Building Bama: McLure Library

McLure Library will close May 5 to undergo a transformational renovation to better serve the College of Education, School of Library and Information Studies and campus community.

Built in 1925, the facility once housed the student cafeteria, post office, supply store and even a popular campus soda shop. After World War II, the third floor was used for several years as a dorm for male students.

The building was remodeled in 1954 for the Education Library. Two decades later, it was named in honor of John Rankin McLure, dean of the College of Education from 1942 to 1959.

Renovation plans call for significant upgrades to the building’s infrastructure including new mechanical, electrical, accessibility, life safety systems, technology and building envelope issues including new windows. The addition will also provide space for code required vertical circulation and an elevator as the building does not currently have one.

ADA access to McLure will be improved through the construction of a new entrance structure, which will also house program space below. Adjacent to the new entry will be a plaza and gathering space designed with brick pavers, precast seat walls, new landscaping and site lighting.

The School of Library and Information Studies will move from Gorgas Library to McLure Library as part of the Gorgas Library Master Plan. The relocation of SLIS, which is a part of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, will enhance programs in adjacent Reese Phifer Hall while maintaining the College of Education programs already in McLure and providing additional space to Gorgas Library.

University Libraries assures all students, faculty and staff that access to the resources, collections, services, and physical spaces formerly housed in McLure will be provided via Gorgas Library starting May 6.

For more information, contact Michael Arthur, UA Libraries, at