Land and Timber Company of London, England, visited Lake Charles and through area Manager Austin V. Eastman, donated the present library site provided that Andrew Carnegie would donate $10,000 for a building, and the city would appropriate not less than $1000 annually for maintenance. By March 1904, the library was open to the public, serving a population of 5,000 with a collection of 706 volumes, on the same land at the corner of Pujo and Bilbo Streets. Miss Verona Keener was the first librarian. On opening day, Miss Keener took 30 library card applications before noon. Luckily the library was not damaged by the great fire of 1910. In 1949 a bond issue was passed to build a new library building. It was completed and opened on March 14, 1952. Built with tax money, the library was now called the "Lake Charles Public Library." During the 1950's, the library expanded its offerings with the creation of an audio/visual department. Late in the decade, the library experimented with lending art prints. The 1960's saw the library add a microfilm collection and lending sculpture replicas. In 1974, The City Council and the Police Jury voted to consolidate with the the Calcasieu Parish Public Library System. Miss Mary Louise Giraud, former Head Librarian of the Lake Charles Public Library was named Parish Librarian. With the opening of the Central Library, the library was rechristened, "Carnegie Memorial." The Library was renovated during 1993 and reopened to the public in February 1994 as part of the Capital Improvement Program.

Branch Manager: Delores Guillory

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