The Carlyle Fraser Library | Upper School
|As an integral part of the Westminster community, the Carlyle Fraser Library is committed to upholding the high academic standards of the curriculum and supporting the whole person in his or her academic and personal pursuits. In providing access to information in all available formats, the Carlyle Fraser Library provides a solid research base for its users. Through resource-based instruction, the library furthers its mission to not only connect users with the information they need, but also to teach them discernment in information evaluation. Further, the Carlyle Fraser Library works to instill in its users a love for lifelong reading and learning, as well as a respect for differing beliefs and viewpoints.|
History of the Carlyle Fraser Library
In the beginning, the Boys High School and the Girls High School each had its own library located in Campbell and Askew Halls. In 1962, an administrative building (now Pressly Hall) was constructed on the vacant land between the Boys School and the Girls School and, as the result of the vision and generosity of Isobel and Carlyle Fraser, included a large library to accommodate both schools. Two of Mr. and Mrs. Fraser’s daughters, Jean Fraser Duke (Class of 1944) and Nancy Fraser Parker (Class of 1948), attended Washington Seminary, one of Westminster’s predecessor schools.
The Carlyle Fraser Library was a tribute to Mr. Fraser’s vision for an elegant, world-class library, featuring Canadian Birch paneling and walnut parquet floors.
|Monday - Thursday|
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
|The Library’s opening-day collection included over 7,500 volumes for the approximately 900 students and faculty in the junior high and high school. With the continuing support of Mrs. Carlyle Fraser, the library collection grew over the next 20 years to house over 28,000 books and audiovisual resources serving 1,400 students and faculty members. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Carlyle Fraser Library in 1982, a Westminster Authors Collection and a Memorial Book Program were established. Major renovations were undertaken in 1984 to create archives on the mezzanine level, a microfilm and microfiche area, a College Seminar Room, and a librarian office and volunteer workroom. The Library also expanded to the top floor of Pressly Hall. In 1986, a gift from Mrs. Fraser funded the automation of the Library over a five-year period, replacing card catalogs with computer catalogs. This also paved the way for Westminster to become one of a few secondary school members of the prestigious Online College Library Center, allowing for online cataloging of materials using Library of Congress records, and ensuring Westminster’s participation in the Interlibrary Loan with libraries worldwide. |
In May 2002, the Carlyle Fraser Library celebrated its 40th Anniversary, and the American Library Association included a tour of the Library as part of its annual meeting activities. In 2004, the Library underwent renovations to incorporate a new reading area and improve the upstairs offices.
In 2011, Westminster engaged in a library master planning study to determine how its libraries would support the School’s For College and For Life Strategic Plan. It was determined that the plans for the Carlyle Fraser Library should: retain and incorporate historical design elements; provide flexible spaces that support students working in collaborative groups; expand the Library’s footprint in Pressly Hall; and support the growing needs of students and teachers using advanced technology. The plans also create well-designed spaces for new ways of teaching and learning and for Westminster’s burgeoning archives and Christian Scholarship collections. Today, the Carlyle Fraser Library houses 28,710 volumes, including the 3,240 volumes in The Donn M. Gaebelein Christian Scholarship Collection. One of the largest and finest collections of its kind, The Donn M. Gaebelein Christian Scholarship Collection is made possible by The Donn M. Gaebelein Christian Enrichment Endowment Fund. Just as it did when it first opened in 1962, the renovated and expanded Carlyle Fraser Library will enable Westminster to fulfill its mission, vision, and purpose and powerfully meet the needs of students and educators today.